Technology trends in 2016

whats new in 2016

Update: October 2018 6 Education technology trends for K – 12 schools

Well, we’re well into 2016, the fun of the festive season seems far behind and most of us are looking forward, (or maybe not) for a year ahead of hard work and productivity. And of course, when we are looking for an increase in our output and efficiency, we tend to consider our IT. After all, it seems that barely a day goes by without some sort of new program or app being released, aimed at giving businesses a boost. Meanwhile, hardware and cloud computing is getting faster and more user-friendly by the month.

So let’s take a closer look at what we can expect of our IT over the next few months. We will talk about the trends and predictions being touted in the world of tech. Perhaps you’ll find something that will really give you the edge in 2016.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will be growing

Here in Australia we’ve all got mobiles with internet capability, our computers and tablets produce text, sound video and interactive content and data. These are being rolled out to objects too, such as:

  • cars can collect data on our driving,
  • baby monitors tell parents about breathing and temperature,
  • health Apps track our biometrics, or
  •   machines that monitor home heating, lighting and even humidity levels in the greenhouse.

These devices can make decisions without any need for our input. IoT looks set to grow in 2016. According to Gartner, the IoT could support services of around AU$320 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015. These devices generally communicate via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth but the latter may get the edge in 2016, as it offers more speed and faster data transfer. This means more and more Bluetooth Beacons will be seen around, opening Apps on people’s gadgets and streaming data onto devices as they pass. IoT will help businesses owners by allowing them to make smarter decisions and solve problems thanks to the data and feedback they collect.

Currently there are a lot of concerns regarding security in IoT devices – you may not worry about a hacker knowing if your smart-fridge is out of beers, but parameters like this can be used to track your movements and data usage. Improving the security of new tech should be a priority.

Big data will get bigger and faster

Big data has very much been a buzz term for the past few years, but 2016 should start to see it come into its own. Basically big data refers to the huge amount of data, both structured and unstructured, that floods into your business every day. This can come from a range of different sources:

  • mobiles,
  • social media,
  • customer input, or
  • sensors.

With a thorough analysis of this data to find patterns of behaviour and connections, you can gain insights that lead to better business decisions, improve your company’s security and ensure you can gear your services more closely to your customers’ needs.

There will be a focus towards making specific decisions by looking at the relevant data in a more critical context. The idea is that if IT-driven businesses have the right sources for the right analysis, they can make decisions that deliver more productivity with less risk. This will mean that tools for reading and accessing big data will have to be faster. Allocations will need to solve real-time processing problems and be able to handle data streamed from myriad sources to be inspected and analysed even as it comes in.

Cyber targets will increase

Of course, as data becomes more valuable to your company, it becomes more of a target for criminals. 2016 will see more and more attacks on data, so the usual risk management systems, IT security and network defence will be joined by information management. As big data makes use of the Public Cloud, this has to be taken into account when it comes to building a good secure system. With data being shared across so many platforms, companies will have to consider acceptable risk levels and work these into security plans. On the positive side, as big data includes information about alerts and security breaches in real time and can offer full network analysis, companies will better be able to anticipate and respond to attacks and detect suspicious activity.

Digital transformation will become bigger

People now want so much more from their mobiles, laptops and tablets. They expect instant access to information and the ability to shop, pay for goods and get services online. If your company is not adapting to, and keeping up with this demand, you risk losing business. We expect this digital transformation to really speed up over the course of 2016. Digital transformation takes in mobile technology, social media, big data and the IoT. In 2016, we look at new ways to get the most out of social, digital and mobile technology, and improve interactions with customers. Think of how Uber, Netflix and AirBnB have changed how people see films, get taxis and find accommodation – this is the future of services. Over the next few years you’ll start to see IT, not as a tool to do business but as the business itself.

Wearable technology

The Apple Watch was the wearable tech story of 2015 and this will likely be popular throughout 2016 too. There is now a range of wearable technology coming out aimed mostly at the health and fitness sector.  This market could reach AU $65 billion by 2020. This is an area that is innovating rapidly. Devices like a Fitbit which can track your activity, calorie usage and heartbeat are now hugely popular. New smart clothing that measures health parameters and streams data is another development in this area.  There are t-shirts that measure your golf swing or tracksuits that help improve running or exercise technique. Doctors themselves are increasingly making use of tech like Google Glass to teach operating techniques and bring up patient data. Patients can also wear devices that help monitor vital signs and make healthcare treatments more efficient.

For more information about tech and how it can help you improve your IT in 2016, contact the team at Empower IT Solutions.