Each year, in summaries of the previous years and in the forecasts for the coming year we hear: “this is going to be a mobile-focused year.” The media have been repeating that like a slogan for 7 years, and we are still waiting for this great mobile revolution. Meanwhile, the 5G technology is still not there, and we have grown accustomed to the ever-changing capacities of microprocessors.

In recent years, many changes have occurred: in the ways we work, rest or communicate. A lot has changed, mainly as a result of technological and technical innovation, and also thanks to the development of research in every field of science. There was a start-up boom, social media underwent reform, as well as the possibilities they offer. We practically switched to smartphones. The change did not happen in one year – it was a process in which we grew accustomed to new technologies. In other words, as people, we have become used to the fact that our smartphone has replaced the bank, interpersonal relationships, restaurants, a notebook, books and many other things. Research carried out by Nielsen shows that we use on average 27 applications on smartphone, with 70 of them installed. Think about when was the last time you managed to survive a day without a smartphone.

The revolution which was not there

In this context we cannot consider mobile as a revolution, but rather as an evolution – a process in which the telephone grew into our hands and realities. Different IT solutions also travelled a certain distance – they appeared some time ago and became symbols of the new era. Those solutions include, e.g., 3D print, cloud solutions, API, Internet of Things and many more. Some of them also constitute important elements of 2018. Which are they? See for yourselves:

Hyper-Agile

Hyper is not a technology, but a methodology created for seamless scaling of development from small to large units and maximizing the return on investment. Yes, it is a work system created in the IT environment, but it can also be used in any field of design work. Due to the fact that companies will create more and more services for the needs of digital economy, the need will arise for the ability to build new solutions quickly. Thanks to this methodology, companies will deliver almost 10 times as many applications and microservices.

Low-Code/No-Code Platforms

This will be the year when the concept of “developer” will be redefined. Even today, the so-called low-code platforms allow application software to be created via graphical interfaces. They help in programming of databases, business processes, and even user interfaces in the Internet application. Solutions of this type can reduce the time needed for writing code and speed up the work of programming departments. Does this mean that in practice, as entrepreneurs, we will need fewer programmers? Will the remuneration for IT services decrease, as a result of the development in this sector? This certainly is not a question for 2018.

Digital transformation of business in real time

The year 2018 will certainly be marked by S/4HANA, a digital transformation of business and analytics in real time. The German software developer will enable access to operational data from any location and any device in the world, and the information such data includes will be processed in real time. As a result, companies in the whole world supported by appropriate predictive analytics tools (e.g., SAP Predictive Analytics) will be able to predict changes in trends and consumer behaviour. This will also allow companies to take better strategic decisions and enable better performance of each element in the organization. As a result of the constantly increasing value of digital economy, companies will be obliged, regardless of the industry and scale of operations, to transform into “digital native,” in order to keep up with the competition and the contemporary, IT-reliant customer.

GDPR

The second half of the year will be dominated by new security standards, the so-called GDPR (data protection regulation) introduced in the European Union member states. What will they change? They will influence primarily the marketing and sales departments in companies, but also any teams operating with the use of sensitive data (including programming departments operating on their customers’ databases, etc.). And consumers will acquire the right “to be forgotten” in all IT systems, the right to require the transfer of data and reinforced right of access and review for citizens in respect of their data. The proceeds of automated marketing, unlawful newsletters and extensive tracking tools will decrease.

Blockchain

Every true enthusiast of technology knows that it is not cryptocurrencies that are revolutionising the world, but the underlying Blockchain mechanism. Currently, this solution is applied in financial industry, data protection, healthcare, IT, energy, transport, and ultimately in the commercial industry in a broad sense. Today, the technology is implemented not only by bold companies blazing trails in innovation, but also by stabilized financial or stock exchange undertakings. One of the first countries to use the Blockchain technology in the bureaucratic and financial activities is Estonia, and the most famous entrepreneur is Elon Musk, who implemented calculations connected with production, storage and transport of energy in the form of a block chain.

Immersive Experience

While the year 2017 was marked by e-sport and gamification, 2018 still has a chance to take advantage of the potential offered by the VR and AR solutions. Although both those technologies – virtual and augmented reality – are still in their infancy, more and more ideas appear as regards their use in the educational and governmental sectors, as well as in pure entertainment. According to an IDC report, it is estimated that the global spend on VR and AR will increase to as much as 17.8 billion dollars, i.e., twice the amount recorded in 2017.

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, artificial neural networks and chatbots

Thanks to neural networks, computers handle perfectly huge analyses of Big Data in real time. AI strongly dominates the minds of the most future-facing entrepreneurs. Ultimately, amazing business results will be possible not only thanks to intuition and hours spent on thinking and calculations, but also at the level of quick decisions. Here is where solutions of the German company SAP come into play. This time it offers the development of the SAP Leonardo tool, incorporating the element of Machine Learning. Thanks to appropriate algorithms, Machine Learning allows software to automate the process of acquisition and analysis of data for self-improvement of its system. Joint examinations and experiences provide the basis for functioning of artificial neural networks, which shall examine the way in which we communicate. In turn, that mechanism is used in smart chatbots, which… handle prospective business partners for us and reduce the financial burden connected with customer service.

Mobile

2018 will definitely not be a mobile-focused year. But it will probably be a good year for mobile solutions, clouds, Internet of Things and smart cities. But we must remember that those are no longer innovations. We should promote the development of those tools and solutions, but also look forward in search of opportunities to gain an edge not only on the market but also in our own development. One could say that smartphones will become our window on a new world of possibilities, where thanks to the computing cloud and access to the Internet we will be able to run our company, make decisions in real time thanks to solutions like S/4 HANA, transfer resources in exchange for services in safe Blockchain transactions, and even build applications on low-code platforms. We will definitely spend 2018 looking at the screens of our smartphones. However, we should not treat this as a revolution, but another step in the development of a digital, organized society.

Hanna Bielerzewska, PR Specialist, Hicron