Digital technologies have seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives. With the start of another year,it’s the perfect time to look ahead to the digital trends that will really take off this year. Before jumping ahead to 2018, look back at our top 10 digital skills of 2017 and how to get them.
You may notice that many of the ‘trends’ mentioned below are not necessarily new. But what will be new in 2018 are their scale and their importance for the day-to-day operations of businesses around the world.
As February comes to a close, below are our predictions for the top 5 digital trends for 2018.
1. Mainstreaming Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is not new – it’s been on the scene for a while but only recently has begun gaining momentum. Last year AR broke into pop culture with Pokémon Go, the fastest game to reachover $1 billion in revenue. Technology has now advanced to a point that it can support innovation in AR and platforms for AR have improved exponentially, creating an environment for 2018 to be the year of AR.
2. Increased Importance of Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be increasingly important in 2018 as the amount of data reaches unprecedented levels. “70% of enterprises expect to implement AI over the next 12 months, up from…51% in 2017” – Forrester Research. Personal assistants are mainstreaming AI and companies are taking note of the potential for AI to transform business. Similarly, Forrester’s Research predicts that 50% ofbusinesses will move to public cloud-first policy for data and analytics in an attempt to reduce costs and increase flexibility over software.
3.Amazon becomes the platform to watch
Amazon is the biggest platform to watch for 2018; with stocks recently jumping 2.5% overnight after the debut of Amazon Go, Amazon may soon overcome Facebook. Recognizing the potential for smart speakers to become the next big smart technology, Amazon invested heavily in Echo and dominated the market, with Echo representing two thirds of smart speakers sold world wide. With smart speakers sales exploding in early 2018, negotiations suggest Amazon may be seeking ways to advertise on Echo devices, making Amazon one of our predictions for top digital platform to watch in 2018.
4.Blockchain Disrupts and Sparks Innovation
The technology is not new – Blockchain was developed in 2008 to power Bitcoin. Today, blockchain is disrupting all kinds of industries, including finance. Blockchains are essentially strings of data that are publicly available, with the individual having a private key to their account. Since cryptocurrencies are electronic, transactions can be tracked while simultaneously eliminating the ‘middle man’, banks. In 2018 we will see many platforms adapt to use blockchains, sparking a wave of innovation.
As digitalization progresses, businesses will increasingly need talented people with skills and expertise in new and emerging fields, such as data science and computer learning. Technology can perform complex algorithms and crunch data to make recommendations, but there is a great need for skilled people who can interpret that data and turn it into actionable items.
There are sure to be many changes in 2018, so keep an eye on these top 5 digital trends. Based on these predictions, AR will continue to become mainstream, AI and analytics will become essential in order to mine through the wealth of data captured, Amazon will dominate digital marketplaces,blockchain platforms will begin popping up more frequently, and a special skill set will become increasingly valuable to businesses.