1. Cloud computing
Cloud computing was again top of the list for technology trends in 2015. However, last year the cloud market became more competitive, more diverse and increasingly relevant to SMEs. There’s no doubt this will continue to be a leading trend throughout 2016 as technology becomes more dynamic, flexible and responsive.
2. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
In the past, BYOD made IT managers nervous by having to allow personal devices to connect to business networks. The need for greater acceptance of BYOD was a significant trend of 2015 and will continue to be important in 2016 as businesses become more flexible, more adaptable and less static. Companies are now wanting access to their data anytime and from anywhere and BYOD will still be key in offering this in 2016.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT was set to be a major trend in 2015, however it’s the one technology trend here that we didn’t see much evidence of but it’s likely to gather pace over the coming years. Tech Radar** defines the IoT as a term used to describe the millions of devices that are now connected together and to the internet but that do not require humans to tell them what data to share. Everything from fitness bands to internet connected fridges, smart thermostats to microchipped street lights can all feed data back to the net with or without our request, and that’s potentially a hugely powerful shift in the way that we live our lives.
4. Big Data
The increased use of Big Data was a key prediction for 2015. It can provide valuable insights for spotting trends or new ways of thinking about the way we behave if the data is interrogated correctly.
It’s perhaps hard for SMEs to see how Big Data might be useful for them directly, but a simple example might be where parking information in a large city is examined and then it’s found that most cars arrive to a particular location at a certain time of the day, which in turn allows the local authority to change the traffic light phasing in that area to make traffic free flowing. It’s already being adopted by the large supermarkets who were actually early adopters of Big Data as they look over millions and millions of data points on your weekly shopping, calculating when you’ll next by detergent and offering vouchers to incentivise you to buy a certain brand. This trend has seen significant progress in 2015 and much more is still to come.
5. New Technology
As we move into 2016, the gap between technology used by SMEs and technology used by large corporates will narrow, to the point that many SMEs will use the same technology services but just on a smaller scale.
We’ve seen this already with the launch of new software, including ‘Sage Live’ which allows accounts information to be presented quickly and easily while out of the office on your personal device. It’s expected that this trend will continue, with more developments in 2016.
Share your own predictions for 2016 in the comments section below.
This is a two-part blog series. Take a look at Part 1 – Technology trends for 2016: An expert opinion.