2018 Business Trends … Data Is A Key Theme

As another year is upon us, we look at the areas most likely to impact businesses in 2018. There are many aspects to consider, many buzzwords and new technologies but the overwhelming theme is data, the gathering of data, and the protection of any data you hold and process, and of course the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Businesses all want data; they want data to understand their customers, data to improve their customer service, data to develop their products and data to sell more products to their current and prospective customers.

It's no surprise then that the business trends for 2018 focus on the technologies that allow for the collection and processing of data, or using current data to satisfy customer demand.

The Internet of Things

In September 2016 it was reported by the ICO that six in ten IoT devices did not tell customers how their personal data would be used, this included devices such as health watches, electricity monitors and internet connected thermostats.

A survey from IHS estimates that there are already over 25 million connected 'things' or devices across the world. The Internet of Things is already all around us, perhaps most commonly known as a heating app solution for the home, gathering data on gas and electricity usage while allowing users to control temperate and plug sockets remotely.

However, the applications for IoT are far-reaching, in the agricultural sector, there are solutions that offer sensor data, monitoring moisture levels in soil, weather and crop conditions. In the medical and lifestyle sector, sensors are now being fitted to prescription bottles collecting patient data on medication regimens. There are also Smart Cities, Barcelona being the first to embrace all the IoT has to offer by monitoring and collecting data on traffic and connected cars, allowing them to improve congestion and the impact vehicles are having on the environment.

IoT is expected to gather momentum in 2018 as businesses look for more innovative ways to offer connected devices that are useful to the consumer but allow the business to gather data. This will enable businesses to use the insight provided by the data to understand their customer's behaviour in more detail so they can offer them improved, or new products and services. This will impact every industry sector as it transforms the way businesses operate across the board.

It is predicted that the use of 'things' will grow substantially to 125 billion by 2030 as...

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