Saturday, 15 December 2018

2018 Tech Trends and Predictions

Growing adoption of digital assistants, Internet of Things devices, blockchain applications, and new server strategies are likely to drive a number of big tech trends in 2018. Among the things we'll see more of in the coming year, according to various forecasters, are edge computing, so-called serverless computing, smarter homes, smarter cities, and a host of new technologies for smarter, more connected cars.
The next 12 months could also see new developments in ARM-powered laptops, over-the-air wireless charging, augmented reality, 5G connectivity, and IT security driven by artificial intelligence.

At least some of these innovations can be expected to make their first appearance at CES 2018, scheduled for Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas. The consumer technology tradeshow and conference will feature exhibits, presentations, keynotes, and other programs on VR, AR, self-driving cars, digital health, IoT, smart energy, robotics, AI, drones, and more.

Enterprise Focus on 'Innovation Accelerators'

Consumers won't be the only ones driving the adoption of new tech devices and strategies in the year ahead: enterprise organizations with an eye on digital transformation will also fuel growth in a wide range of technology markets. For example, analyst firm IDC expects worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies to approach $1.3 trillion this year, a 16.8 percent increase over 2017.

"While some industries are more focused on the core technologies underlying the 3rd Platform, particularly cloud, big data and analytics, and mobility, many have shifted their investment focus toward the Innovation Accelerators, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, and robotics," customer insights and analysis group program director Eileen Smith said in an IDC forecast released last month. "While the investment strategies may differ from company to company, the objective remains the same: to reimagine and reconstruct the business to compete in the increasingly digital economy that's platform-powered and ecosystem-enabled."

Meanwhile, Gartner Inc. also foresees organizations spending more on enterprise security technologies in 2018 as hacking, ransomware, and other cyberthreats keep growing. That spending will include investments in smarter and more automated strategies for security information and event management, identity access management, and infrastructure protection, the analyst group predicted.

AI technologies will also have a growing presence in other business areas, such as sales and manufacturing, Gartner said in a forecast last month.

"Companies are just beginning to seize the opportunity to improve nonroutine work through AI by applying it to general-purpose tools," research vice president Craig Roth said in Gartner's AI prediction. "Once knowledge workers incorporate AI into their work processes as a virtual secretary or intern, robo-employees will become a competitive necessity."

New Server, Energy Technologies

What other tech trends can we expect to see in the months ahead? Other forecasters say we should watch for more serverless, or event-driven, computing, as well as more edge computing, hyperconverged systems, ARM-powered laptops, truly wireless charging, and new data center strategies.

"Edge computing stands to shake up how we think about the cloud, and how it will be used in 2018 and beyond," Digital Trends said in a forecast published yesterday. "It’s going to be a lot of work, especially considering how much we’ve invested in the cloud. However, with the number of IoT devices exploding we're coming to the point where we're going to need to figure out a better way to have them all communicate without sucking up all available bandwidth."

Tom's Guide today also said 2018 will be the year in which over-the-air wireless charging "gets real." Among the companies working on such technologies are Energous and Powercast, which will show off its PowerSpot transmitter during CES.

Serverless computing, which is better described as "Functions as a Service," is also "bubbling like a cauldron with tremendous interest, and development is racing along," Network World said last week. "Once people get past the misleading name and realize its benefits, it will take off."

Legal disclaimer: The insight, recommendations and analysis presented here are based on corporate filings, current events, interviews, corporate press releases, and what we've learned as financial journalists. They are presented for the purposes of general information only. These may contain errors and we make no promises as to the accuracy or usefulness of the information we present. You should not make any investment decision based solely on what you read here.

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