The future is now.
For all of Marty McFly’s time traveling antics, even he didn’t get as far as 2017. Now it’s our time to create predictions for the coming year about very real tech innovations that will leave your jaw dropping like the flying Delorean of 1985.
With new changes in political, economical, and generational arenas, tech sectors are being expanded and pulled in many different directions. All eyes are on how the creatives and entrepreneurs in the tech industry will continue to drive innovation. However, across the board, this year’s advancements will be centered on the networks and devices that drive growth in efficiency and speed for smarter, faster, and stronger products in business and life. In 2017 there are 5 major players that we predict will cause a scene:
- The Internet of Things’ Growth and Maturity
- Real-Time Engagements and Interactions for On-Demand Everything
- Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in the Business World
- Cloud Computing’s Solid Position in a Company
- DevOPS and Design Thinking for Enhanced User Experience
You Are (20)16 going on (20)17
The internet is growing up. No longer contained simply to a laptop, a phone, or website, the Internet of Things, a term that has been thrown around at tech conventions and science magazines, is now something that people in their everyday lives will encounter more often.
“Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of,” explains Jacob Morgan of Forbes.
As interconnectivity rises with the increase of devices both in the home and business, information sharing has never been so prevalent. 2017 will push that growth out even farther as the smartphone gets smarter, more people have access to them, and they will be able to control more things. Smart TVs and custom light fixtures are just two examples of the thousands of trendy products that blur the line between analogue and digital. This growth spurt isn’t going to stop any time soon.
With everyone being connected at all hours – getting emails after 5PM or ordering an Uber at 3AM – people will expect service providers to be available in real-time and on-demand. And in 2017, the evolution of technology will make on-demand services easier, safer, better, and available in a wider variety of places both horizontally and vertically.
Companies, especially in the mobile space, will increase spending to enhance their tools for engaging users in real-time, providing them content, promotions, and sales. This has the potential to change the way consumers make purchasing decisions, including the way they interact with advertising. Since advertising pays for much of what we find online, this shift will have far-reaching impacts.
Movies like Ex Machina and Avengers 2: Age of Ultron showed the fictional side of machine learning and AI, or Artificial Intelligence, but were grounded on physical and technological possibilities. While Machine Learning and AI are very different things in theory and realms of possibilities, both will have important breakthroughs in 2017.
With Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, virtual and intelligent assistants are getting stronger, and the competition between tech companies will drive these machines to become smarter and more lifelike. The big push for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality systems forces these companies to keep up and make their “AI” more lifelike and intelligent.
While Machine Learning is progressing at rapid speed, AI has a tougher road ahead before it becomes the norm and is more than just a GO champion. However, as different sides of the same coin, any and all developments in one will help the other. Mechanization and automation allow businesses to focus on growth strategies and enhancing customer experience. And customers benefit from a more individualized user experience. With machine learning, problems are solved faster, products will look sexier and will last longer.
Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground
This past year saw a decrease in the demand for data-center services, declining nearly 5 percent year-over-year in 2016. More and more companies are piling their workload in the public cloud instead of relying on using data centers’ physical servers and their counterparts. “The main disruption to the market is being provided by the growth of cloud and hosted solutions, which are redefining markets and enabling new competitors to emerge,” said Synergy Research Group’s founder and chief analyst, Jeremy Duke.
In addition to the rapid growth of the public cloud, companies will begin to migrate their workloads to self-built private clouds that are tailored to their needs and over which they have more control. The RightScale 2016 State of Cloud survey reported that companies with greater than 1,000 Virtual Machines in a private cloud grew from 22 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2016.
For the People, by the People
The world revolves around people and their experiences. They are the ones using apps, devices, and any new tech.
The common mantra is that people and technology should work together so seamlessly that they only notice it when something is broken. At the heart of this idea is Simplicity. Whatever is faster, simpler and easier to use is what drives popularity. In a world of the same thing iterated in thousands of same-but-different apps, the simplest and easiest is what wins. Complex and heavy programs are being replaced by the streamlined version that can operate in the palm of your hand.
The key is “data-driven” and “informed” design thinking; going beyond complicated algorithms, analytics, and automation, and into a deep understanding the real-world user workflows. With the drive for continuous automation testing, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous delivery, products will have higher expectations set for them from the beginning.
There is a great emphasis on UX for any customer facing applications, and design thinking will gain popularity and adoption by companies of all sizes. Design thinking will innovate and evolve to cover areas beyond UX, becoming a tool that helps problem solving in diverse areas to define solutions all the way from insights to innovation.
Human-centric is the key word here, and anyone who surrounds their designs with a clear understanding of the needs and goals of the people using their product will unlock a door to providing a solution that focuses on the ones using it: the people.
Survival of the Fittest
As technology continues to evolve and grow, only time can tell which will thrive in an ever changing environment. As much as we try to predict the outcomes, global, political, societal, and economical factors have an impact on the direction of tech. So stay tuned with us as we make our foray into this crazy 2017 together.
You can be sure that Moonlighting will be changing and growing to enhance both the user experience and to help anyone make more money in this world we live in. With amazing new builds and designs on the way, we’re excited to dive headfirst into this new year. So sign up today and let us help you on your freelancing journey!