Prodera Group Insights Blog

Predicting the technology trends of 2017

As a group of technology-obsessed professionals, the Prodera Group team regularly speculate and debate what the future holds when it comes to advancements in technology. As we come towards the end of 2016, we thought we would share our predictions into the technology trends that we think 2017 will bring… and no, its not the return of the faithful and much loved Tamagotchi!

When reflecting on the major technical developments that surfaced in recent years, it’s always difficult to know where the next big innovative idea will come from. Changes in healthcare, banking, travel and digital media have all played a significant part in developing the technology landscape that we know today. As technology consumers, we have become accustomed to the ‘on-demand’ nature of services that now exist, particularly when we consider mobile-focused services like Uber and AirBnB. It’s amazing to think that by simply picking up a mobile phone and in a few taps, I can book a taxi to take me anywhere or make a reservation for somewhere to say within seconds. Technology has dramatically changed the way we do things and it doesn’t really show any signs of slowing down!

2016 may be remembered for some more radical technology advancements – from removing the headphone jack on Apple’s flagship iPhone through to Artificial Intelligence (AI) being introduced into our homes via Amazon’s Echo. 2016 has been quite a disruptive year all round and definitely didn’t disappoint. There has already been some big steps forward in the world of enterprise technology too, as the concept of Cloud Computing really starts to take hold and become the norm in most companies. Organisations across the globe have started to really take note of the technological changes that have manifested over the past few years.

So, what does 2017 have in store?

After much debate, here are our predictions for what we think will be another exciting year ahead. Given that Applied Technology plays such an important part in the modern world, and that’s where we believe the most advancements will come from over the next year. As 2017 promises to be an exciting year,  we have identified three key, up and coming technology trends that business and IT leaders should keep an eye on over the near 12 months…

Trend 1: Machine Learning

We’ve already started to see the impact of Machine Learning (ML) through advances in artificial intelligence, but with increased processing power through the continued development of cloud-based platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure we expect that Machine Learning will rapidly become even more powerful. As innovators start to harness the power of Machine Learning more and more, we expect these systems will be able to proactively identify, predict and adapt to changing scenarios more intelligently and essentially act more autonomously than they already do today.

This could lead to more intelligent applications being available to organisations that quickly adapt to change and provide more valuable insight into market conditions and trends. The ability for organisations to access and process large volumes of data has become more common in recent years – but with Machine Learning capabilities being readily available, it will become possible for organisations to analyse information without the need to programmatically define anything and make use pre-existing intelligence and data.

Google has been investing heavily in machine learning capabilities for years, and its already reshaping the way the technology can be used. Google recently launched its cloud-based Machine Learning service on the Google Cloud Platform aimed at a range of consumers. We’ve already seen some great examples of machine learning to predict the future, such as the traffic and congestion patterns of London’s road. Both AWS and Microsoft Azure have launched their own cloud-based Machine Learning services too, showing a major commitment to this arena.

Machine Learning has already started to become an integral part of some of the world’s largest organisations. Financial institutions across the globe now rely heavily on data analytics to manage the way they do business every day, from lending to a potential homeowner through to predicting the performance of global financial markets. We expect that over the coming 12 months, powerful analytical solutions that are driven by Machine Learning will become considerably more mainstream and be widely accessible to organisations of all sizes at a considerable lower cost that we see today.

Trend 2: Connected Devices and IoT

Research by IBM suggests that world will be saturated with over 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, which is fueling the unprecedented growth demonstrated by the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). Connected devices already exist today, such as the smart energy meters being rolled out by utility providers across the UK and intelligent aircraft engines that provide real-time data to airlines while planes are in the air. These connected and intelligent devices are already embedded in our lives, sometimes without us even realising it.

Coupled with our prediction for growth in Machine Learning, smart and connected devices will become more prominent in the workplace and home in the coming year. The ecosystem required to support the introduction and development of these devices (from automated lightbulbs in the home to revolutionising healthcare technology) maybe extremely complex but made possible by advancements in cloud computing.

Technology companies such as Intel and ARM are making huge investments in developing IoT technology to power the future of connected devices. From developing energy-efficient embedded microprocessors to providing device management platforms, the practical applications for this type of technology are endless. Intel already provides a platform for deploying, managing and securing connected devices as scale having built a comprehensive ecosystem of capabilities that enables IoT adoption. Cloud computing massively simplifies the infrastructure required to support the connected world and unlocks the vast potential of IoT. From the compute power required, to the volumes of data storage and faster networks – IoT and Cloud are inseparable!


Intel IoT Platform Infographic


We predict that there will be significant growth in the development of IoT across a number of industries, in particular healthcare and manufacturing. These two industries rely heavily on real-time information and insight to provide the best level of services or ensure high quality outputs. The development of smart, inter-connected devices is already disrupting both these industries and is only set to increase as more proven capabilities emerge.

We are keeping a close eye on developments in the healthcare industry, as the challenge of satisfying stringent patient safety requirements requires IoT providers to be even more innovative. We also think there will be a huge cultural change among medical professionals as they start to really embrace the new era of technology that IoT introduces, making their clinical lives easier while improving the quality of healthcare at a rapid pace.

Trend 3: Blockchain Technology

The rise of cryptocurrencies and payments systems such as Bitcoin has caused an upset amongst the global financial community for many reasons. Not only has it reset the balance in electronic currency exchange but the technology that underpins Bitcoin, namely the digital and cryptographic ledger Blockchain, is far more advanced and secure that the current traditional methods of recording financial data. As a result, many experienced technologists in the financial services industry believe Blockchain technology is the future of recording financial transactions and will be a complete game changer. The technology also has many other applications outside financial services that are yet to be exploited.

While Blockchain technology is not a new technology, leading financial services providers have already started to adopt it with the most significant being the American stock market operator NASDAQ who used the digital ledger for the first time to execute a series of electronic share traders earlier in the year. This is a major step forward in making the technology usable in the overly complex world of financial services and opens the door to great adoption. Interest from leading technology companies and financial institutions will only help to develop and enhance the technology to make it even more efficient and secure.

With Blockchain databases being a highly-distributed collection of encrypted data recorded in chronological, sequential order using complex mathematical algorithms, it’s extremely difficult to decipher and alter the data contained within it without it being noticed. With information security being a huge topic of discussion at the present time, and a priority for most business leaders, Blockchain technology addresses the long-term challenges that exist today around data integrity, distribution and access in highly controlled environments. As the technology evolves, there are a vast number of applications in the modern world that would benefit from it (not just digital currencies) from recording tax payments, recording land titles through to keeping track of medical records. Even recording votes during democratic elections!

We believe that Blockchain is possibly one of the most disruptive technologies of the modern era, simply because it rewrites the rules for recording data that we abide by today while addressing the growing challenge of security and distribution at scale. We expect there to be an increase in the number of Blockchain-based capabilities and services that arrive in 2017, as companies and even governments look to adopt the technology to resolve a number of common challenges that exist right now. Blockchain is definitely the one to what for 2017!

  This post was published under Trends
  Tagged with - - - - .
  Bookmark the permalink.