2016 is drawing to a close and throughout this year, enterprises, individuals and governments have witnessed various novel threats as well as opportunities in the tech arena. Information technologies are emerging and advancing rapidly. There was a continuous development in the fields of cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and wearable technology; while we also watched the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. Cybersecurity Ventures reports that the damage caused by these cybersecurity incidents will almost cost $6 billion by 2021.
2016 was a year that exerted tremendous pressure on organizations to undergo a holistic transformation to welcome the new era of digital business.
Cybersecurity, always a hot potato, has passed through a dramatic year with several sensational cybercrimes reported across the globe. November 2016 headlines were dominated with pro-Trump hacking news and Russia’s relation to that in the wake of the US Presidential election. Attacks on Yahoo and Dropbox were also the other major cybercrimes that created ripples in 2016. The increased use of ransomware, especially with the US accounting for about 26% of it globally is also a great concern. Major IT security providers have plotted strategic plans to tackle such issues. Read more.
The elegance of Artificial Intelligence
2016 saw the major tech giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM and others affirming their stance on AI. Google’s new Pixel smartphone will be a “shift from the mobile-first world to the one led by AI”, says CEO Sundar Pichai. AI is gradually invading most of the everyday aspects of human life. Similarly, Apple’s iOS 10 is also designed to deliver AI-enabled cloud computing support to users. Facebook’s Caffe2Go will unearth a new deep learning system, while Samsung’s next flagship phone will have an in-built digital assistant. In September 2016, a group of companies came forward to launch a non-profit named the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society. This group includes companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and IBM.
Smart transportation with self-driving cars
Car manufacturers and technology companies were quite ambitious this year to hit the market with autonomous vehicles. Of all, Uber created a plenty of headlines. Uber’s acquisition of Otto, its loss of autonomous car testing permit in California, Tesla’s customer being killed in a car crash while testing self-driving etc. were some of the trending headlines of 2016. However, the experiments in self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles are still making the tech world crazier. Several companies have announced new products and have confirmed their plans to acquire other companies. Read more.
Cloud computing advances
Gartner Inc. estimates that by the end of 2016, the demand for public cloud services will increase by 17%. The market for cloud is growing steadily due to various factors like cost savings, innovation, agility and transparency, the ambition to modernize IT operations and other enterprise advantages of cloud. Some of the top cloud announcements this year stand as a testimony to the growing demand for cloud services. Salesforce has launched numerous cloud services this year, and also Google’s plan to acquire Apigee- the API management firm. Joining the party is Adobe that has also announced some cloud updates and Microsoft’s SharePoint business platform which is a cloud-first and mobile-first manifesto. Yes, Cloud is everywhere!
2016 was also stage to the ongoing transition to a converged infrastructure supported by growing collaboration offerings made by tech leaders like Microsoft, Google, Apple and others. New software and hardware wearables and devices promise an emerging generation of AR and VR that are poised to digitally disrupt our everyday lives and make our tasks much simpler and easier.
- Uber acquires an AI start-up to create self-driving cars
- The world of internet sees DDoS attacks?
- Verizon acquires Yahoo: What marketers should learn from this?
- Intel and Microsoft comes together to launch a VR/AR headset
- Microsoft signs with Adobe for Azure Cloud Computing Services