Jan 11, 2018
Here at The Brew, we pride ourselves on having our fingers on the pulse of the latest business trends and innovations. Our insider knowledge not only helps us spot opportunities to get ahead of the competition, it also – most importantly – ensures we consistently impress our friends at dinner parties! So, based on our collective ears-to-the-ground efforts over the last few months, these are our top predictions for the trends and topics to look out for in 2018…
- Blockchain, blockchain everywhere! The tech world has been raving about blockchain for a number of years, even though its only mainstream success so far has been as the technology behind bitcoin. But there are signs that 2018 could be the year when that all changes, with some big projects on the horizon, not least the international payments system being spearheaded by Barclays, HSBC and others, in conjunction with fintech firm R3. We’re sure to see plenty more big brands jump on the blockchain bandwagon too.
- Workplace evolution: The plethora of workplace tools and technologies now available has revolutionised how businesses and employees operate, and we’re now seeing this filter down into how workplaces are physically designed. An increasing number of companies – large and small - are slimming down their real estate in favour of more flexible offices fit for mobile workers, while incorporating a greater focus on collaboration, productivity and wellbeing. What has been a niche idea in previous years is set to go mainstream in 2018.
- Smart security: Cyber-attacks and data breaches have rapidly moved up the business agenda in recent years, and are now see as amongst the biggest risks facing companies. Security efforts have so far failed to keep up with increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals, but that looks set to change this year with innovative businesses developing smarter ways of keeping the bad guys in check. Expect to see the use of AI and behavioural analytics, as well as deception technologies to catch hackers in the act.
- Financial services, disrupted: The big banks have had a monopoly over our money for eons, with challengers facing huge capital and regulatory barriers to entry. In recent years, we’ve seen some trailblazers use innovative technology to offer alternative services – Monzo and Atom Bank to name a couple. And it is going to get even easier to muscle in on the banks’ territory in 2018, with the introduction of the second payments directive (PSD2) on 13th January, opening up the possibility for a whole host of new services.
- Edge computing: As the Internet of Things becomes more prolific, many are predicting that cloud computing will be overtaken, or at least challenged, by edge computing, as the best way of providing the processing power required. In basic terms, edge computing involves the processing of data at the edge of the network, near the source - be that a laptop, smart TV or self-driving car - rather than pushing it back into the cloud. Some big names already have edge computing products on the market, for example Microsoft has its Azure Stack. Watch this space for more developments this year!