No one knows what will happen in 2018, but here are some of our predictions.
2018 promises to be a year of change for technology. Here are some of our predictions on how technology will change and shape the New Year.
Adoption of Cloud Services – The trend towards the use of Cloud services will continue. This includes paid Public Cloud services like Dropbox and Microsoft 365 and Private Cloud services such as our own custom build Canadian data centre which we have operated and serviced clients in for 5 years. Prices for Public Cloud services will continue to slowly increase as will the adoption rate as providers understand they now have a captive audience and switching providers is more difficult. Thus clients will be buying fewer servers leading to an increase in the price of servers as sales volumes decline.
Servers as a Service – Already Microsoft and Amazon have Azure and AWS which provide servers as a service. Manufacturers like HP and Dell will start to introduce their own services in the hopes of replacing revenue lost in server sales and to secure their futures in this technology.
Bitcoin will crash – at some point in 2018, the Bitcoin rally will come to an end and the currency will not be on the market for the prices seen at the end of 2017. Bitcoin has no intrinsic or real value and thus price volatility will continue to be a factor with it and other cryptocurrencies.
UPDATE: As of January 17th, the Globe and Mail reported that bitcoin’s value fell by at least 20% hitting well below the $10,000 mark. Other cryptocurrencies have also been affected with a total loss of approximately $30 billion dollars.
Blockchain technology will take off – Bitcoin uses blockchain technology in the same way that a computer users a hard disk. There is a significant amount of investment in blockchain technologies and companies. With the growing removal of taxation from blockchain related payments, there will be a push towards transactions that use blockchain. Learn more about blockchain here.
Cutting the Cable – More households will suspend TV services delivered over “cable” and will embrace Internet based services. The number of Internet based streaming services will continue to grow and the market will become fragmented leading to the failure of some services without the deep pockets to survive consolidation. In response, the cable companies will introduce new models where you can pay for what you want to watch rather than paying for a cable provided block of programs. Non cable companies will introduce new movies directly to their streaming services bypassing traditional paths.
Security – There will be a huge security breach taking advantage of existing vulnerabilities in the hardware and software running on both Cloud and On premise infrastructures. As a result, there will be greater interest in two factor authentication and encryption of data at rest and through all transport methods.
Artificial Intelligence and Privacy – Privacy will continue to become a thing of the past. With new smartphones always listening, voice activated home, fingerprint and facial recognition on phones, and the demise of net neutrality, it is only a matter of time before all your information/location can be tracked and your preferences known. We will see a greater use of AI in consumer related products under the guise of making things easier for you.
Hit to the Labour Pool – There are many technologies which are affecting the ability for people to earn a living in traditional ways. From driverless cars which could affect millions of people that drive for a living to Cloud based services that require fewer technicians to manage the environment to public services like Microsoft 365 which leads to fewer people with expertise on Exchange to the move from retail shopping to online shopping – they all have one thing in common – they increase corporate profits at the expense of jobs for individuals. Self-checkouts are popping up in retail stores and at least one store has introduced hand scanners.
We don’t think there will be a direct impact in 2018 from this but in 2019 and beyond, we believe that the impact will become more pervasive. If we can retrain people for new jobs then it might be possible to stave of the problem of being able to create goods and services that people cannot afford because they are not working.
The Rise of Voice – Expect next generation smart phones to be voice controlled with the standard interface as a backup. Primary functions such as launching applications, composing messages and gathering information will all be completed using interactive voice commands. Combined with AI, the system will be far more interactive and responsive than the current generation of smartphone. Think Battlestar Galactica!
Social Media – this one is really hard to predict however in order to protect democracy you may see the establishment of laws holding social media companies and advertisers accountable for the information posted on their platforms. While there are many unanswered questions, France is leading the way. This will likely not happen in the U.S. until the current administration is replaced.
The other aspect of social media is to call out injustices in the world that have been allowed to continue for eons. The #Metoo response to the Harvey Weinstein abuse claims is an example. Expect to see more of this in 2018.
On the flip side, these predictions mean that each person needs to take more responsibility for what they post on social media and how they express their views. The Internet never forgets.
What do you think of our 2018 predications? Which ones do you think will come true? Please comment below.
Charles Bennett is the Principal Consultant of Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology assessments, consulting, maintenance services and CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Charles can be reached at email@example.com or 647.426.1004 x 222. For additional articles, please visit http://www.triella.com/whats-new/.
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