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The IT industry is enjoying a period of huge change. Rapid advancements in technology is creating great flux, as companies race to keep pace with developments. The shift to online shopping, as evidenced by the popularity of retail events like Black Friday, is putting more pressure on website networks. And a new generation of workers who’ve never known a world without laptops and smartphones are about to enter - and disrupt - the workforce.
We take a look at some of the IT trends set to face businesses in 2017.
Yep, it’s going to hit the stage. 2017 is set to see the rise of the internet-connected device as the Internet of Things moves higher up the IT agenda. IoT is set to automate and revolutionise a range of business operations, in the data centre, on the shop floor, factory floor and in the office. Gartner’s name for IoT is ‘intelligent things’. “As intelligent things evolve and become more popular, they will shift from a stand-alone to a collaborative model in which intelligent things communicate with one another and act in concert to accomplish tasks,” the analyst says.
“However, nontechnical issues such as liability and privacy, along with the complexity of creating highly specialised assistants, will slow embedded intelligence in some scenarios.”
You can’t fail to have missed Black Friday. Or Cyber Monday, for that matter. But what’s set to become business-critical is the ways in which retailers prepare for and manage their networks when these big retail events roll around. There’s an important reason why. If e-commerce websites buckle under the strain of large volumes of traffic, or get hit by a DDoS attack (this does happen), then their site goes down. And when we’re talking about an event that saw retailers collectively earn more than £1.9 billion, that equates to an awful lot in lost sales. Our recent blog post on Black Friday details how you can protect your network.
If your current IT infrastructure is dusty old desktops and never-used landline desk phones, prepare for change. Firms’ IT suites are set to be transformed in the coming years, as a younger, tech-savvy generation start to filter into the workforce. Research by Fuze found that younger workers about to get on the career ladder are set to abandon the traditional desktop PC and work phone as they embrace smartphones, apps and the latest technologies. So, say goodbye to the desktop and fax machine and start prepping for a new corporate IT set-up.
Okay, so people still look a bit daft wearing them, but virtual reality devices are set to go mainstream. We might see them enter the workplace as part of the bring-your-own device trend. They are, after all, basically PCs that are wrapped around your head. With firms including Dell and Lenovo set to release VR headsets, expect to see them more and more come 2017.
Not yet on the cloud? Get moving! According to a poll by Information Week, it’s IT professionals’ top investment priority for 2017. Its annual survey of IT spending priorities found that cloud spending is “far and away” IT managers’ most important area of spend for the months to come, with 36 per cent citing cloud as the technology that will receive the greatest investment at their companies in 2017.