The technology trends of 2017 were big and impactful, with artificial intelligence (AI) topping the charts, along with on-demand workforce platforms and designing for the human experience. In 2018, technology is set to shift an even bigger focus on the internet of things (IoT), AI and machine learning.
To find out what technologies helped shape 2017 and what tech trends to expect in 2018, I asked a panel of entrepreneurs from YEC the following question:
In your opinion, what technology trend has shaped 2017 and what tech trend do you predict will make waves in 2018?
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Their best answers are below:
1. Intelligent Apps
There are many social media channels these days, and I foresee an increase in apps that will make it easy to repurpose content across multiple platforms. In 2017, we have already seen many apps perfect the photo editing process with filters and sophisticated features. In 2018, I think video editing will become a lot easier through the phone, simplifying the process of creating advanced videos. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
2. The Internet of Things
The internet of things can be found in almost any industry now; everything is becoming “smart.” Whether you’re in your car, at home, in the office or shopping, you’re likely interacting with smart technology. I believe this trend will continue to become more pervasive in 2018 as the proven technology moves from popular segments, like the home, into other areas. – Andy Karuza, FenSens
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence continues to be at the forefront of tech discussions, conferences and development. I believe there will be a major AI breakthrough in 2018 that could change how businesses evolve and interact with customers. – Daniel Wesley, Quote.com
4. Machine Learning
Machine learning has been getting into all technologies. Apple also launched machine learning for iOS apps. All platforms are adding it to make life and software more intelligent and advanced. It will take over mindless, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. It can make drivers better drivers, doctors better doctors and students better educated. We will not be able to avoid it in 2018. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm
5. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has gotten so big in 2017 that the FTC had to step in. The ease with which companies can engage in influencer marketing, combined with its powerful network effects and viral nature, clearly leave it as the No. 1 in my mind. There are many tech trends on the rise, but I think the real game-changer for 2018 will be something unexpected that isn’t on our radar yet. – Arian Radmand, TurnGram
6. Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing initiatives are going to get seriously sophisticated. This is not a new technique in terms of sales utilizing it, but now, with the degree of reach and targeting that businesses can narrow in on, you have a phenomenal opportunity to build technologies that serve these types of initiatives, especially for those that have long high-value sales cycles. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
7. Word-of-Mouth Marketing
In the MarTech universe, account-based marketing helped shape marketing budgets in 2017, and as we move into 2018 I expect to see a shift in digital budgets toward various word-of-mouth and referral initiatives. This includes influencer marketing, referral and advocate programs, affiliate marketing and partner programs. – Jeff Epstein, Ambassador
8. Video and VR/AR/360-Degree Videos
Video is becoming the most popular and influential form of digital content for businesses today. As our attention spans decrease, marketers are heavily relying more on creating video content. In 2018, VR, AR and 360-degree videos could be the next tech trend to utilize since they can be great for showcasing a virtual tour of your business or preview your products and services. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
Blockchain, which is the distributed ledger used for cryptocurrency, is making waves in many industries, including payments, contracts, cloud storage, real estate and brokerage. It’s set to do even more in 2018 as more industries are starting to understand its benefits. – Angela Ruth, Calendar
10. Voice-Driven Applications
While voice search and voice command have been around for many years now, 2017 was the first year I saw the level of sophistication move to a place where it’s actually driving user adoption (myself included). The year 2018 will bring with it more frequent use of voice-driven technologies, with Google making a strong push to improve its technology to catch up to the lead taken by Amazon. – Nick Eubanks, I’m From The Future
11. Public Cloud Adoption
In 2017, Amazon continues to dominate the market, but Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are also gaining momentum as customers move production workloads to the cloud. Blockchain, the technology underlying the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, made a huge splash in 2017, and many predict this technology will be used to address other challenges, including supply-chain auditing and identity management. – Mike Schrade, Auptimal
From support chatbots to social bots and beyond, the game surrounding customer activity is changing very rapidly in favor of automation. Facebook has led the charge by improving the messenger API. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other social platforms follow in its path. Clients who’ve become early adopters have seen huge success, and I see this becoming even more mainstream in 2018. – Jeff Gapinski, Huemor
Cybersecurity, or a lack thereof, shaped 2017. From “WannaCry” to the massive Equifax breach, the year has been consumed by negative news about companies failing consumers in ways that consumers are just starting to understand. As Facebook and Google testify at open congressional hearings to close out the year, the public conversation will move to privacy and a renewed focus on its importance. – Ashish Datta, Setfive Consulting
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.