In the the world of communications technology, each year signifies the start of a new digital era, with transformative and disruptive technologies predicted to stake their claim on the global and local marketplace.While we are all familiar with popular terms like "mobile workforce" and "Internet of Things", there are many other digital revolutions on their way that you might not yet be aware of. For any company reliant on business phone systems and unified communications, here are some picks about what's in store for us this year.
1. Augmented and virtual reality
IDC predicts that by the end of 2017, 30 per cent of consumer-facing Global 2000 companies will have dipped their toes in augmented and virtual reality technology (AR/VR). Specifically, these digital interfaces will revolve around improving customer engagement to drive business growth. This technology has already grown much faster than originally anticipated, and businesses can expect to see their adoption into the wider workforce much sooner than expected. IDC tips that by 2021, over a billion people will regularly be using an AR/VR platform to access apps, content and data.
AR and VR also hold huge potential in the world of communication and collaboration - with "virtual workspaces" allowing employees and clients to work side by side in a completely virtual space.
2. Smartphones over tablets
With laptops getting lighter and smartphones getting bigger, were likely to see a drop off in the amount of tablets as they get squeezed out of the market. Deloitte Global predicts that 2017 will see fewer than 165 million tablets sold, 10 per cent less than 2016. However, thanks to unified communications, businesses will be less reliant on specific hardware and will instead experience the same user experience working between mobile and desktop wherever there is an internet connection.
According to Deloitte's 2017 predictions, we've seen an increase in the number of cyber attacks year on year, with over 10 million attacks predicted to take place this year alone. Yet, this does not mean that we have to worry about surrendering our data to cyber criminals. There are a number of ways businesses can circumvent digital threats whilst still growing and developing digital capabilities. Decentralisation (such as moving to the cloud), dynamic defences, geographic filtering and certification marks for connected devices are but some of the ways businesses can remain secure in an increasingly digital landscape.
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