3 Tech Trends to Watch in 2018

We could be on the verge of a major tipping point in the technology sector.

An advanced technology revolution is in full swing, the acceleration of which has been increasing exponentially over the past few years.

The advances keep coming. And unlike previous decades, the technologies being developed today all work together.

The internet of things (IoT), blockchain-based decentralized ledgers and artificial intelligence systems all work together to make life better and business operations cost less.

It’s verging on perfect synchronicity.

But is it enough to keep tech’s furious bull run going?

There’s every good reason to think so.

Blockchain: The Foundation of the Future

One of 2018’s biggest trends will be the increased presence of blockchain technologies.

Blockchain first came to light as part of the bitcoin cryptocurrency craze. It’s a distributed ledger system that many tech experts, including our own Ray Blanco, believe will have significant impact across numerous industries.

When asked about his thoughts on blockchain, Ray had this to say:

Cryptocurrencies might be great for speculating and some have made fortunes doing just that… but in the long run, the blockchain technology itself is where real value will be created.

Jay Samit of Fortune magazine believes in blockchain’s powerful influence, too. He predicted in a recent report that blockchain’s influence on the IoT will be a massive trend to look forward to.

According to Samit, “Combining IoT with blockchain… ushers in a whole host of new services and businesses. For example, [it] can be used to track shipments of pharmaceuticals and to create smart cities in which connected heating systems better control energy use and connected traffic lights better manage rush hour.”

That represents just a snippet of the viable blockchain applications that we anticipate in the near future.

There’s a lot more in store for 2018.

Financial Services Might Never Be the Same

As blockchain tech continues to take hold and companies realize the utility of digital ledgers, one of the biggest changes we’ll see will be in the financial services sector.

Mobile and social payment services are the definition of big business, and its market value could soon exceed trillions.

Companies like PayPal and Venmo are fundamentally changing the way people conduct their financial transactions. But now with blockchain tech, we could see even more disruption in financial services.

For example, blockchain drastically cuts transaction times, allowing payments to be processed in a matter of minutes instead of days.

Reducing the time it takes to conduct these transactions may seem insignificant.

But it’s worth billions in cold, hard cash to the likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the world’s major financial exchanges, such as the NYSE.

Cost-cutting of that scale translates into growth, which could mean a new way to profit off this tech for you, too.

If you invest in companies utilizing this technology.

The Artificial Intelligence Revolution

The final pillar of 2018’s most important tech trends will be the increased implementation of advanced artificial intelligence systems across multiple industries.

Big data management is a major problem for companies.

But now advanced AI has given companies the power to manage their wealth of customer data into actionable and profitable business operations.

According to Forbes, businesses that wish to succeed in the future must use “AI and machine learning… to harness the vast amounts of data being created every day on social [media], the web and everything in between…”

This especially pertains to the retail sector, which has been fighting a perpetually losing battle against e-commerce’s growing influence.

Now AI advances are making things possible for businesses like brick-and-mortar retailers that they never thought possible.

According to a recent Gartner industry report, “The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025.”

If businesses want to be leaders instead of followers, using AI to manage the wealth of data generated on a day-to-day basis will be crucial in finding competitive advantages.

When you then merge blockchain’s efficiency and universal connectivity aided by advances with the IoT to the power of advanced AI, things become quite clear.

We’re on the precipice of some really big things in tech next year.

For Tomorrow’s Trends Today,

Sean McCloskey

Sean McCloskey

Editor’s note: We’d love to hear what you think the biggest tech trends for 2018 will be. As always, please send your feedback and questions to tomorrowstrendsfeedback@agorafinancial.com.

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