The cloud has become an intrinsic aspect of corporate computing and enterprise mobility is now a mainstay. As a result, businesses are able to do more and more every day with respect to employee productivity and product and service development. But the evolution of enterprise IT isn’t slowing down there. Thanks to those technologies and others, 2016 looks to be another year full of innovation, digitization and optimization.
“2016 will be another year full of innovation, digitization and optimization.”
What can organizations expect in the coming year? Let’s take a look at what will be hot in enterprise tech in 2016.
People have feared the rise of robots ever since the first “Terminator” movie, and in 2016, automation and bots will rule, but not in a terrifying, world-destroying way. Instead, AI and automation will revolutionize how employees work and how businesses function.
Harvard Business Review explained numerous different use cases for bot technology in the workplace: They can be used to service customers, discover content, interact on social media, buy stocks, conduct surveillance, onboard employees, schedule meetings and monitor other enterprise tech.
Virtual and augmented reality
According to MarketWatch, Juniper Research dubbed 2016 the “watershed year for [virtual reality],” given how many tech giants plan to launch headsets this year. While there are certainly some corporate use cases for augmented reality, such as providing employees with the Microsoft Hololens for CAD, these tools will shine when brands leverage them for consumer purposes.
For example, some businesses are exploring how to allow customers to shop in virtual worlds or with augmented overlays. Additionally, brands could capitalize on AR and VR by making an app for smartphones that advertises products in a digital way.
Apple Watch might have first been released in 2015, but in 2016, adoption of wearables will grow, as those devices become better tools for corporate workflows. Inc. highlighted two key methods for getting a handle on wearables in the office. First, companies can provide employees with these devices, allowing them to monitor their health, and therefore, reducing health care costs. Second, businesses can port enterprise apps and technologies to wearables, enabling staff members to become more productive.
Twenty years ago, tech stacks encompassed separate technologies for specific tasks and business requirements. But nowadays, these siloed environments are killing productivity and impacting digital performance, especially with regard to big data and analytics.
In 2016, businesses should expect to start converging their systems in two forms. First, IT teams will push for converged or hyper-converged infrastructure solutions that allow them to quickly and easily deploy servers and necessary components. Second, employees will embrace converged tools on their end. Hybrid devices, such as the new Google Pixel C, Apple iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro, will usher in a world where tablets and laptops are on in the same. This will make enterprise application development easier – less devices to worry about – but teams must learn how to manage hybrid computers if employees bring their own to the workplace.
Analytics for all means
Big data has been a burgeoning trend for the past few years, but in 2016, businesses will start to truly harness the power of data and analytics as they begin to apply these solutions to dozens of use cases.
For one, cybersecurity will rely on big data. Fortune contributor Dharmesh Thakker explained that machine learning technology will help businesses predict and prevent cyberthreats from causing data breaches.
Additionally, customer service will receive a lot of attention from data scientists, as brands invest in novel ways of analyzing social media, news reports and CRM systems to anticipate purchases, preemptively solve problems and proactively capitalize on consumer trends.
Data management crackdown
With such a huge corporate reliance on big data and analytics, 2016 will be the year to improve each and every aspect of data management. Thakker asserted that rapid analysis of real-time information will become a top priority, and as a result, “fast data” could replace the idea of big data, due to that strategy’s ability to quickly deliver value.
“Companies will crackdown on data management and take advantage of role-based access controls.”
Another aspect of data management that will change lies in employee access. Right now, many businesses give blanket access rights to certain data, but in 2016, those companies will crackdown and take advantage of role-based access controls, which define employees by their jobs and what type of information they must be able to see.
While open-source software has always been an important aspect of enterprise IT, thanks to the cloud, more businesses are taking a software-based approach to operations. Thakker predicted that as companies demand new open-source tools, the market will fragment, leaving monetized solutions on one side and free software on another. Simply put, this means that IT teams must be given more control over procurement, since they will understand the benefits of using one open-source tool over another beyond the fiscal ones.
Internet of Things
Garter estimated that there will be 6 billion of those devices deployed around the corporate world by 2018. Therefore, this year is the best time to start testing this technology for a variety of means. Manufacturers are already installing IoT devices in factories and beyond, but the average corporation needs to determine how it can leverage the IoT to maximize the benefit. Exploring the wide world of IoT use cases should make enterprise IT priority lists in 2016.
Another year means another chance to innovate, and the best way to revolutionize business lies in the digital realm and with many of the technologies listed above.