Technology innovation kept moving forward in 2016, despite some of the surprises we have witnessed last year. In 2017 we can expect more of the same, with numerous opportunities for smart tech companies to create value for businesses and consumers.
One area of innovation that caused an unexpected global phenomenon was Augmented Reality (AR). In particular, the viral popularity of a game - Pokémon Go - showed that consumers are ready to embrace this technology.
AR is where the lines between the digital and physical worlds blur, which outside of games could mean stepping into an IKEA store whilst browsing a digital catalogue (an app or website), then “placing” images of the furniture you want within a room. Although many expected 2016 to be the year of Virtual Reality (VR), we should expect the number of AR applications to increase in the New Year. Gartner predicts that in 2020, 100 million consumers will shop with the assistance of augmented reality.
Virtual Reality Applications In Business
We should not discount the potential for VR for businesses either in 2017. Although consumer demand was weaker than expected in 2016, there is a growing number of business applications that make VR an exciting opportunity for tech firms. Growth is expected in the enterprise space, with everything from tailored immersive experiences to training and hardware on the cards next year.
Voice Search On The Rise
How often do you talk to your phone? Voice search, thanks to the popularity of audio-centric technology, such as Apple’s Siri, Google Home and Amazon's Echo are generating an increase in voice-enabled interactions. Studies show that half of US teens already initiate searches with their voice instead of typing. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 30% of web searches will start with a voice interaction.
Within the digital marketing space, we can anticipate a new generation of SEO and content professionals to emerge, tailoring content and systems to the needs of voice search customers. Voice search SEO could emerge as a strong service area, capable of generating $250 million annually.
Cyber Security Continues To Be A Top Priority For All Businesses
Security is an area that is set to keep growing. As we have seen, cyber-attacks can impact election results, damage corporate reputations and cost millions in fines and compensation to customers. With new, tougher European data protection legislation coming down the pipeline, staying a few steps ahead of cyber-criminals has never been more important. Small businesses face all the same threats as large corporates and public bodies. Delivering high-impact, AI-powered, evolving security measures for SME’s is a huge potential growth area for tech firms in 2017.
Where do you expect to see growth for technology companies in 2017? Let us know in the comments.
Technology companies that have plans for growth or wish to pursue new opportunities in 2017 will also need to consider how IT systems and infrastructure is optimised for this. Flexible, scalable solutions are required to enable businesses to focus on new developments and innovation, whilst growing the business. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, contact the UKN Group team. Call 0845 643 6060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Information Technology (IT) has revolutionised the lives of individuals and organisations. Innovation in this sphere has created business opportunities that did not exist five, ten or twenty years ago, both in the way companies operate as well as the services and products they sell.