Outlook on ICT for 2018.
It is, without a doubt, difficult to quantify all the ways in which technology has impacted our lives. As a sector, ICT evolves at a rapid pace and in a way few others can mimic. In the span of a single year, we see a great deal of new technology emerging to impact the way in which we operate on a daily basis. 2017 was yet another example of this truth in action, with trends like Fibre and cloud computing continuing their stratospheric rate of growth. Savvy business owners understand the value of trendspotting, particularly when it comes to trends with wide-ranging industry bearing and the potential to disrupt. So, what’s on the agenda for 2018?
#1. Fibre Connectivity
The Great Fibre Land Grab War raged on throughout 2017 and, with no sign of slowing down, it would be no surprise to see an even larger portion of South Africa’s population accessing Fibre connectivity this year. This means more and more players entering the market to offer better deals with bigger bundles at lower costs. As a result, operator deployment margins and models will continue to feel the pressure of an increasingly competitive market.
#2. The Internet of Things
When speaking about the Internet of Things or IoT, we are referring to the interconnectedness of all internet-capable devices and products, a trend set to continue well into the future. IoT is certainly claiming a good deal of the spotlight lately. With lower connectivity costs, more and more “things” are being connected every day. And with more connections comes larger data usage and even more niche offerings. This will lead to the further expansion of the Cloud and Cloud app offerings in the next few years.
This is excellent news for customers and businesses alike, who are on the lookout for better products and services at a more affordable cost.
#3. Cloud Technology
Due to improvements in South Africa’s connectivity over the last few years, cloud computing has seen a massive surge in usership, a trend that will no doubt remain highly relevant in 2018. This is largely due to the Cloud’s use of the internet to offer diverse, affordable tech services from any supplier, anywhere in the world. Cloud technology is also essential to the “software-as-a-service” business model that’s currently taking the business landscape by storm, so it won’t be going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
#4. Edge Computing
On the Cloud’s flipside we have edge computing. Serving a slightly different purpose, edge computing provides information processing and content collection delivery devices that are located close to the source of data, rather than at the extremities of a network. Essentially, edge computing limits data wastage and brings supplier and customer closer together for greater efficiency. Edge technology is expected to continue its evolution and rise in popularity over the next year, as providers work to raise their game.
SA businesses need to begin understanding the ever-evolving environment of ICT, as applying innovative changes can make or break an organisation. It’s also important to note that not all ITC trends are bound for lasting success. Some become intrinsically woven through our lives while others fade into obscurity due to stunted buy-ins, so always remember to adopt new tech according to the specific needs of your organisation.