Ringing in 2017 with 6 Tech Predictions

January 6, 2017 Trent Brock

Congratulations! You made it through the first week of 2017. Not so bad, huh? Are you still writing 2016 on your checks? You're not the only one. Since last year is still fresh on our minds, let's reminisce. There were plenty of achievements and failures (*cough* Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 *cough*), but the past is the past.

Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, predicted in October that global IT spending will reach $3.5 trillion in 2017. With expected growth in software and IT services, that's up 2.9-percent from an estimated $3.4 trillion in 2016.

Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)

  2016 Spending 2016 Growth (%) 2017 Spending 2017 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems 173 1.3 177 2.0
Software 333 6.0 357 7.2
Devices 597 -7.5 600 0.4
IT Services 900 3.9 943 4.8
Communication Services 1,384 -1.1 1,410 1.9
Overall IT 3,387 -0.3 3,486 2.9
Source: Gartner (October 2016)

With 2017 looking bright, let's see what a few tech experts, analysts, and executives are seeing in their crystal balls.

1. Virtual Reality (VR)

If you didn't put a virtual reality headset on your holiday wish list, you may feel left out in 2017. In December, Forbes predicted virtual reality will become more mainstream. VR will reportedly transcend gaming. Ross Gerber, a Forbes contributor, expects breakthroughs in sports, entertainment, and medicine.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence, a.k.a. AI, isn't a new concept. You've probably met Siri, Cortana, or Alexa by now. According to Gartner, artificial intelligence "is technology that appears to emulate human performance typically by learning, coming to its own conclusions, appearing to understand complex content." Experts say AI will become more common in households in 2017. For example, technology would monitor your laundry detergent and reorder it when supply is low.

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

Catspad, an automated smart cat feeder, was introduced just days before the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The contraption will reportedly dispense food and water for felines for up to a month... no human interaction required. Google, Amazon, and Apple are jumping on the bandwagon, so expect major advances this year.

4. Cloud-based offerings

The International Data Corporation says 67% of enterprise IT infrastructure and software will be for cloud-based offerings by 2020. But let's take it one step further. Have you heard of cloud-first technology? Daniel Newman is the president and founder of Broadsuite, Inc. In a recent Forbes article, he says businesses that invest in cloud-first technology will see substantial benefits, including reduction in hosting and equipment costs, increases in capacity, streamlined operations, enhanced collaboration, and increased productivity.

5. Mobility

TechTarget brings up a good point. Your workforce is mobile. Your customers are mobile. We're always on the go! Can your employees work from anywhere, at any time? Microsoft Office 365 would give them the freedom to do so. Read our previous blog post on why Office 365 is a no brainer for your business.

6. Hyperconvergence

Hyperconvergence combines storage, computer, networking, and virtualization supported by a single vendor. As 2016 taught us, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a crucial component of the software-defined data center (SDDC). VMware outlined the five things it expects from HCI in the new year:

  • The rise of the IT generalist in the storage world
  • Ethernet's in; Fibre Channel's out
  • Expensive, purpose-built storage appliances will cede the market to server-based solutions
  • HCI democratizes storage for companies looking to make IT a competitive advantage
  • All-flash storage becomes the new normal 
Where do you see techology heading in 2017? Leave a comment below!

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