The year ahead: Technology trends in 2016

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What a year it has been! As we prepare to close the office this afternoon for a well-deserved break, we thought it would be a great opportunity to look to the year ahead and discern the emerging technology trends that are likely to impact organisations in 2016.

A recent report from Gartner, an IT research advisory firm, has outlined top strategic technology trends for organisations, which include predictions on aspects such as devices, 3D printing and the Cloud (HPC Wire, 2015). Similar assertions are echoed by telecom researcher Budde Comm.

Firstly, the device mesh, referring to the plethora of endpoints users can access and interact with, is set to expand. This includes mobile, wearables, electronics and automotive devices, all predominantly wireless. In fact, it is estimated that the number of wireless connected devices is expected to outnumber wired, and in 2016, will account for over 50% of internet traffic (Wansink and Budde, 2015). While these have previously often operated in isolation from one another, as the mesh develops, interconnectivity is expected to increase.

This links well to the next trend identified, which highlights a focus on the user experience and ensuring continuity across platforms and devices. Given users are simultaneously engaging with a number of devices, it is important that they be able to transition seamlessly between them, therefore 2016 will see the user at the forefront of design initiatives. In addition, as the popularity of virtual reality increases, there will be an increased emphasis on creation of immersive experiences for users.

3D printing has advanced significantly in recent years, and now has a myriad of applications, including in the medical, automotive and aerospace industries, as well as being increasingly used as an educational resource in schools. As use permeates and compatible materials are developed, the technology will become cheaper and more widely accessible. This naturally has implications for organisational processes in the future.

Growth of the Cloud continues, and is set to become “virtually mainstream”, in developed markets for larger enterprises (Wansink and Budde, 2015). As smaller to medium organisations continue to realise its many benefits and as competition intensifies between larger providers making solutions cheaper, uptake is predicted to increase exponentially. Cloud computing is estimated to represent a significant proportion of IT spending in 2016.

Finally, prompted by a spate of high profile breaches, increased device connectivity and use of the Cloud, 2016 will cement security as a key focus for organisations. The burden will be on IT staff to anticipate and respond to threats in the increasingly complex network, with this necessitating security being integrated into all aspects of operations as a forethought, rather than an add-on.

We look forward to following the emergence of technology trends in the coming year and are sure that the dynamic nature of the industry will yield considerable additional developments.

HPC Wire, 2015, Gartner Identifies Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016, http://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/gartner-identifies-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2016/

Wansink, K and Budde, P, 2015, Global Telecoms Trends for 2016 – Big Data, M2M, Sharing Economy, Wearables, 5G, http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Global-Telecoms-Trends-for-2016-Big-Data-M2M-Sharing-Economy-Wearables-5G.html?r=70

What are your thoughts on predicted tech trends for next year?

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