Have you read the tech news recently? If you have, you've probably gotten the idea that 2017 is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever for IT. Here at PhaseAlpha, we completely agree. Machine learning has brought us tantalizingly close to realizing the dream of creating computers with the ability to learn and grow. Meanwhile, the Cloud has given small businesses around the world access to supercomputers on demand.
Would you like to know how this year's tech advancements are going to change the way in which you live and work? These are our predictions for the top IT trends of 2017.
Machine learning -- combined with the ever-increasing power of the Cloud -- will drive some of the most exciting IT innovations in 2017. Machine learning will enable everything from self-driving vehicles to automated chatbots with the ability to process natural language while convincing you to buy an extended warranty.
For small and medium businesses, the most exciting development in machine learning will be the continued advancement of platforms such as IBM's Watson. Watson -- and cloud-based platforms like it -- will enable companies with smaller budgets to process and draw meaningful conclusions from big data. Machine learning will lead to innovations in software, product design and marketing.
The Internet of Things will continue to cause security issues for businesses around the world in 2017. Hackers have already compromised more than 100,000 Internet-connected devices such as cameras to create the Mirai botnet -- and Mirai was powerful enough to temporarily bring down one of the Internet's largest DNS providers. What's next? Companies must invest in business security.
Machine learning won't just make it possible for companies to make smarter decisions and build better products in 2017 -- it'll also enable the creation of entirely new product classes. Factories have already had robotic workers for some time powered by manufacturing software -- but the robots of the past lacked the ability to learn. They simply repeated the same tasks endlessly. In 2017, we will see robots with the ability to analyze a situation and determine an appropriate course of action. If the action doesn't produce the desired result, the robot will learn from its mistake. Ultimately, robots with the ability to learn will change the way in which many people do their jobs.
Moley -- the maker of the world's first robotic kitchen -- is a perfect example of how robots could change the way in which you work. Moley's kitchen will have the ability to precisely reproduce the movements of any chef and cook perfect food from scratch. It'll even wash dishes. For those wealthy enough to afford it, the Moley robotic kitchen could replace a salaried personal chef. However, the robotic kitchen could also create an entirely new market for digital recipes.
AI will also transform the sales profession. Already, companies are beginning to use virtual chatbots to tighten their online sales funnels by answering basic questions and offering upsells during the checkout process. In 2017, AI and natural language processing will lead to the development of chatbots with the ability to answer more complex questions and tailor their responses to customers' emotional states.
Chatbots may eventually replace a percentage of human customer service representatives. However, they will also create new jobs for people who analyze chat sessions and create new responses to improve the success rates of future chat sessions.
When Pokémon Go took the world by storm in 2016, many smartphone users got their first taste of augmented reality -- a system in which a device combines digital images with real-life images captured by a camera. Meanwhile, PC and game console owners finally received the first wave of affordable virtual reality headsets. Virtual and augmented reality has the ability to create immersive gaming experiences, but the potential of VR and AR extends far beyond entertainment. In 2017, you can expect to see increased usage of VR and AR in applications such as training, medicine and law enforcement.
Over the past several years, touch-based interfaces have revolutionized the way in which we interact with our devices. Mobile applications have given birth to natural user interfaces. A natural interface requires no manual because the user intuitively knows how to interact with it.
PC software for consumers has already become easier to use because of the insights that programmers have gained from creating mobile applications. In 2017, enterprise software will finally begin to benefit from those insights. The days of buying 1,000-page books to learn how to use office applications are finally over. The next generation of enterprise applications will feature intuitive interfaces that get out of the way and let you do your job more effectively than ever.
At PhaseAlpha, we help customers find the best solutions for their specific needs. We can develop integrations with ERP systems such as customer service portals for order tracking or electronic selection and pricing systems that push orders into the ERP system. Our solutions are built on our technical knowledge as well as the knowledge we gain about your business, your goals and your issues.
Contact us today to learn more about how PhaseAlpha can help your business.