Dimension Data Asia > Cloud > Top IT Trends to watch in 2018 – Be prepared to take advantage of digital’s opportunities

Top IT Trends to watch in 2018 – Be prepared to take advantage of digital’s opportunities

As the new year fast approaches, it’s time to think of how your business can continue to remain one step ahead. This requires keeping your finger on the pulse of the latest movers and shakers in technology – not only knowing what, but how they may potentially disrupt your industry. Acting on these key trends will lead to your customers seeing you as innovators, and your competitors realising that you are “the one to beat”.

Each year, we glean from research and day-to-day experiences with global technology leaders to outline the top IT Trends. Before delving into each of them in detail in upcoming posts, here is a brief overview of the six key areas that we foresee shaping 2018:

Digital Business

As businesses become more digital, it is important for organisations to invest in the right digital architecture to gain that competitive advantage. In particular, we foresee that blockchain technology, together with IoT, will hold the greatest potential to disrupt and reshape digital business in the year ahead. The distributed nature of blockchain will make IoT’s requirement of peer-to-peer mechanism practical and executable. Similarly, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, though not new concepts, are driving strategic business opportunities and have the potential to deliver disruptive outcomes.

Digital Infrastructure

“Disrupt, or be disrupted” is an apt manner to describe the market realities in which businesses operate today. In the year ahead, digital infrastructure will help keep operations leaner and more flexible, enabling businesses to remain competitive, amid accelerating market changes. As such, we expect to see increasing focus on speed of deployment over cost, as businesses prioritise the benefits of new technologies over its total cost of ownership. We will also witness the real democratisation of data, ensuring it’s made available to those who need it, when they need it, so as to extract greater value and make data-driven business decisions.

Hybrid Cloud 

Hybrid Cloud continues to remain the preferred enterprise strategy. It has long been positioned as a solution for firms wanting to hold sensitive data on-premise, while innovating with the cloud. As more cloud providers compete, we’ll see more vertical cloud solutions on the market as they look for ways to differentiate. We will also see a rise in hybrid cloud management solutions and innovations from cloud providers, business users are likely to gain more value from cloud use, including a clearer view of their resources and data.

Digital Workplace

Technology will continue to transform our workplaces, making them increasingly connected, borderless and cutting-edge. Web-based real-time communications and video-enabled conferencing rooms is the norm, with measurable progress in voice-enabled virtual assistants and IoT-enabled offices. This will open up new possibilities, yet introduce a new range of security risks, necessitating a redefinition of security strategies.

Customer Experience  

An increasingly important differentiator, customer experience will continue to be a priority in the new year. We will witness the rise of proactive customer experience, powered by IoT. This cohesive, omni-channel experience will be created as the different strands of digital technologies come together and as developments in AI, free up time of customer-facing staff from repetitive tasks to offer value-added service.

Cybersecurity 

Threats of cyberattacks are greater than ever, with ransomware profit alone claiming over USD$1billion in 2016. Organisations will start doubling down on defence in the new year, through investments in sophisticated technologies like zero-trust models that require system users to go further to proving who they are and ‘robo-hunters’, automated threat-seekers that monitor for unusual behaviour within office systems.

It looks like we are in for a busy 2018 of exciting technologies and positive disruptions, and of new challenges and new opportunities. Over the coming weeks, we will share more insights to discover how technology can truly drive positive outcomes for your business.

John Lombard

John is the CEO of Dimension Data Asia Pacific