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For those who don’t know, the term information technology is an encompassment of the technology used in the facilitation of rendering, sharing, and storing data. Any piece of technology that is used to process, keep, send, and secure digital information, is considered IT. Today, we will look at some of the emerging technologies presenting solutions for businesses and individuals, alike, heading into 2019.
The IT Market
First, let's take a look at the IT market. IT continued its astronomic rise in development and utilization in 2018, growing somewhere around 2.5%, or by approximately $90 billion. In nearly every aspect of IT there has been precipitous growth. Enterprise software is seeing its largest growth in a decade. Security, device spending, and networking have all seen substantial growth despite not having many commercially-ready innovations of the technologies currently in use.
So, with the health of the IT market--and the immense amount of emerging technologies that need applications--more businesses are starting up in the technology sector since the day before the dot-com bubble burst in the 1990s. This has led to some very interesting and innovative ideas, processes, and products/services that could launch over the next several years.
Innovation of Emerging Technologies
2018 has seen a few big innovations in technology, and most of them have to do with finding practical, real-world applications to use with the technology that has been emerging for a long time. Technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and blockchain are just now starting to become viable for use by organizations. Let’s take a look:
Everyone knows blockchain technology as the confusing construct behind cryptocurrency, but many innovators believe that the secure, distributed ledger technology has all types of uses. In fact, after raising $5 billion of venture capital in 2017, blockchain-related endeavors have blown past that in 2018. If nothing else, this tells us that people that invest in startups and other companies believe they will provide substantial returns and are heavily investing in blockchain.
That’s not to say that the technology isn’t already disrupting several industries. Many products are being developed using blockchain technology. One place you see this is in the manufacturing sector. In manufacturing, having an efficient supply chain is the only way for a manufacturer to turn a profit. Blockchain technology is well suited to this task as it not only provides real-time information, but also the security needed to keep this information safe.
In an example of this, the largest retailer in the world, Walmart, has partnered with IBM to work on what is called the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. With it they can be more effective in tracking products of all types. It has already made a huge difference in their foot deliveries. By using the blockchain to track all perishable products (like produce), it makes it easier to ascertain just how to get their customers the freshest products possible.
This is just the beginning for this particular technology, too. There are plenty of organizations that could possibly have use for a smart ledger. One such industry that could use this technology is the pharmaceutical industry. Today, law requires these organizations maintain a chain of custody over every pill, a mandate placed to try and stymie unauthorized use of drugs. If every pill had its own node of a blockchain, there would be more control over the distribution of their products.
Another emerging technology is quantum computing. If you’ve previously heard of quantum computing, you’d have to question how businesses would be able to utilize this technology at all, let alone have it be useful in the very near future. Rest assured, in five years, you’ll wonder how you ever thought it wasn’t so.
For those that don’t know what a quantum computer is, it is a computer whose processing is done in what is known as the quantum realm--that is, at the atomic level. Quantum computers are being used to solve what are known as intractable problems. Those are the problems that even some of today’s high-end commercially available computers or even supercomputers can’t compute. They do this by using quantum physics principles superposition and entanglement to calculate extremely complex problems extraordinarily fast.
Quantum computing is not going to replace the computers that we depend on each day, what they will do, however, is transform business by being able to solve problems that your typical computer, or even a supercomputer, simply cannot. This technology has the potential to change the way people look at the world around them; and change business forever. Complex business problems that include supply chain and logistics, financial risk management, or any other problem that would take traditional computers centuries to accomplish, will be able to be answered quickly through the use of quantum computing.
Experts suggest that within the next five years, quantum computing will be used to fuel systems that may bring the first true artificial intelligence. In fact, Google and NASA have teamed up to create the Quantum Artificial Intelligence lab to tackle this problem. Machine learning is a form of...
Another major emerging technology is most definitely artificial intelligence. Business is moving faster than ever on a multitude of mediums. Operational challenges have led to a shift in the way people view and use data. As a result, data sets are larger than ever, and since it is not cost effective (or efficient) to hire humans to go through it all, programs that can are needed.
Machine learning, a basic form of artificial intelligence; or, more accurately a subset of the discipline, is now being used in many different applications from data analysis, to business intelligence, to predictive analysis, to data and network security, to customer service, delivering operational effectiveness. By being able to quickly, and accurately analyze data, a company can conduct business faster, safer, and more effectively.
There are all types of A.I.-fueled options nowadays. Machine learning is allowing organizations of all sizes to handle the amount of data they collect and produce for the first time, resulting in cost reduction, operational efficiency, and helping build better customer relationships.
As this emerging technology is understood better, more can (and will) be done with it to help businesses streamline operations, improve customer service, and secure their assets. At Preferred, we can provide you the information you need about these technologies, or other innovative solutions to help you set up, manage, and run your business. Contact our knowledgeable technicians today at 708-781-7110.