Global Software Trends In 2017
As company owners, CIOs and IT Directors prepare for the changes, it’s also good for smaller and medium business owners to be prepared for the changes. But the nagging question is: what am I supposed to invest in to keep my IT department a leading edge for the day to come? And the much deeper question is: How can I establish IT governance as well as structured value systems that vision a long term adoption of technology?
In an effort to pull out business for the changes to come in 2017, the following are the leading software trends that business owners to catch up with to remain competitive. It’s a competitive world and everyone needs to keep up less they be kicked out.
mLearning is simply mobile learning and is on the increase in corporate environment. It is eLearning’s extension working on the concept of taking the learning experience of an organization and adapts it to today’s corporate culture.
Today, many employees are integrating use of mobile devices into their profession. A software that allows them to take their work (training material) with them is being developed. mLearning is a flexible training that seeks to expand employees’ training beyond the on-the-job training dependency. It integrates individually paced methodologies across several contexts and develops small learning lessons made available on demand by users.
Forbes magazine reports that mLearning will create an improved knowledge retention as well as employee engagement. It is more than just delivering the training materials of employees on mobile devices. mLearning expands past undertaking and completing training sessions. It is rather a real time concept, meaning that it can be used to deliver new information to the employees.
Companies that are going to benefit the most from mLearning in the year 2017 is those that outsource human resources from geographic locations under different time zones. Companies that have a corporate culture of allowing employees to work outside their cubicles will also gain a lot. With over 50% of workforce being employed in corporate environments that are conducive for remote working, mLearning concept is definitely here to stay.
Internet of Things
This is a concept that is currently under rapid development. Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ever growing network of tangible objects with a form of processor, IP address and a wireless mode of communication to enable it to communicate with other similar objects and internet enabled devices and systems.
IoT isn’t a new concept as such, but its full implementation is going to happen come next year. It is now being implemented on smart cars, smart homes wearable fitness gadgets, mobile entertainment and many more.
Observers of stock market are considering IoT an expanding space as CISCO forecasts over 50 billion things connected by the year 2020. On the other hand Intel anticipates that number to be much higher, at 200 billion by the same year.
In the year 2017, you and your business must figure out how to capitalize and fulfill IoT demands coming from the B2C and B2B consumers. If you are running a healthcare business for instance, you must consider how to come up with health monitors that is wearing. If you are in the energy sector, you should consider how to come up with a smart metering.
Retailers as well must be onboard. For example a store can fix some electronic point of sale gadgets so that customers can make purchases without needing to get to the cashier where they may have a second thought or change of mind.
Corporate cyber security sophistication
Even though 2017 will see greater changes in software, it will also see a greater advancement of cyber-attacks and threats. And the biggest threat will be breaching of mobile payment systems, growth of ransomware, cloud storage cracking, takeover of IoT and many other forms of cyber-crimes.
As IoT is expected to take off in 2017, we will have almost every device connected with each other as well as all internet enabled devices and systems. Even though it will come with a great benefit, security concerns are expected to rise as well. A great challenge will be to come up with a counter intuitive approach to shield people from access the data from other devices. This may not immediately take place in 2017, but the year is when we should expect to see these challenges.
Gartner forecasts that more than 20 percent of the security threats and attacks will be as a result of IoT connections. In the years ahead, businesses must start to hire security experts to handle all the vulnerabilities that present through IoT data and be able to offer multilayer protection.
The traditional measures used in cyber security will not be able to withstand these threats. Today, we see so many advanced hacker activities that are going even past out of the box system. Ahead of the 2017 changes, your business must start with an audit of your information security followed by personalized and complete network security as well as disaster recovery plans.
Incorporation of hybrid cloud
Hybrid cloud simply integrates all the three cloud platforms; private, public and on-premise cloud. Back in 2015, we witnessed a significant growth in the adoption of hybrid cloud, but the year ahead of us is yet to experience a high-scale growth.
Hybrid cloud is a great feature for most businesses. Public cloud gives scalability, flexibility as well as cost effectiveness. Private cloud on the other hand offers customized security for highly sensitive data. For an organization with a mix of data sets, combining the two platforms will be more practical.
In 2017 and onwards, businesses will seek consultancy from a cloud expert to help them build a good foundation that will support combination of private, public and on-premise cloud together with backup and security.
Increased use of mobile apps
2016 is the year that we saw almost every business creating a website that supported mobile devices. This was not only necessary due to the increased usage of mobile phones by online shoppers, but it was necessary with the changes that search engines such as Google suggested. Normally, Google search engine algorithms use the mobile support feature of websites as one of the determinants to listing them not only on the first page but at the top of the search results.
2017 will now see the increased development of mobile apps by virtually every business that wants to remain competitive. App stores are also coming up with stringent rules to approve mobile apps. This simply mean that mobile application testing will grow significantly for apps to be accepted on stores. Mobile apps will be more advanced, with the anticipated growth of IoT and data analytics.
AR/VR for corporates and consumers
Augmented and Virtual Reality was a fun attention grabber for consumers in the 2015-2016 period. In 2017, it will become a real application that can be used by both corporates and consumers. AR/VR technologies are extensions of both IoT and mLearning and may reshape the experiences of B2C and B2B consumers forever.
From the perspective of a consumer, both AR and VR present clear benefits. Consumers will be provided with an experience as close as true to ownership as possible hence avoiding pre-sale risks and costs. As for use by the corporates, it may be not so clear today, but it will be in the near future. Businesses may use Virtual Reality technology to promote employee health through virtual meditation of breaks. VR may also be used for conferencing.
This simply refers to keeping the traditional practices while introducing new innovative processes at the same time but in a safer way. This approach acknowledges the fact that the capacity of an IT organization to respond faster to business goals require different processes, people, budgets and technology.
Technology experts over the years have stated that the practice of utilizing and managing two IT modes isn’t new. It has been in practice but 2017 will see its full implementation by different businesses.
The year 2015 saw a large amount of data being spit up by devices including computers and smartphones. Most of that data has almost gone unanalyzed in 2016. As the 2016-2017 gets closer to an end, we expect data analytics to find its way up the ladder to the top.
Innovations in data mining and analytics is happening so fast across the world. Software developed this year and scheduled for launch come 2017 are expected to have some form of high level intelligence to analyze collected data and be able to draw out trends in consumption patterns. We already have data analytics in businesses today, but next year will see a further improvement and growth into education sector among other sectors.
Development of software defined networks
This is a pretty new way by which networks will be controlled by an operating system. Control will be moved from the single devices to a master controller. This will facilitate network configuration from a single place. This can be thought of virtualizing a network.
Locating physical data centers won’t be relevant as the environment will be completely virtual. This will see the time required to provision resources greatly reduced. Workloads will cross the boundaries of data centers. This change will also see a potential disruption of organizations.
This is a change that is expected to take place gradually with time. Full implementation of software defined networks is expected to take place by 2020 as forecast by Gartner. 2017 will only see its take off.
Big data storage
By 2017, there will be large amount of data captured by software, by a third of it only will be able to be stored due to talent shortage. Archive, audit and recovery of data will become increasingly complex with the advancement of software.
Currently, we’ve seen software systems being developed with the capacity to collect data from the users. Social platforms such as Facebook are expected to increase their data collection strategies from users and at the end of the day, they will be much bigger data.
Big data plays an important role in analyzing trends and patterns. With the development of data analytics set to take off in 2017, we expect businesses to be able to make more informed decisions as they’ll be able to identify patterns in consumer behavior from the collected data. But the greatest fear is the shortage for storage of the big data.
As a business owner specialized in storage of data about your clients, it’s better to start preparations for investing in bigger storage capacities. Data analytics tools will be more advanced and as such you better have infrastructure in place to support storage.