CCS 2017 Predictions

— Meredith Lynch, WE 

WE attended CCS Insight’s annual predictions event recently and if they are right about any of what they predict in the next few years, technology will soon be enabling even more than it does today – which means the story of technology will be moving even faster than it has so far.

Just as stories are in motion, technology is constantly in motion, and it has evolved to such a point where computing platforms exist everywhere; our clothes, our cars and our jewellery and it’s this very innovation that is happening for consumers and in the enterprise space as well, forming a wider trend to connectivity as a de facto expectation. We are at a very exciting technological tipping point and nobody can afford to be a second class citizen in their access to the internet, nobody can afford to be left behind. 

So where is this taking us?

1. Connectivity is key to kick-starting the connected home

By 2019, CCS predicts that consumers living in urban areas will no longer need to be aware of which wireless network they are using – it will be seamless and ubiquitous enabling new ways of living and doing business. This level of connectivity will finally kick-start the connected home – we’ll start to see intelligent assistants (Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Echo) move into other form factors and become more part of our lives.

2. Cybersecurity will remain high on the agenda

In the UK and EU, new regulation will cause the European GDPR to make compliance the most significant driver of growth in mobile security for 2017.  Cybersecurity will continue to be on our agenda in a big way – in fact for 2015 it accounted for 53 percent of all crime in the UK.

3. AI is already part of our lives – and best when paired with real human intelligence

Basic forms of AI are evolving (predictive typing for instance) and AI is changing the way in which business is being done.  Look at the Washington Post who invested in an AI platform called Heliograph – which they used both during the Rio Olympics and the US election cycle.

What gets them excited is that through AI they can be very personal with the way they deliver news through intelligent assistants.  What they learned through the US elections is that there are limitations – and that by pairing Heliograph with seasoned reporters this both enhanced their ability to deliver the news their readers wanted, but freed up these same journalists to do more valuable writing and investigative journalism. 

While it will take some time for AI to reach its potential, the combination of humans and AI will be essential. The biggest opportunity here is currently with IoT – where AI can give organisations “super powers.”  But it won’t be long before machine learning and AI overtake IoT as the hottest investment area. 

Get comms-ready for the next industrial revolution

With so many brands deploying IoT and machine learning tools, 2017 will start to see significant gains and the next 5-10 years will be the most exciting we’ve ever seen with technology.  As with any revolution it won’t be easy – we’ll need a blueprint, there will be employee backlash and implications nobody can predict – and I would argue that for those reasons – communications is key to telling this story in the right way.  It definitely feels as though we are at the very beginning of something big and hard to implement.  Those who ignore it will fail, those who embrace it will succeed.  

Other CCS insight predictions for 2017 and beyond:

  • In 2017, the top 10 mobile device makers will increase their market share
  • An Indian smart phone maker will become a player by 2018
  • At least five European operators will begin selling unlocked sim-free mobile devices in 2017
  • Apple will introduce a combined subscription model for its hardware in 2018
  • Sales of smart analogue watches will outpace those of Apple and Android powered devices in 2018
  • Smart sport shoes sell 1 million pairs to become the first mass market smart clothing
  • AR/VR: the next year will be a tremendous cornerstone year for these devices. Apple will launch a mixed reality platform and hardware in 2017
  • In 2017, IoT suppliers will start assembling blueprints for the industrialisation of IoT
  • By 2020, at least one major European operator will spend 10% of its capex on smart city infrastructure
  • Microsoft will make Office 365 free to consumers and will extend Surface as a service in 2017
  • Apple will extend its apps and services to other platforms by 2018