Each year, new industry trends emerge which end up impacting not only on the way we do business, but also on the way we analyse problems and implement new ideas.
At Analyze we decided to do a bit of market research to identify the trends that we think will be making waves in 2017. We looked at everything from technology innovations & product developments to evolving project methodologies and changing project roles and have come up with a list of 4 trends which we’ll be covering in a “Linking to Trends” series.
The first trend we’re looking at is the key technology shifts for 2017. Terms like machine learning, the cloud, DevOps & the Internet of Things (IoT) have emerged, but what exactly do they mean? And how do they impact your business?
Let’s look at each one of these in a bit more detail:
Machine Learning: Machine Learning is defined as a type of artificial intelligence which gives computers the ability to “learn” through exposure to new data. Now this is the stuff sci-fi movies are made of, isn’t it? Imagine a piece of software that’s able to identify patterns and adjust its behaviour accordingly? Not such a farfetched idea when you consider that Facebook’s been using it for quite some time to customise your feed.
Cloud computing: The “cloud” refers to a network of remote servers used to store, manage & process data which instead of being hosted locally is hosted on the Internet. Why is this becoming such a favourable trend? Cost cutting and flexibility are the two main contributing factors. With cloud services, companies do not need to invest in expensive hardware and archiving or data centre facilities, time to market is reduced and solutions become far more scalable.
DevOps: DevOps is a complete IT culture change. It strives to improve collaboration and communication between various software development, information technology & operational teams to streamline and automate software delivery & infrastructure changes. If executed correctly, the result is the ability to deliver products & services rapidly, more frequently and most importantly, more reliably.
Internet of Things (IoT): Sounds a little mysterious, doesn’t it? Basically, IoT refers to connecting any device, whether it be a smartphone, Apple watch, laptop, high-tech home appliance or even your car to the Internet, creating this network of “things” that can collect and share data to create synergies between them. Think, for example, of home automation innovations where your fridge can order milk from Woolies if you’re running low. Many other applications have already surfaced across a multitude of industries, but if we really think about it, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s truly possible.
As you can see, these are exciting times. The key, however, is not to get left behind. In order for your business to benefit from these trends, you will need project professionals who have a solid understanding of these concepts and how they can be applied within your business context.
As one of the more niche management consulting firms in South Africa, we pride ourselves on solving complex business challenges powerfully and efficiently with our tried and proven partnered approach and methodologies.
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That’s where consultants can be hugely beneficial. If you have a specialised need and you’re struggling to get the right team together. Contact us to discuss the skills & expertise our team has to offer.