If you thought 2016 was a banner year for changes in IT, look ahead: 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger, according to industry analysts. Although there aren’t many new concepts on the immediate horizon, trends that began a year ago now possess momentum few organizations will be able to resist. Here are the top five forces that will shape IT in 2017.
It’s All About The Customer
According to Forrester Research, focus on customer experience will dominate enterprise strategies, and this will have an effect on all aspects of organizations including IT. “In 2017, expect firm-wide operational changes to focus on customer experience—and an increasing number of wholesale business model changes to focus on specific customer journeys.”
Small scale experiments with cloud platforms will give way to major transformations. “The cloud will be distributed with 60% of IT done off-premise and 85% by multi-cloud by 2018 and 43% of IoT will be processed at the edge in 2019,” according to Forbes’ summary of IDC’s tech predictions.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things will continue to grow as companies seek to increase efficiencies through better algorithmic analysis of the data that connected sensors generate. But Forrester warns there could be unexpected costs and complexity, thanks to a growing number of vendors, an increase in the kind of wireless protocols used, and a shortage of skilled networking professionals to manage it.
AR and VR are two more areas of experimentation that are expected to become more deeply embedded as companies find new ways to interact with consumers, as well as internally. “In 2017, 30% of consumer-facing G2000 companies will experiment with AR/VR as part of their marketing efforts,” says IDC. One in five global brands will use AR for shopping by the end of 2017, predicts Gartner.
Deep learning, machine learning and natural language processing will all continue to play growing roles in the enterprise: IDC states that by 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives —and 100% of IoT initiatives—will be supported by AI capabilities.