2016 Top 10 Tech Trends Disrupting Small and Medium Businesses

small business disruptive tech trends

These technologies will improve business, spark innovation and drive down the cost of IT.

 

The global economic headwinds in 2016 will once again constrain IT budgets; nonetheless, the rapidly changing business climate continues to push IT executives to do much more with less. Additionally, there are new waves of next-generation technologies emerging and maturing that challenge the existing status quo and deserve IT executive attention. 

These technologies will improve business outcomes as well as spark innovation and drive down the cost of IT services and solutions. IT executives must strategize with business executives to select and fund the appropriate next-generation technologies or find self-funding approaches to implementing them. 

Simultaneously, IT executives will have to address the data and service level concerns that impact business outcomes, productivity and revenues so that there is more confidence in IT. 

Lastly, IT executives will need to increase their focus on automation, operations simplicity, orchestration, and security so that IT can deliver more (again) at a lower cost while better protecting the organization from cybercrimes.

There are a number of major technology trends bombarding the market, exciting business executives, and putting pressure on IT executives to deliver. For the small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) there are 10 primary trends that executives should consider when evaluating long-term strategies and 2016 initiatives.

The 10 Disruptive Technology Trends

1.  Analytics 

In 2016 analytics will become tightly intertwined with systems of engagement and systems of record. Leading edge companies will be creating systems of insight that meld these systems together and add in the analytics components so that real-time personalized analyses can be used to augment marketing, privacy, revenue generation, and security objectives. 

This merger of analytics with real-time transaction processing is instrumental to mass personalization (discussed below). SMBs will need to keep pace with the innovators to protect market share and keep customers loyal.

2.  API (Application Program Interface) economy 

The ability to utilize cloud applications and microservices through standard APIs will quicken the pace of delivery of new, innovative applications by new digital disruptors across multiple industry sectors. 

This will force existing industry players to follow suit. This methodology is already shaking up more than IT – it is lowering the barriers to entry and enabling entrants to provide services at lower costs. Look for 2016 to be another big year of disruption in all sectors.

3.  Cloud 

The cloud market will continue to grow with private cloud implementations exceeding those of public clouds. Nonetheless, the public cloud market is growing faster and by 2020 will be the larger of the two. 

The reason: business and IT executives are beginning to learn that implementing a cloud platform is more complex and expensive than initially thought. Moreover, the bifurcation of cloud APIs and standards means that the selection of a cloud platform implies making a proprietary choice. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions are starting to blur with the Platform as a Service (PaaS) ones. For business executives the key questions are build or buy, CapEx or OpEx, public or private, and in-house or external.

4.  DevOps (Developer Operations)

DevOps will dramatically change the way expectations of IT and IT operations. The ability to deliver code changes in less than a day, a day or a week will impact business and IT processes. 

The full implementation of DevOps will represent a true cultural change to an organization. Development will subsume operations and make IT responsive to the business like it has never been. However, this "nirvana" will take time (years) to flow through decent sized SMB or a large organization and executives should be prepared for the active, and passive, resistance to the change. 2016 may prove to be the year that the DevOps movement becomes mainstream – or it could be the year it falls into the trough of disillusionment. 

Next- Trends 5 through 8

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About the author

Cal Braunstein

Mr. Braunstein serves as Chairman/CEO and Executive Director of Research at the Robert Frances Group (RFG). In addition to his corporate role, he helps his clients wrestle with a range of business, management, regulatory, and technology issues. 
He has deep and broad experience in business strategy management, business process management, enterprise systems architecture, financing, mission-critical systems, project and portfolio management, procurement, risk management, sustainability, and vendor management. Cal also chaired a Business Operational Risk Council whose membership consisted of a number of top global financial institutions.

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