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6 Enterprise Tech Trend Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

According to Gartner’s latest report, Worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9 percent from 2016’s estimated spending of $3.4 trillion. Additionally, IT services spending is also set to rise 4.8 percent in 2017 to reach $943 billion. All of these figures tell us that many organizations have already allocated billions of dollars to keep up with the emerging trends in enterprise technology. Therefore, we have put together some disruptive trends that your organization should consider for the coming year: 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)


One of our CMS-Connected contributors and a founding partner of Digital Clarity Group, Cathy McKnight, wrote a splendid article about the relationship between artificial intelligence and marketers. She also pointed out that more and more of the technology titans have adopted and leveraged the power of AI to enable their platforms to generate natural language, content optimization, analyze consumer behavior, and ultimately, be ahead of the game by knowing more about their customers’ needs than even the customers know themselves. Here are some big names that recently enhanced their platforms with AI technology: 

  • Adobe has Sensei.

  • OpenText made a big splash with Magellan at this year’s Enterprise event.

  • Salesforce doubled-down on Einstein at Dreamforce 2016.   

  • Google Research is making news on many fronts with its Machine Intelligence.

  • IBM has its Jeopardy-winning Watson.

In fact, Markets and Markets estimates that the AI market will grow from $420 million in 2014 to $5.05 billion by 2020, whereas Gartner predicts AI will become “the next battleground through 2020.” Now that AI is involved in almost every single industry, it has come to light that this trend is not a fad but an immersive for all enterprises. 

Chat-based Enterprise Collaboration Platforms 


Neither business social networking nor the chat-room type of workplace communication is anything new. However, Slack, a business-focused messaging platform provider, shook things up by evolving messaging apps beyond simple text communication tools to include commerce, file sharing, artificial intelligence, and more. Soon enough, its unprecedented growth enticed some big players like Microsoft and Facebook to enter the market as well. You know you’re doing something right if what you do can bring those players to your table. 

On the other hand, Slack is working with Salesforce’s strategic product alliances team, which partners with bigger and more mature companies like Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, and Box. Google has also recently added five new productivity features to its G Suite of apps, including Slack integration for Google Docs and Drive. 


All this means that the importance of creating a collaborative environment around integrated workflows, business processes, data streams, and applications will get bigger and bigger, and we will certainly see more progress in this space next year. Therefore, adopting this technology can be a prime opportunity for those who want to get a competitive edge in 2017. 

Virtual Assistants 


The global Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) market size is expected to reach $12.28 billion by 2024 according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. According to the report, more and more enterprises have adopted technology and verticals including financial services and banking, online retail and travel presenting higher return on investment (ROI) through implementing virtual assistant. 

To put how the technology works into the context, Amazon’s Echo Alexa, for example, allows consumers to order the ‘usual’ pizza or purchase more dish detergent from a local delivery company. This IoT-connected, voice-activated, convenient and efficient household assistant is capable of ‘doing’ commerce with a simple vocal command and turning off lights to save energy at the same time. 

Gartner says: “Conversational systems shift from a model where people adapt to computers to one where the computer “hears” and adapts to a person’s desired outcome.” Since the presence of an intelligent virtual agent on a website has helped companies achieve higher conversion rates, in 2017, we will see more conversations and improvements around the virtual assistant technology. 

Virtual Reality (VR)


There is nothing more engaging than telling a compelling story around a brand with an emotive storyline that audiences can relate to. To that point, virtual reality is a great technology to help organizations put their audience at the center of their stories. 

Although we have started to hear about virtual reality more since 2015, it is expected to see major improvement and penetration in 2017. In fact, according to the new Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide from the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020.  The technology is expected to reach critical mass in healthcare delivery, product design and management-related use cases.

AR/VR technology is still in the early stages of adoption, and therein lies the opportunity. “Like everything else, this would start as a competitive advantage for those early adopters,” says Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. “Then, over time, it will become the way we do things. At that time, companies who don’t do it this new way will be behind the eight ball.” Gartner also suggests enterprises look for targeted applications of VR and AR through 2020. 

Blockchain Technology


According to Market Reports Hub, the global blockchain technology market is projected to grow from USD 210.2 million in 2016 to USD 2,312.5 million by 2021. The report cites that media and entertainment verticals are to have the highest growth rate during the forecast period. 

Gartner explains how blockchain has gained traction over time with the following statement: “They hold the promise of transforming industry operating models in industries such as music distribution, identify verification and title registry.  They promise a model to add trust to untrusted environments and reduce business friction by providing transparent access to the information in the chain.”

The main industries that have adopted the technology include Banking, Financial Services, & Insurance (BFSI), government & public sector, healthcare & life sciences, retail & ecommerce, automotive, and media & entertainment. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) Technology 


Since intelligent, connected devices and IoT platforms have been in the news all year round, more companies are bringing their IoT strategies online. According to Market Reports Hub, the Internet of Things technology market is projected to go from USD 130.33 billion in 2015 to USD 883.55 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 32.4% between 2016 and 2022.  Therefore many technology companies are trying to extend the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors, and systems that comprise IoT through mergers & acquisitions, partnerships, and product development. IBM Corporation, for instance, has been adopting various development strategies for expanding its global reach as well as its product portfolio in the Internet of Things market. Besides launching a trench of new offerings, capabilities, and designing ecosystem partners, in December 2015, IBM also opened its global headquarters for Watson IoT in Munich, Germany. 

“The IoT demands an extensive range of new technologies and skills that many organizations have yet to master," said Nick Jones, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. "A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies, services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges." Gartner has listed the top 10 Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that should be on every organization's radar through the next two years: IoT Security, IoT Analytics, IoT Device (Thing) Management, Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks, Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks, IoT Processor, IoT Operating Systems, Event Stream Processing, IoT Platforms, IoT Standards and Ecosystems. 

Here at CMS-Connected, we will continue to share the predictions on various segments of the tech industry for 2017. Meanwhile, feel free to go ahead and check out the other CMSC prediction articles titled 4 B2B Content Marketing Trends You Need To Know for 2017, Internet of Things Forecasts & Best Practices, and 7 Emerging eCommerce Technology Innovations as investing in these and other emerging technologies is certainly a smart move if you want to set your business up to remain with or ahead of the curve over the next 5 to 10 years. 

 

Venus Tamturk

Venus Tamturk

Venus is the Media Reporter for CMS-Connected, with one of her tasks to write thorough articles by creating the most up-to-date and engaging content using B2B digital marketing. She enjoys increasing brand equity and conversion through the strategic use of social media channels and integrated media marketing plans.