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Biggest Trends of 2018

  • By Ryan Skidmore

  1. Blockchain Technology. First popularized with the rise of Bitcoin, the importance of decentralized and disturbed record keeping cannot be overstated. In the age of demanded transparency, it has application in everything, including GPS systems. For a refresher on blockchain, check out this video.
  1. Company cultures lagging further behind technological advances. Yes, there have always been better ways to do things, but now, failure to adopt and adapt will begin crippling companies of all sizes. While Moore’s Law is not as relevant as every senior exec quoting it might believe, a rapidly changing landscape of what tech services are available is dreadfully germane. Gone are the days of buying a mainframe and keeping it for 30 years. The companies that do adapt are lightyears ahead of the ones that don’t. Accelerating changes and slow adoption will begin hurting companies substantially this year.
  1. Growing Importance of Big Data continues. Particularly with the rise of smaller app companies needing large data sets collected and processed, Big Data will deliver tailored experience to niche customers because it mines general data sets for specific customers’ exact needs. Now companies other than Google and Facebook, will serve up app suggestions so eerily relevant it’s like they have a personal concierge watching at all times. Big Data performing collection in the real world is facilitated by the proliferation of GPS systems.
  1. White Collar Automation. Many mid-level tasks will be partially automated. Huge changes are coming to traditional industries like Accounting and Law. Many book-keeping and clerk jobs will be, partially or fully, automated away. (Journal of Accountancy) In Law, tools like natural language processing selects documents relevant to cases. (New York Times) Lower level and non-lawyer legal work will be automated away as well. (New York Times) At the high end of these industries, specialty practitioners could see one or two major pieces of their jobs automated which would not be a threat, but an asset freeing up their time for more essential tasks. (Journal of Accountancy) Most of top level jobs still requires skills that 1) cannot be automated in the foreseeable future and 2) cannot be performed by lower level workers, even with the help of technology, because they require years of training, experience, and an impressive level of acumen.
  1. Managing White Collar Automation. Senior level posts of any and every department will have to manage all that shiny new tech. CFOs, senior accountants, and finance staff will have to manage the cost of changing tech. (Journal of Accountancy) Additionally, with most of these service coming from the Cloud and the cost of changes minuscule compared switching legacy systems, the changes may never stop. One or two pieces of their tech stack may always be in flux. Senior managers and professionals will need to manage the technology that supports their org, making them part-time IT managers.
  1. Hardware Startups. The hardware startups space will hit maturity this year and next. Several things signal the shift. All the commercials for gadgets that sit on a table and do something from companies you’ve never heard of are one sign. The joke in a new Best Buy commercial, “And the cat got a Roomba” is another. As one of the first kinds of these gadget, the Roomba’s ubiquity is symptomatic of the rest of space’s impact and place in wider society. Most any hardware product used outside the home will utilize a GPS system to keep track of its own location.
  1. Scary M&A. Huge companies will get even bigger by acquiring smaller companies that focus on one thing. As of 2018, 5 companies own or influence most everything tech related. Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. They own vast data collecting apparatuses and use will them optimally in 2018.

It is always important to keep in touch with what are the new trends going on with not only your industry with also with technology as a whole.  This is a great practice that will allow your company to implement new technologies before your competition to give you an edge.  In our GPS systems industry, it is important for us to keep up with new technologies around it or new ways of doing things.  In summary, always keep yourself informed on what is going on in the market and what the new trends are.

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