Technology will be ubiquitous in every aspect of business and everyday living in the new year, according to Frost & Sullivan A/NZ head of ICT research, Audrey William. In its market outlook update, the company outlined the top five technology trends that will make an impact in 2016.
The first and biggest issue in the ICT industry, according to William, is security as it will be driven by rapid adoption of Cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things.
As platforms become more open due to the rapid adoption of Cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things, security threats will rise and this will become the single biggest issue to tackle in the ICT industry, William claimed.
According to her, the recent Ashley Madison incident brought about greater awareness of cyber security threats amongst organisations.
“Cyber insurance will rise in the coming years. We will witness more insurance companies step in to offer cyber insurance policies that will offer more than just compensation and protection from liability in the event of a cyber-attack,” she said.
In the home environment, as smart home solutions witness greater adoption, this will mean that users will use their mobile phones and tablets to control power, cooling, heating, lighting and security. By allowing one interface to control the various applications of the smart home, she said security challenges will be a big issue for the industry players to grapple with.
“Security attacks are getting more sophisticated and can eventually lead to costly consequences. In 2016 we will witness vendors and service providers acquire specialist security vendors or grow their own practices internally to tackle the diverse issues in security impacting organisations.”
The second trend Frost & Sullivan mentioned is the enterprise communications market witnessing disruption from an emerging class of start-ups.
“Cloud and Mobility are driving discussions around what the office of the future will look like. The use of the mobile devices will take greater precedence in the years to come.
“Microsoft’s Skype for Business is set to disrupt the traditional communications market. Moving forward, Frost & Sullivan expects more companies to embrace Skype for Business as a replacement for its legacy communications platform,” she claimed.
Frost & Sullivan also expects more start-ups to emerge in the conferencing and collaboration space, offering new ways of delivering voice, video, contact centre and collaboration capabilities to organisations by taking advantage of the Cloud architecture and making the platforms more dynamic, collaborative and social in nature.
The next trend the independent analyst firm expects is the increased use of sensors across various industries leading to developments in Big Data.
“We are starting to see sensors being embedded in physical objects ranging from medical devices, wearables, highways, cars, industrial machines to mobile phones and these are then linked to very high speed and powerful networks. The volumes of data generated will lead to a huge repository of data,” she indicated.
Smart machines are also expected to disrupt the market place. Smart machines, including drones, driverless vehicles as well as robots, are said to be set to introduce efficient ways of delivering output.
“As costs pressures rise in developed economies and emerging economies, smart machines will negate the need for staff in certain segments of the business. The biggest challenge for the drone industry has been the ability for organisations to get approval from the respective aviation authorities. Robots are starting to be used in several Asian markets in hotels and restaurants to eliminate the need to have front desk staff or waiters.
“We expect smart machines to be used widespread across various industries, but whilst it will drive efficiencies and help reduce costs, it will alsostart having a negative impact on jobs,” William said.
The last trend it expects is cognitive computing and artificial intelligence platforms to become big across industries. The cognitive computing platform is based on how humans make decisions. The computer systems do not follow a specific pattern or fixed programming protocol but instead, intelligently identifies patterns thinking like a human brain.
“We can expect more cognitive computing platforms to bring about a new way of delivering services. In the contact centre space, we are starting to see contact centres using various technologies to create efficiencies such as Cloud computing, self-service applications, Web based platforms and analytics.
“Whilst artificial intelligence solutions will gain in adoption, it is worth noting that the human element is still important as not all services can be taken over by AI. The battleground for intelligent personal assistants will increase with nearly every large technology company investing in developing an intelligent personal assistant platform,” William added.