4 digital trends to look out for in 2018

Technology moves at a breath-taking speed — innovations that were once wild predictions are rapidly adopted and just as quickly become obsolete when they’re replaced.

So getting ahead of the curve with tech means that your business can sustain success.

With that in mind, here are four digital trends to look out for in 2018.

Internet of Things

Digital soothsayers have been talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) for years — the idea that many of our household objects will be an interface between ourselves and the net.

Devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa are just the start — Forrester Research believes that 2018 is the year the IoT will make a major impact on our daily lives.

More businesses will implement high-quality voice-based technologies to make customer journeys even smoother and European businesses will commercialise more of their data.

But there are ongoing concerns about data security — the dangers of the data collected from within our own homes being intercepted and ending up in the hands of criminals shouldn’t be underestimated.

The IoT has its pros and cons — but it’s set to make us more connected than ever.

Analytics

A survey from Cognito has revealed that 79 per cent of marketing communications leaders from the finance, professional services and technology sectors believe that analytics will have the biggest impact on their field in the next 12 months.

The spread of the IoT will generate more data than ever — so sifting through this in fine detail facilitates more efficient management of everything from company vehicle fleets to the key infrastructure and services for entire cities.

Big tech players like Microsoft and IBM recognise the rich potential of this combination and are likely to invest heavily in IoT analytics throughout the year.

So analytics is here to stay — but it’s about to get more powerful and precise.

Personalised content

2018’s also the year that digital customers will come to expect personalised content marketing.

Ecommerce sites have featured a high degree of personalisation for some time — but it’ll soon become common on most websites.

And open sourced experience management systems will allow small and medium sized firms to segment their offerings based on the day of the week, user location, referral links, and whether they’ve previously engaged with a certain type of onsite content.

More segmentation means that you’ll need to develop the appropriate content to serve — but hitting those customer pain points precisely should create a good ROI.

AI

AI is another emerging technology that will come in leaps and bounds in the coming year.

It’s already being used in HR functions to precisely match job applicants with ideal roles — as well in inventory management and insurance sales.

But its potential application in complex strategy and planning means it’ll also guide executive-level decision-making and risk-management.

It seems that AI can be the answer for increasingly complex business conundrums.

Look out for these four digital trends in 2018 and you’ve got a great chance of futureproofing your business.

What digital trends do you think we should watch out for? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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