Top Five B2B Technology Trends 2018
Whether its virtual chatbots or Bitcoin’s Blockchain ledger, there several emerging technology trends in 2018 that are changing the way we work. As we battle to keep up in this changing economy it is more important than ever to consider technology and how to leverage it to make lives easier and improve how a business operates. In this article, we discuss 2018’s biggest technology trends in business and how they will impact organisations.
1. Adoption of AI-Chatbots
Initially when chatbots were trialled in various industries, they received mixed reviews. Following advances in technology and user testing, they are now being adopted on a larger scale by companies looking to provide services ranging from support through to customer service. Chatbots are now learning how to respond to customers and begin to predict what they want. Companies can provide a customer’s history and enable the chatbot to ask customers questions based on their preferences, which provides a personalised experience and improves the quality of support. We will see an increase in chatbots implemented in new industries ranging from government, retail and construction.
Automated chatbots can reduce the work load of the customer service team by answering frequent queries, and collecting information needed prior to the human getting involved in the interaction. It may be beneficial to consider your customer touch points and see whether chatbots and AI can play a role now and if you haven’t got livechat in place, this is a great place to start.
2. Edge Computing
As the next level of cloud computing, edge computing is the dark knight on the cloud. Edge computing is the method of optimising cloud computing systems by performing data processing at the edge of the network, near the source of the data. This new approach can significantly decrease the amount of data that is required to be moved and can reduce transmission costs, latency and improve the quality of service. Although in the early stages, edge computing has the capability to de-emphasise the core computing environment which therein can remove bottlenecks and or potential points of failure. In the future, edge will be the preferred choice for processing data in real-time as it can lower operating costs and reduce network traffic while also improving application performance. Studies show that up to 40% of all computing will happen at the edge in just the next couple of years. It is safe to say that edge computing is here to stay.
If you’ve got a large volume of data stored in your own network, on your infrastructure and have been struggling with how to utilise the data because of the volume or privacy concerns, then it may be worth considering edge computing. There are providers on the market offering solutions and can help to evaluate whether this technology can help overcome some of the challenges experienced with cloud computing.
3. Data and Privacy Control
With more businesses transforming their operations and digital landscape, data security is more important than ever. In addition to enterprise data security, more government organisations are recognising the importance of protecting their citizen’s data and privacy in cloud-based platforms. More stringent privacy laws for citizens can protect them from data abuse and criminal activity such as fraud or identify theft. Understanding the potential risks, government organisations globally have designed data protection frameworks to ensure their citizens, organisations and enterprises are able to operate securely. Ultimately, data security will shape future technology trends as it is currently one of the largest barriers of entry for organisations looking to move to the cloud.
Keeping on top of the rules and regulations on protecting customer data can be challenging. The number of attacks are increasing on a daily basis and they are becoming more sophisticated. It is important to have a security plan that is tested, with good monitoring and controls in place to protect your business from a potential data breach.
4. Blockchain and Identity Management
According to Gartner, Blockchain was the second top searched term on their website, increasing by 400% in just 12 months in 2017. Blockchain provides a distributed, secure, and unique system of records, which allows businesses to manage data and transactions while preventing possible security breaches. This makes Blockchain the optimal choice in terms of enterprise security, enabling identity access management system, and helping to manage company user logins and provides secure authentication. In 2018, we will start to see the adoption of Blockchain in areas such as banking, financial services, and health care. It is expected that 20% of trade and finance organisations globally will use it by 2020 with many more industries will come in board in the future.
While many Blockchain use cases are some time away from coming to market, we’re starting to see the emergence of identity solutions targeted at enterprises. This one should be on your watch list the year ahead as with the significant investment going into this area, and some of the industry’s biggest names backing solutions this is going to come sooner that you would expect.
5. Streamlining Cloud Adoption
Moving to the cloud has not slowed down. While some have been slow to adopt, more and more government organisations and larger enterprises are prioritising their cloud strategy to improve their business processes. With security and data privacy risks as the highest concern, new processes (including blockchain) and mechanisms have been put in place to mitigate them. Enterprises now also recognise that most cloud providers and technology partners invest heavily in the security of their cloud infrastructure, platforms and cloud applications. All in all, larger enterprises are adopting the cloud more than ever as it provides many benefits including flexibility, disaster recovery, remote working, and document control. The benefits of the cloud combined with advanced security can provide a bottom line advantage to organisations and improve their operation efficiency. Although slow to adopt, government organisations are also taking the steps to move into this direction through the recent migration of applications to the cloud.
If you have been moving workloads to the cloud, it may be beneficial to look at how you can take advantage of the elasticity and scalable capabilities so that your business can realise the benefits. Until you re-architect the cloud based applications and workloads, you may not see the of the benefits of the cloud can offer.
Bringing it all together
Being in the early months of 2018, we have only scratched the surface of the exciting technology trends that continue to disrupt and impact many industries today. While fast moving, technologies can greatly impact organisations’ operations and if optimised can help them achieve significant growth and keep them ahead of the game. Moving into the future, it is crucial that we embrace change and look at new ways to improve the way we work to provide future proof solutions that can lead into a promising year ahead. If you are looking for a digital transformation partner, speak to Object today and find out how we can help.