Axia FibreNet - The top tech predictions for business

Keeping current in 2018: The top tech predictions for business

Are you prepared to leverage tomorrow’s technology? In the office of the future, automated machines will prepare coffee and tea to each staff member’s preference. Virtual assistants will handle scheduling and incoming calls; they will identify key business decisions and summarize the available options. The job of IT staff will become more complex as they oversee multiple technologies and refine systems. 

According to Daryl Plummer, vice president & Gartner Fellow, “CIOs…will need to develop a pace that can be sustained no matter what the future holds.” In a recent report, Gartner, a leading research, and advisory company, examines key trends for 2018. Gartner’s predictions, says Plummer, “provide insight into that future, but enterprises will still be required to develop a discipline around how pace can be achieved.”

The Gartner predictions provide excellent takeaways for any business leader looking to get ahead in 2018. We’ve summarized them here for your convenience.

Consider investing in visual and voice search technology in 2018. According to Gartner, by 2021, websites that are enabled for voice and visual search will enjoy 30% more digital revenue. Voice search, which is already widely available through Google and Apple, will not only provide your customers the services they want, it will give you access to valuable voice data that you can leverage.

As anyone who has used a personal assistant like Amazon’s Alexa knows, voice search technology could be better. Visual search has farther to go before it is ready for widespread adoption, but if you are prepared for the day it is commonplace, you will be ahead of the game. Keep in mind that voice and visual search are going to use more bandwidth.

Gartner isn’t the only one predicting a surge in data and internet traffic. According to Cisco’s recent white paper, “overall mobile data traffic is expected to grow to 49 Exabytes per month by 2021, a sevenfold increase over 2016.” This global estimate means all businesses will need strong infrastructure to keep them reliable, fast, and secure in the near future – more than they needed in the past.

Five of the top seven digital giants will self-disrupt to create new opportunities. Gartner cites the example of Apple disrupting the MP3 market with the iPhone. This hurt the iPod, but it gave Apple a greater share of the camera and GPS markets. This year is ideal for all leaders to anticipate how they could disrupt their own industry.

A perfect example of successful disruption is the adoption of blockchain technology by the banking industry. Blockchain technology, the underpinning of cryptocurrencies, was originally established as an alternative to traditional banking. According to Gartner, blockchain-based currencies will account for $1 billion in global bank revenue by 2020.

According to Gartner, you need to consider chatbots in 2018. A chatbot is an automated program that simulates conversation online. Gartner predicts that bots will replace apps as the enterprise technology of choice by 2021. Chatbots are often used for online customer service, but they can do much more. Chatbots can work with other Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to handle equipment diagnostics and supply orders, and they can schedule appointments and handle other processes.

Keep Gartner’s AI and IT staffing predictions in mind as you make hiring decisions. Look for IT professionals with a background in business and a familiarity with AI. According to Gartner, by 2020, AI will have created 2.3 million jobs. These offset the 1.8 million jobs AI will displace. By 2022, Gartner predicts that 40% of IT staff will hold multiple roles; they will be “versatilists” with excellent business skills. This is likely due to the fact that many tech functions will be taken over by AI.

What’s more, by 2020, you will need to establish a solid reputation for your brand that is impervious to criticism in preparation for the coming boom in fake news and counterfeit reality. Gartner predicts that AI will be better at creating counterfeit reality than at detecting it by 2020. Counterfeit reality is the manipulation of digital data to alter the portrayal of events and the manufacturing of digital media to portray events that never happened.

Investment in IoT is money well spent, but you need to increase your security budget at the same time. According to Gartner, by 2020, 95% of electronic products will be IoT enabled. The scale of adoption of IoT will outpace the development of support and security systems, which creates vulnerability.

A dedicated fibre network can be the first line of defense for your IoT operations. A fibre optic MPLS network infrastructure, for instance, is the digital equivalent of structurally superior walls and high-quality locks. It’s no more expensive to install than any other network, and it ensures scalability for the bandwidth needs of the future. It also offers security features that outpace competitors.

No doubt, 2018 will be an exciting year for business and tech as the evolution of AI and IoT continues. Businesses supported by fast fibre optic networks that are able to leverage even a couple of these takeaways will continue to thrive. 

For more information on our secure fibre connectivity solutions, contact your Axia salesperson at or 1-866-773-3348.