Imagine the holiday table set with in-laws and outlaws, all talking at once while quieter voices are trying to get the macaroni and cheese or turkey passed before Cousin Ralph (the skinny one with the hollow leg) eats it all. There…you have some idea of what it was like to get our Internet Advisors (minus Shane who had a real family gathering to attend) together to talk about their predictions for 2017. A heck of a lot of fun and opposing views of important topics but NEVER a dull moment.
So I am going to plead the 5th and just post the whole, unedited (except for breaks) podcast for your entertainment purposes. Hopefully my stay in the hospital starting later today will actually give me time to post the individual segments for your listening pleasure. The real truth is that it was almost impossible to divide the in studio conversations into neat segments. The phone ins were another matter and were easier to edit. Sooo, patience my friends and fans, by Sept. 4 late, I hope to have all the individual segments separated for you. Until then, enjoy this raucous look into 2017 with my good friends and your tech experts.
Cast of Commentators: Gary Baker, Ed Rudel, Cal Carson, Sheri Kam our Social Media commentator, Alan Ammann, Pres. and CEO of San Joaquin Partnership, Eyes on Silicon Valley, Mike Brennan, Editor of MiTechNews, and Richard Stiennon, internationally recognized expert on Cyber Security and our good friend.
Mobile (smartphones and tablets) will continue to become the preferred way to use online services and information.
Look for more embedded video in websites and YouTube will continue to grow. Video is an easier, content-rich way to transfer info to consumers. We will even start to see more video sharing in a social media format. Personal fitness applications will be a big driver.
Mobile wallets (ApplePay, SamsungPay and AndroidPay) will start to see higher adoption rates fueled by better security than credit cards, although credit cards with the newer chip and sign capability have much better security than regular credit cards. Some people have complained that it isn’t as convenient to use their phone as it is to use a credit card, however when you factor in having to replace your credit card at least once a year, it doesn’t seem so bad.
Augmented Reality – Think of “Pokémon Go.” More games, of course, but 2017 will see some limited movement beyond games to other useful applications.
Wearables will go beyond watches and fitness trackers, especially for augment reality applications (head-mounted and potentially gloves).
Autonomous vehicles will be the first robots consumers will learn to trust. We will see more fleet adoption first and a number of tests next year continuing the trend, but at an accelerated pace from this year.
Most of us will continue the trend of buying a laptop, tablet or a combination of the two (think Microsoft’s Surface). However, for some professionals really powerful desktops are making a comeback. Remember when you bought a desktop because it was half the price of a laptop? Well, the new powerful desktops are two to three times the cost of a normal laptop. But, if you are a gamer or do professional (not consumer) video editing, you’ll pay the price.
Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to make news. Smart home devices like cameras, thermostats, lights, security devices, etc, will drive the market, and there will still be talk about a smart refrigerator and toaster. Amazon’s Alexa will be one of the highlights in this space, because it makes it easy to switch from Netflix or Roku back to a normal TV channel for the technology-challenged. Can you say, “Alexa, turn to CNN.”
The security holes will start to be addressed in these smart home devices, so they can’t be compromised and used as bots in a botnet to commit DDOS attacks. But, that won’t stop the attacks, just make them a little harder to execute at scale.
Digital Transformation – This is the name of the game. Companies will either be 1) disruptors in their markets or 2) disrupted.
Big Data – Figure out how to use a company’s data as an asset or see #2 above.
Cybersecurity – The good guys will be gaining on the hackers, so look for better security solutions and wider adoption of those solutions. However, the hackers will still score some major beaches in 2017 and a lot of smaller ones.
The better companies will start to really pay attention to “Omni-channel customer journeys.” This means that all touches with the customer will be part of the record for that customer whether it is its website, in a store, mention in social media, etc. This will start to become the normal way customers are served.
Larger companies will need to gain better agility to keep up with the smaller, naturally more flexible, companies. Companies will be adopting true agile development practices, enabled by organizational culture changes, agile support practices and agile IT operational practices. This is harder to do than it first seems, but large companies will have to do this or risk being disrupted. New application development is easier than to migrate their large “systems of record,” but it will have to be done over the next few years.
AI and Smarter devices, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing – “Artificial Intelligents” will not be coming anytime soon, but Smarter devices will give the semblance of AI. Think Seri, OK Google, or amazon Alexa embedded into operating systems. We will see a huge increase in the number of devices that include “Machine Learning” capability (again, just trend analysis) consumer devices from home lighting and temperature control, Smart Watches, and home entertainment systems.
Software as a Service – we mentioned this last year and the trend continues. No more purchasing your Windows or Mac OSX operating systems. Companies are abandoning the one time purchase and years of support model for the monthly / yearly subscription fee. Microsoft office 360, Windows 10, Adobe Photo Suite, Apple OSX. If you think about it, most Anti-virus providers have been using this model since 2001 and requiring subscribers to pay the yearly license fee so that you can download the updated anti-virus data files.
Net Neutrality will be reversed – When the Trump Administration takes over and FCC d chairman Tom Wheeler replaced, the Obama administrations order reclassifying broadband internet as a public utility will be reversed and the Web will once again be free of undue regulation. Throttled internet may become the norm and companies like NetFlix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video may have to negotiate with Internet Service Providers not to slow down, what the ISP may consider, a competitor.
Look for the Next Social Media hype – 2016 was the year of click-bait and Fake News. What will 2017 bring to social media and expose how stupid (yes, stupid – Should I use ignorant or naive) Americans
Sheri Kam: Social Media
- Video will continue to dominate people’s social media feeds, however the ability to broadcast live within each medium/application will be needed in order to continue/grow their user base.
- Selling via social media platform will become ubiquitous.
- Video Filters will be mainstream. The popularity of Snapchat’s photo/video filters, and the high demand for personalization will drive apps to include photo/video filters of their own.
- Wearable cameras will facilitate the “Live Broadcast” capabilities of all users. Think of snapchat spectacles, google glasses, etc. Social Media will begin to drive hardware demands.
- Which brings me to my last personal predication: The Integration of all message apps. Google’s (Alphabet’s) at the “All-In-One Messenger” was a well kept secret in 2016, consumers have been asking for a message aggregation. I think a robust message clearing house app is on the horizon.
- Dating and relationship apps will apply more safeguards for the individual user. These platforms are used by people of all ages, and for that reason the safety measures will need to protect individuals from putting themselves in harms way.
Generally, businesses will take more social stands and this will become part of the personality that attracts/repels consumers. Further, businesses will be expected to resolve issues for their consumers. Consumers are information junkies, and it will be vital for successful companies to communicate their intent, capability, and political position deftly via social media.
- Businesses will incorporate app specific cross-platform campaigns (and not just the same ad on multiple media). The message may be the same, but the interaction (or lack thereof) will depend upon the app’s makeup and the user’s habits.
- Snapchat will be essential for small and big businesses, but the ad needs to be fully integrated in the snap, not click bait.
- Twitter: 90% of brand followers are there for the coupons
- Instagram ads have a native feel, and will also be a must for businesses big or small
- Instagram generates 58 times more engagements than Facebook.
- Instagram generates 120 more engagements than Twitter.
- Facebook will continue to be the largest global market, and selling directly from Facebook will become commonplace (whether it is marketplace virtual garage sales or direct product sales)
- Interaction between businesses and customers will be a lifeline to improved customer service. Think of problem solving via Messenger.
- Videos will be the key to grabbing consumers’ attention. Whether it is through story telling (think of the Coca Cola stories and Red Bull Challenges), or live event sharing (restaurant opening night, event broadcast, new product launches)
- Slack will integrate all forms of chat. Slack is a project management tool used to manage communication for projects and businesses among employees. Because we receive messages via numerous sources (email, messenger, text, ichat, etc.) Slack will try to aggregate messages through its platform.
Mike Brennan: Tech predictions for 2017
- Augmented And Mixed Reality Will Be More Important Than Virtual Reality. Think about the impact of the Pokemon go app last summer.
- 2-in-1 Computers Take Off. Combo laptop and tablets – think Microsoft Surface.
- Car buyers will increasingly demand smarter automobiles, but fully autonomous vehicles are still many years away. Instead technology that allows cars to follow at safe distances, brake as needed, and prevent lane drift will be the rage.
- Hackers and criminals will only get smarter. Ransomware launched by criminals will escalate until a solution if found. Nation states and hacktivists will bring down parts of the US electrical grid to show they can and hold that threat over the U.S. government.
- Net neutrality regulations will go away. Means some personal and business Internet traffic will slow down to make way for paid-content services like Netflix. The FAA will allow a two-tiered price structure for Internet Service Providers.
- Facebook’s fake fake news problem will get worse. Essentially commentary quoted from non-media sources will proliferate. Propaganda will increases after the success of the Russian misinformation program in U.S. presidential elections.
- 3-D printing will reach an inflection point moving from a novelty to small-scale manufacturing for some products.
- Advertising will move inside the headphone. Computer games will come with ads. Auto makers could create computer games where consumers design their own cars or virtually experience cars built by others.
- Entertainment We’ll be watching more TV programs on our smartphones at the time we choose, making it easier to reduce our dependency on cable services. That will pressure cable providers to offer better deals and unbundle their expensive services.
- The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning has captivated much of Google’s attention and its huge resources. We’ll see benefits of AI in our use of voice-recognition devices such as Siri and Google Assistant, as well in many of the other Google products.
Mike Ammann: Pres. and CEO of San Joaquin Partnership
VR and AR
VR and AR but connected with family and friends. Why visit in person when your can just put on a head set and be there instantly without the traffic or late flights to worry about.
Look for Samsung to use VR to get back smartphone users with a new replacement phone that doesn’t light your fire.
I see Apple and Google coming into the consumer market within 3 to 5 years with similar products in VR or newer AR or mixed VR/AR combinations. These combination may include the use of smart glasses tied to smart phones or iWatches with glasses. The ability to be entertained, provided information or data while you work with your hands and others will become a new skill needed by knowledge workers.
The question becomes what is reality? physical, VR or AR or the combination of one or more with one or more tools all connected through the internet or a private channel of networks with limited access.
I’m about to leave the desktop and go mobile completely in 2017 due to more travel. Yes, I know I just said that I will be using VR/AR glasses in the future but that the future.
So do I purchase a laptop or a convertible 2-1 one? Since 2-1 come in 13, 15″ and 17″ I can replace the desktop with a 17″ and use a large smartphone combination to meet my needs on the road (along with my iWatch).
I think a lot of other PC buyers will see the same opportunity and the PC manufacturers need something new to sell as well as upgrade. The question is will anyone buy a desktop? No compelling reason to be tied to one location. More and more companies are hoteling or providing temporary accommodations for office/knowledge workers.
Which leads to Smartphone Integration with Auto’s/Pickups
This has happened and will continue to be part of the new car and aftermarket for bring the internet to all vehicles. What is new will be the shake out with the winner being Apple and Samsung/Android.
Your new skill is to learn to speak to your smartphone or other device that is hooked to the internet. I’m doing this through Amazon’s Alexa and iWatch Siri. It’s another adoption skill you need to acquire to get the benefits of technology in 2017.
I agree with you on mobile and the lack of need for a desktop and with the larger smartphones even tablets are coming up short unless they have a keyboard and memory.
The need for usb drive goes away when you are connected to the internet – I have a dozen usb drives in my desk and rarely use them.
The internet gap of rich and poor will be closed with mobile computing composed of phones (there really not phones) and tablets not laptops and desktops
Even beggars in India and homeless in the US have a cell phone.
Richard Stiennon: International Cybersecurity Expert
- Denial of service attacks will escalate and be more focused on real damage, not just posturing as they were in 2016.
- Stealing personal data from automotive entertainment systems will become a thing.
- The Trump administration will have to deal with a major cyber attack.
2017 will be the year of cyber maturity; a coming of age for those responsible for critical infrastructure, government systems, and all those things that are inherently vulnerable and have only avoided breaches or disasters because of a lack of imagination on the part of attackers.