We’re still talking about cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, but these technologies and the uses they bring are changing. Formerly mere trends, they’re becoming real transformation drivers. These are the main conclusions of the observations and predictions for 2017, which are very common at this time of the year. This year however, there’s a general call for more action.
Cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and connected humans: more than trends, these fields of digital application will increase their impact on the economy and everyday life, according to IDC.
“We’ve reached a turning point in digital transformation.” Frank Gens, IDC
By 2020, companies won’t have a choice: from their infrastructures to products and services, including their organisation, they’ll have to be digital all the way. The first to master their transformation and this 3rd platform (cloud, big data, mobility, and social networks) will have competitive advantages.
Connected objects, analytics, blockchain and virtual assistance are gradually leading to a radical change in today’s digital uses, according to Gartner. 2017 is only a step: trends will gradually become consistent streams of change over the next 5 years.
“Digital disruption is redefining markets and entire industries” Daryl Plummer, Gartner
Augmented reality shopping, internet queries via voice assistants, and algorithms that will alter users’ emotional behaviour are some of the trends we’ll be seeing more of in the near future. Connected objects and data processing will enable businesses and individuals to reduce costs, by limiting healthcare expenses (through activity trackers) and improving the lifecycles of products and services (maintenances, security).
Automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, blockchain, and nanotechnologies are some of the most influential technologies for the next 10 to 15 years, according to the OECD. With AI for robotics for example, the changes expected will amplify automation in the logistics and manufacturing sectors.
“While it has great potential to support human, societal and environmental development, several safeguards need to be put in place to ensure data protection and security.” OECD
As shown in the graph above, IoT is becoming prominent and a cornerstone of the future great digital network, with issues for healthcare and both private and public players. The economic repercussions are valued at several million billion dollars, and the OECD warns about the need to regulate and secure data.
Cybersecurity, Millennial power, autonomous vehicles, etc. For Frost & Sullivan, 2016 saw the emergence of cross-disciplinary trends: growing IT threats and the changes caused by Millennials (age 16 to 35) becoming consumers who are seduced by ‘uberised’ products and services.
“Adoption, crashes, laws, usage, we must watch the implications of the level-3 autonomous vehicles.” Sarwant Sing, Frost & Sullivan
Also predicted for 2017 are major technologies for the retail sector: augmented reality and drone delivery. Developments in autonomous vehicles will also be a major trend.
What trends for digital marketing?
Augmented reality apps, live streaming and chatbots are trends to watch for for brands and businesses and their marketing services, according to an American expert. For augmented reality, last summer’s Pokémon Go frenzy could generate new ideas and pilot campaigns such as BIC's calendars. But the technology is still hard to exploit, and user adoption remains uncertain.
As for chatbots and their ability to create direct interactions between brands and buyers, services and consumers, the movement must still rely on technological advances. Basic uses already exist: booking an appointment with your doctor, calling your banker, calling a taxi. Facebook and Microsoft have invested in these new message platforms, and they rarely invest in R&D for no reason.
“Facebook has unleashed a 30,000-strong bot army that provides news updates, sends flowers, responds to users in a personalized way, and much more. We expect this trend to continue in 2017.” Mitchell Reichgut, Jun Group
As for live streaming, new opportunities are also being created here, to showcase products. Graduating from analysing feedback on social networks after product launches to seeing customers’ reactions to a live video presentation is sure to interest marketing managers. Meanwhile, event broadcasts, especially sports events, are starting to demonstrate this technology’s potential.