So what’s happening in the tech industry lately? IT, like fashion and the auto industry, moves in certain trends. If you want to keep up with your competitors and continue to engage meaningfully with consumers, you need to be aware of these trends.
Here’s a list of the more significant ones:
Data Streaming & Analytics
For many consumers, data streaming is all about watching a TV show while you’re downloading it. You don’t have to download the whole thing first before you can watch it.
Now for Netflix fans, this is certainly convenient, but in the world of IT, people now expect real-time analytics. No longer can people tolerate waiting for data to be gathered and then read at the end of the day. Now they want the data in real time.
With real-time analytics, you can then make improvements and changes more quickly, while you also identify problems so they don’t get worse. You can monitor demand so you can match product availability precisely. With these improvements in performance and scalability, it’s likely that this trend will continue in the future.
China is More Open to Open Source
In the old days, Chinese companies regarded source code as their intellectual property. But in the last few years, there has been a shift from this point of view. Now prominent Chinese brands Alibaba and Baidu are releasing their code as open source. It’s likely that they’ve realized the impact of open source from examples like OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Docker.
Insisting on intellectual property is all about trying to lock in their own special knowledge. But open source does offer its own sets of rewards. By releasing the source code as open source for other developers to use, they can instead build their own ecosystem.
Chinese companies are also sharing the open source with each other. This can result in a uniquely Chinese ecosystem that can best respond to singularly Chinese problems. In fact, the Chinese open source is often written for China first. It can achieve success even without moving outside their country’s borders. So the documentation is generally in Chinese as well. So for those in the rest of the world, we have to understand that if we’re not Chinese, we aren’t the primary audience.
Let’s say that there’s a developer who creates an app, and it does extremely well on a particular platform. Now they want to expand it to another platform, but they want to make sure that the app in the new platform has the same features as the app on the old platform. This is called feature parity.
This can be a good thing since you don’t want the users of one platform complaining that they don’t have the features available on the other platform. So if you have a video game, you want to have basically the same features whether it’s on the PlayStation or Xbox.
But it can be difficult to achieve feature parity, and that can lead to delays. Also, sometimes a feature can be excluded when it’s not really that good anyway for the app.
A virtual machine is an emulation of your computer system. It has the same functions and architecture as a physical computer. It’s an isolated environment with its own OS and applications. They’re now everywhere, as numerous companies have realized the advantages they offer. It’s because of VMs that we now have popular cloud services as well.
With these VMs, you can try out new programs and a new Windows OS without crewing up your company’s day to day operations. You can see how well a new program works, when you’re testing it with a particular OS or when it’s supposed to work with other programs. VMs can also support even outdated software such as Windows XP, unlike physical computers that no longer fully support that OS.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is now everywhere, though luckily we’re not yet at Skynet-level. The names in AI include Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook. They’re in numerous major industries, including the automotive industry and healthcare.
A robot named Sophia became a Saudi citizen. Other AI machines have beaten a world-class poker player and learned to fly drones. These machines and programs have been able to compose original music, write novels, and even bake cookies. They’ve developed so fast and spread so widely that Stephen Hawking thinks AI may eventually replace humans.
With so many devices and appliances these days, consumers are looking for greater levels of centralization. They want to control as many appliances as possible with the fewest controls. This explains the rising popularity of smart home automation when lots of smart gadgets can be controlled by a single smartphone. This single smartphone can have lots of apps to control every smart gadget at home.
Preparing for 5G
By the end of 2019, there can be a 5G network in place, and 5G phones may be available. This can make your Internet speed 10 times faster than 4G, and lots of homes and businesses can make use of those speeds. This will make streaming even more mainstream. Right now, a large number of developers and engineers are preparing for this huge leap in the IT industry.
It was only a few years ago when voice search was somewhat unreliable. You say one thing, and your smartphone Google searches for another thing. Nowadays the error rate has plummeted. In fact, many voice recognition programs can recognize speech better than actual human transcribers. This can make it possible to communicate with devices more seamlessly.
Now that ATMs are common, automation is once again poised to change the modern tech landscape. In some parts of the UK, automation will end up taking over 1 in 3 jobs.
In the US, rising minimum wage levels are causing fast-food joints to contemplate full automation for their restaurants. In fact, it’s been found that automated kiosks generated more money than their human counterparts.