If you’ve been working in IT for even a short amount of time, you have already been witness to changes and advancements at an unprecedented pace. Much of the technology you now deal with daily was barely even imagined a decade ago. With 2018 still young, a new year of innovation and technical advancements awaits where we can expect even revolutionary technologies as well as disrupting cyberattacks. Fields such as artificial intelligence, Big Data, cloud, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things have already gathered a lot of prominence and mass in the digital world and we can expect these buzzwords to keep buzzing even louder in 2018. Apart from witnessing these aspects gain more momentum and contribute to the development of the digital world, we can also expect new technologies to surface. Here are the top IT trends to watch for in 2018:
2018 IT trends: Rise of AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science of getting things done with machines that usually requires human brains and human intelligence. The tasks such as analyzing voice-based inputs, visual perception, and decision making are now carried out by computers without human intervention. Although it was confined to tasks such as speech and visual analysis during its initial stages, AI is now widely used in various sectors such as health care, marketing, sales, and, of course, IT.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to completely revamp existing working models and functionalities in various industries. Here are some of its possible applications:
Artificial intelligence has already started to contribute to analytics to provide better insights. Advanced analytics play a vital role in reshaping the existing business landscapes and innovations. The process is now aided by artificial intelligence and thanks to this huge chunks of data can be analyzed for valuable information. And all this is done with impeccable precision with the implementation of AI in analytics. This was one of the top IT trends of 2017, and it will get even hotter this year.
Although we have been hearing about the self-driving cars for quite some time now, we will actually be witnessing the global launch of this revolutionary tech in the automobile industry this year. With more than 40 multinational companies such as General Motors, Ford, Tesla, and Google’s sister company Waymo collaborating for introducing self-driving cars to the global markets, we can expect these automatic self-driving cars rolling on the roads in 2018 in huge numbers. Yet again, AI stands as the backbone of this futuristic project.
Retail industry and operations will heavily rely on the AI systems to regularize business transactions and operations. IT trends in e-commerce will see AI-powered applications provide a more personalized and better shopping experience to end users with chatbots and customer support.
Robust professional services
With AI serving various industries, we can expect a much better and more robust professional assistance and services in health care, software, hardware support services, and more.
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to be the new Internet. Although the name is new, blockchain is not a new technology after all. Instead, it is a combination of existing and proven technologies used in new and improved ways. Blockchain was originally devised for bitcoins, but now the tech community and experts are finding a wide array of new applications for this technology.
Although both the Internet and blockchain run on the distributed network, unlike the regular Internet, blockchain allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. In the regular Internet, concurrent modification of a file or the concurrent transactions is not possible. Consider the example of Google docs or Wikipedia, where everyone has the right access can make modifications. All these modifications are analyzed at a central server and published. Whenever a user tries to update the information, he or she must wait for the updated information, which is not locked. But in the case of the blockchain, every user can update the same record simultaneously and independently. Here every node or a device is creating their own set of information or file copies as the information held on the blockchain exist as a shared and continuously reconciled database, which is protected by strong encryption.
Blockchain itself is very robust and it cannot have a single point of failure. This ensures the continuity of business and operations. Blockchain can ensure frictionless business transactions and has multiple applications in various fields. Of all the 2018 IT trends, blockchain may be the one we hear about most as the year goes on. Here are some of the applications of blockchain that we will be talking about this year:
- Better and robust distributed cloud storage.
- Better digital identities.
- Fraud resistance.
- Betterment of financial and all other transactions involving services.
A digital twin is the virtual model of an existing or nonexisting physical asset, product, process, or a service. Every such asset is paired with its digital counterpart and this pairing allows better data analysis, predictability, and prevention of business downtime, ensuring smooth flow of business.
The concept of digital twins has a wide scope in projects such as smart cities, health care, real-time navigations, and virtualization. Some of the applications of digital twins, which we will be witnessing in the near future are:
- Better asset management
- Boost in manufacturing and automobile industry
- Smart cities
- Health care
Immersive digital experience
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) are already picking up the pace and are being used in multiple industries to benefit businesses. They are changing the way humans interact with machines and are collectively making it possible to achieve huge returns in investment.
In 2018, we can expect mixed reality to leave a huge positive impact on remote guidance, real-time training, prototyping, operational support, and analytics.
From the cloud to the edge
Cloud computing is already at full throttle in providing the IT world with tremendous benefits. But edge computing has just started burgeoning and its real-life implementations are just being uncovered. Considering the rate at which data generation is surging every day, edge computing has a predominant role to play in the near future.
In most business-critical applications, latency associated with cloud computing needs to be minimized or eliminated. This is achievable by the proper implementation of edge computing. When an enterprise or a business implements both the cloud and edge computing rightly, they can handle enormous amounts of data. Edge computing can contribute to higher performance, reduced costs and network payload, and more. And with IoT turning mainstream, we can expect edge computing to be among the crucial IT trends in 2018.
As technologies and innovations in IT continue to evolve, their impact, benefits, and scope remain uncertain. However, one thing that is certain is that these technologies will pervade the landscape of the enterprise IT world in 2018. Apart from all these technologies, there are several other existing solutions and tech such as IoT, Big Data analytics, and more that might take an all-new form before the year is over.
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