All in all 2016 has been a year of huge global change, causing a great deal of uncertainty. Just like trying to predict the outcome of Brexit, it is difficult to know what digital trends will appear in 2017. Technology advances at such a fast rate, whilst costs continue to reduce, which means that any initiative can alter the market by toppling the current ‘digital’ trend from its perch.
Here at 27partners, we’re constantly striving to use the latest and greatest technology. Rather than predicting the trends of 2017, let’s take a look at some things that we should keep an eye out for within the technology industry in the year ahead.
The Human Age
A company lives and dies by its people. Businesses should be nurturing and encouraging their talent, in order to improve client satisfaction and generate ideas for growth and innovation. Human potential is the key driving force which connects the business and the rest of the world, making positive change economically, politically and socially.
In 2015, HR tech saw $2.4B in funding across 383 deals. HR organisations are shifting their focus from cost savings to strategic business alignment, process improvement and employee engagement.
For the last 10 years we’ve been too focused on the technological systems that can replace human processes. Eventually we will reach a saturation point in the tech-race to get global systems like SAP deployed. Once these things are up and running, the organisational focus will shift back to the people.
This new reality of optimizing human potential will be the single most important determinant of future business success and growth. It will require business leaders to reexamine how they unleash and leverage human potential in an increasingly volatile and shifting world.
Service not product
There is a common misconception that buying a product is the answer to solving a problem. The reason system integrators and change management exists is that products are rarely fast track plug and play initiatives. They require the right people and processes to work together, making them a success within the business.
We always recommend teaming up with subject matter experts and partners who specialise in making bespoke and internally marketable services which fit explicit business needs, solving problems and improving efficiency. Without this it is likely your new tech won’t be used effectively, or in some cases at all! With wasted money and time, you’ll be left justifying why you bought it and didn’t or couldn’t get it working.
Companies are beginning to realise that solving internal problems is no longer about a one-size-fits-all quick fix product, but a longer-term customised service. As companies compete for better employee services, they will need help adopting the latest technology.
Speed to market
With cloud computing, technology has become far easier to deploy in the workplace. This means the gap between what we have at home and in the workplace will narrow. Additionally, with more businesses moving to the cloud and using Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), the time to market within the enterprise continues to get smaller.
PWAs are taking over native apps, simply because they are a more efficient system. While native apps require you to write for three different apps (Android, iOS, and one for online), PWA app-creators only need to build one app that works for all three. PWAs take you directly to a URL which can then be installed onto your device easily and go on to function just like a native app.
It can often be complex to deploy technology inside large corporate networks. 27partners should know, we do it on a daily basis.
Projects tend to take a long time to deploy and have to overcome issues with security, infrastructure and internal politics. When installation and utilisation within the business takes time, it can be difficult to improve on or alter later on if a problem arises. Ensuring whatever system you put in place is future-proofed and can constantly evolve (especially technically) will minimise the impact on the business.
The rise of video
We had to get this one in here! There is a good reason we left our jobs and risked everything to start a creative technology company specialising in video.
Video is fast becoming the biggest medium for sharing information and communicating your messages, accounting for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, according to technology giant Cisco. Additionally, network company Ericsson thinks mobile video traffic will rocket 55% a year between now and 2020. Social media site Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg equally believes that 90% of the social network’s content will be video-based by 2018.
Fundamentally, business growth requires excellent communication and collaboration. Video is still the most compelling way of providing the right information to the right people at the right time, irrespective of location.
We hear so many ‘2020 visions’ mentioned across the enterprise world, it’s easy to forget it is only 3 years away. This means that 2017 needs organisations who have the ambition to become digital businesses to seriously step-up and make some significant investments to achieve their goals.
Written by Consulting Director Rob Dumbleton.