We have analyzed the latest developments for you and can tell you today what you will face tomorrow.
Bitcoin and Blockchain, the architecture behind the cryptocurrency, are continuing their quest in the new year. Bitcoin is becoming a serious currency; the financial and insurance world is getting disrupted. By contrast, the last banking crisis was a breeze. Deposits and provisions will not help – in the current uncertain world and the self-inflicted doubts in banks, insurance companies and the financial sector, we will experience an explosion of digital currencies.
Smart contracts are electronic agreements that can automatically perform actions when certain conditions are reached, such as making payments to creditors on interest dates. They are gaining momentum with the emergence of digital currencies. The trend to also model smart contracts via the Blockchain technology will arrive in the first meaningful applications in real life – without the end users even realizing it.
Autonomous vehicles are ready for the road. They require a reliable infrastructure, such as high-performance sensors or the widespread expansion of bandwidth. The topic of digital mobility also includes the optimization and interlocking of mobility offerings from public and private sources. More and more providers are interlocking public transport with private offers (such as car or bike sharing) in one app. Overall, the possibilities of "intelligent transport systems" (ITS) will continue to be established.
The Google Assistant will gain massive demand because the skill logic is much easier to handle than with Amazon Alexa and Google has integrated the wizard natively into the operating system (which is soon also used at Audi and Volvo). The use of skills without previous installation is like an "app for everything" – the wet dream of every user. In addition, Google Home Amazon Alexa will run the only real added value – Smart Home or home automation.
In the future, you will not only control voice assistants with your own voice, but also websites, online shops or apps. Voice is replacing the mouse and keyboard. For navigation to work, pages and applications need to be rethought. We will see the first pilot projects in 2018. The result (beyond 2018): New operating concepts for apps and online offerings that embody the characteristics of voice control – and enable a completely new customer experience.
More and more companies will be confronted with so-called microservices in 2018. In other words, structures that quickly scale and adapt to changing markets and requirements. The term comes from IT and refers to small, independent and specialized processes that together create a complex application ("Do only one thing, but the right one"). For companies, this means moving away from the monolithic system towards an agile, heterogeneous cluster of excellence.
The Internet of Things was a big topic in 2017, with rather small implications. From 2018, IoT applications will also be visible and perceptible to the end user. New electronic devices communicate much more with each other in the background than ever before, foresee failures, announce maintenance more efficiently – and thus take away our cognitive ability. We have time for the really important things. The model is the intelligent production and logistics automation in the industry.
Artificial intelligence will change our society in the long term. If there has been a lot of uncertainty and skepticism so far, we will meet KI as a friend and helper in 2018. Applications in the areas of smart home, medical diagnostics and smart factory are just some of the promising fields.
Of course, Big Data is no longer a trend, but a fact. In 2018, we will learn to do more with it. We will evaluate the data in a more targeted and usable manner. Big Data becomes Smart Data: We will use data more consistently as a "food" for artificial intelligence, integrate it into marketing automation, and use it for personalization.
The individual divisions in which Google shows commitment will reach their full potential from 2018 onwards. Whether Smart Home, Smart City, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Google Home, Instant Apps, Google Cloud Services, or Google SEO and SEA – by linking each service, it becomes clear how much power and knowledge Google has about us and how we in turn use this knowledge to make our everyday lives easier and more carefree.
The cross-linking of applications as well as tools for collaboration are changing the world of work. The speed with which we produce results and make decisions has never been so fast. In 2018, we will feel the structural consequences of technical digitization: Traditional organizations are beginning to change radically. At the same time, the need for change is often driven not by external framework conditions but by one's own employees and by potential candidates.
Customer service and customer centricity are once again gaining momentum in the new year. As products are becoming increasingly similar, comparability is often only in the price – or in the service. Those who do not communicate with their customers in a transparent manner that is permeable across all channels and interact individually will lose out. A means of choice: the digital customer card with various benefits. This allows the service to be customized.
It's simple: They will die out. Convertibles or 2-in-1 PCs with fold-down displays will ensure that the demand for tablet PCs drops to zero. From a marketing point of view, it will be interesting if we only need two breakpoints in web design. However, the industry is eager to see if Microsoft is using the opportunity to get into the mobile world of users after the Windows Phone is officially declared dead.
Nothing: The hype that was forecast at the beginning of 2017, the immense sales potential and the sound of the iPhone X with ARKit will have no real impact on our lives in 2018. Growth in the video gaming and adult entertainment sector is likely to remain in the double digits, that's about it. There is a lack of suitable use cases and, above all, meaningful content in order to establish augmented and virtual reality outside these sectors in an economically sensible manner that meets the need of the target group.