Technology Trends for 2017 and Beyond

By Mike Weston, Vice President of Cisco Middle East,

The pace of technological innovation is faster today than ever before. Just a few years ago, cloud technologies were considered cutting-edge. Breakthrough technologies will continue to create new value and transform experiences for businesses and consumers alike. So what new technology trends can we expect in 2017?

  1. Growth of Internet traffic and the need for broadband  

    By 2020, global Internet traffic will be 95-times the volume of the global Internet in 2005. This growth is driven by more Internet users, more connected devices, faster broadband speeds, and more video. By 2020, 71% of network traffic will originate from non-PC devices including smartphones, tablets and televisions. Digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT) will also contribute to driving increased network traffic. Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, digital health monitors and mobile to mobile services will create incremental traffic and new network requirements.

  2. Digitization requires digital ready networks

    The world has the potential to connect billions more people to digital networks, dramatically improve the efficiency of organizations and even manage assets. As the world becomes digital and everything becomes connected, data becomes the most strategic asset of any company or country. The ability to secure data, act on the data and deliver services based on the data will determine the success of organizations. However, there is an important pre-requisite for successful digitization: digital ready networks.

  3. IoT gets into higher gear

    More things will become intelligent and connected to address the range of business needs. Medical devices, appliances, performance monitors, connected vehicles and smart grids are some of the early areas of adoption. For consumers, wearable devices will continue to grow and mesh with healthcare and big data. Intelligent systems will grow at a quick pace in 2017, as more applications and products become available.

  4. Security becomes even more paramount

    The growth of IoT will place even greater emphasis on security. Inadequate security will be a critical barrier to large-scale deployment of IoT systems and broad customer adoption of IoT applications. Simply extending existing IT security architectures to the IoT will not be sufficient. Security will need to be designed in a very granular way - both by application (use case) and by role within the organization. It is difficult to bolt on such a security solution once the overall infrastructure is designed, thus granular security capabilities will have to be built in from the ground up with these needs in mind.

  5. Plug and play will be the new norm

    The lack of interoperability between different products and different solutions is also currently limiting its growth. Going forward solution vendors of IoT will focus less on setting their own standards and instead build their products on the basis of being able to complement and align with others. This will allow us to enjoy fantastic applications that fully unleash the power of IoT.

  6. Changing the way we work

    Work collaboration with partners, suppliers, customers, consultants, as well as colleagues in dispersed locations has increased in importance. However, not all collaboration tools are equally effective. Cloud, file sharing, video conferencing and content management have become highly effective. The next generation of collaboration tools will be cloud-based, mobile-first and capable of integrating various workflows. 

  7. Fog Computing - Intelligence at the edge of the network

    The increasing investment in smart city applications will drive intelligence to the edge of the network. Compute, storage and networking capabilities will move to the most remote devices, allowing data from sensors to be converted into intelligent commands. This will improve urban services such as traffic management, smart lighting, security, and parking.

  8. Data deluge drives deep learning and artificial intelligence

    The vast volumes of data which will be generated by sensors opens up the frontiers for deep learning and predictive analytics driving insights into business or consumer response. Moreover, the current incidence frequency of cyber threats has grown to such a level that it is beyond human intervention and more automated forms of response and remediation are required. With artificial intelligence (AI), we can discover attacks before they can begin to steal sensitive data.

  9. The advent of alternate realities

    The blending of dimensions is something that we’ll continue to see more of in 2017 as purely online retailers are now launching physical presences (Amazon book stores and Amazon Go), and Pokémon Go bought augmented reality to the attention of the masses. Virtual reality technology has reached the point that it is now accessible to the average consumer, as with devices like smartphones and tablets. New open software driven platforms are enabling businesses to innovate in how they might use the technology – whether in the online, physical or virtual spaces.

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