- Trends 2018: Smart ecosystems, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and New Work
- New digital ecosystems creating added value in 2018
Smart ecosystems, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and New Work – these are the trend topics for 2018, according to eco – Association of the Internet Industry. “In 2018, more so than ever before, the Internet industry will set the tempo for innovation and growth,” says eco CEO Harald A. Summa. “Providers will intensify the connection of their solutions to digital ecosystems and create real benefits for companies and private individuals through new technologies.”
Smart ecosystems in the Internet of Things
New ecosystems in the IoT (Internet of Things) will enable many new business models to emerge in the areas of smart city, smart home, and industrial IoT in 2018. To reap the benefits of this potential, companies will need to be more open and cooperate with one another along the value chain in 2018, as is demonstrated in the new studies from the eco Association and Arthur D. Little on the smart city, smart home, and industrial IoT markets for the years 2017 to 2022. In the area of smart home, for example, the average annual growth rate for the coming five years is expected to be around 26.4 percent. There is also solid growth evident in industrial IoT, where Germany – with its broad and innovative industry structure and high robotics density – counts as one of the strongest Industry 4.0 markets in the world. The largest and fastest-growing segment of this market is currently the automotive industry, which will continue to grow at an average rate of 20.2 percent. There is also steady growth occurring in the industrial engineering sector, at 18.9 percent annually. These two segments make up 50 percent of the entire industrial IoT market in Germany.
AI booming thanks to cloud computing
In 2018, Artificial Intelligence will support us more strongly than ever in the office and our domestic lives. The cloud can provide practically unlimited computing power for the rapid processing of complicated algorithms and decision trees and can deliver correspondingly impressive results. On the basis of this technical development, new applications will be generated daily for private individuals and companies in 2018, for example in the automotive and healthcare sectors. The systems are increasingly capable of discerning what tasks they should fulfill for the user, with this acumen enabled through access to the resources made available through network connectivity. Language is serving an ever more important role as the interface between humans and technology. Apocalyptic fears that see a risk to humans from Artificial Intelligence are resoundingly rejected by the eco Association. However, there remain major societal challenges for 2018 with regard to solving ethical questions, such as those relating to autonomous driving.
Blockchain applications for SMEs to gain ground in 2018
Blockchain technology will find its way into many applications in 2018, and thus become a part of daily business. Platforms based on blockchain will support in particular business processes in which an intermediary wishes to strengthen trust or where transactions are processed. New platforms will solve current problems in performance and scalability. This will, for example, benefit the rapid developments in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT). With the help of blockchain technology, the exponentially growing data volumes from the smart home, smart city, and industrial IoT sectors can be efficiently and securely managed and used as an important raw material of our digitalized world. Blockchain will become an important topic for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular in 2018, as more and more companies discover great potential in the technology for their own business areas.
New Work: Qualifications for the Industrial Revolution 4.0
As a result of digital transformation, which is interconnecting entire production processes, the world of work is changing faster and faster – and permanently: Companies must fully adjust to digitalization if they still want to exist in another ten years. Professional development and lifelong learning will thus be an even more important requirement for professional success in 2018. More and more routine tasks are being outsourced to algorithms, for example in the office or at home. On the other hand, workers will take on tasks that are highly complex and difficult to automate. This means that, alongside IT specialists, companies in 2018 will be looking for key human characteristics like creativity, empathy, und non-linear thinking. In order for companies to be able to attract young talent and retain experts in the long term, they should demonstrate their openness to the New Work concepts inspired by digitalization.