Top 10 Tech Trends for Digital Business

October 7, 2016 Mark Glucki

Predictions for the future of business & the incredible innovations about to hit the market.

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As most of us are getting accustomed to SEO, SEM, digital analytics and CRM systems, in march the Internet of Things, flying drones and 3D printing.

But now there are autonomous delivery mechanisms, predictive software and analytics, and robots running factory floors. How can we keep up?

Digital business is obviously evolving at an accelerated rate. In a recent Gartner report, they predict that "by 2025 every industry will be transformed by digital business."

And CEOs are taking notice, as 52% of business executives have a digital business strategy. In fact, some businesses say the "digital strategy" encompasses their entire strategy. The "digital" component has jumped to the forefront. 

What does "digital business" mean?

A digital business combines traditional people and activities with online and virtual tactics that can include e-business, cloud computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT).  

There are key areas or drivers that define a digital business, according to Gartner. These affect all aspects of daily operations in your business, injecting themselves into the decisions and strategies of every team in the company.

  • Digitizing products and services — Making sure every product has a digital capability
  • Innovating across all areas of business — And partner with other organizations
  • Being "smart" — Using big data to deliver the right product/service at the right time
  • Blending tech and business — Combining social trends, mobility, cloud and information
  • Becoming a "test and learn" organization — Since customers adopt technology in unexpected ways, companies must constantly experiment and adapt 

     Related: Tech Terms and Digital Marketing Guide          

What are the hottest trends in tech?

Not every company will adapt the same technology at the same time, but it's important to understand the trends hitting the marketplace. 

Gartner goes on to define three main buckets of the tech roadmap. Hold onto your seats though, as some of these tech trends have names that are just as confusing than the tech themselves. We'll break it down into what they all mean.

Digital Mesh

  • Trend 1: Device Mesh — Combining your desktop computer, smartphone, the cloud and IoT
  • Trend 2: Ambient User Experience  This is part of the "postapp era," where your information and online experience transitions seamlessly across all your devices.
  • Trend 3: 3D Printing Materials — As 3D printing advances, we now look to printers that can create an object using multiple materials at once and new types of materials than were previously used.

Smart Machines

  • Trend 4: Information of Everything  It's not just "things" anymore, it's everything, and that means that IoT will create an incredible and overwhelming amount of data that will flood our businesses. Information of Everything will help develop advanced analytics that is integrated into all these devices to help us manage the flood.
  • Trend 5: Advanced Machine Learning — Advanced algorithms and hardware platforms will allow machines to actually learn how to do tasks faster and more efficiently, without humans controlling or programming them. 
  • Trend 6: Autonomous Agents and Things — Using advanced machine learning, we'll be able to build robots and devices that can essentially act on their own to perform everyday processes. Think self-driving vehicles and virtual customer assistants that use natural language just like a human service rep would use.

New IT Reality

  • Trend 7: Adaptive Security Architecture — Traditional data security will need to be beefed up. Using advanced security measures and taking advantage of machine learning, this will help protect your software and devices against new threats. 
  • Trend 8: Advanced System Architecture  To hep support all these new smart machines and algorithms, there will be incredible advances in the chip architecture within devices.
  • Trend 9: Mesh App and Service Architecture  All your apps, software and cloud systems will need a major upgrade to be able to carry out the new functions and talk to each other effectively, providing you that seamless experience across the digital mesh.
  • Trend 10: IoT Architecture and Platforms  With so many new devices connected to one another, businesses will need to create a platform for everything to live on. This will allow companies to monitor and control the software and apps and devices according to our evolving needs.

As we gear up for 2017 and start to build new strategies, factoring in the shift in digital business will help every business pro extend the boundaries of what is possible within their organization.

We each have the ability to develop and grow beyond our own expectations.

Up Next: How the Internet of Things will change your office forever. 

Image by Winnipeg-based tech illustrator, Erica Glasier.

About the Author

Mark Glucki

Mark has grown digital blog communities to connect Canadian business and tech pros by focusing on creating relatable content that everyone can enjoy. He developed a North American best practice on creating great experiences on social networks and spends as much time thinking of the end reader as he does writing content. Mark is also a commercial photographer focusing on product and location images. His work can be seen at Wonderlab Photo.

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