In 2018, .cloud see industries starting to translate today’s tech buzzwords — AI, ML, blockchain & big data — into tangible business value and ROI.
In 2017, how many times did you hear the words cloud, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence – and sometimes all in the same sentence? Not to mention the explosion of the terms blockchain, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in everyday conversations.
Looking ahead into this new year, several industries will start seeing these buzzwords translate into tangible business value. Here’s what we predict to play out over the next year:
#1: New gTLDs (generic top-level domain) will become more visible as recognized brands, entrepreneurs and startups get creative with the unlimited potential of this namespace.
The internet is expanding with nearly 1.3 billion websites and 330.7 million domain names. However, there’s no shortage of good domain names, thanks to the expansion of the domain name system through the new gTLD program (coordinated by ICANN). The program began in 2012 and the first new gTLD went live by the end of 2013. To date, over 1,200 new domains have been delegated including domains such as .cloud, .online, .shop, and .blog.
While only 6.4 percent of the 330.7 million domains registered are new gTLDs, the industry can expect to see more recognized and trusted brands dipping their hands into this namespace. With endless possibilities, expect to see brands coming out with creative domain choices to launch new initiatives such as cloud-based platforms, storefronts and communities.
#2: Manufacturing and industrial brands will utilize new technologies to go beyond optimization and automation.
Manufacturing and industrial brands will use big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, all underpinned by the cloud, to create innovative services for their customers. These technologies are no longer buzzwords, but a new revenue stream for brands that can provide customers with valuable real-time data and recommendations for growing their business.
Leveraging IoT can also transform customer service into a competitive differentiator. According to Salesforce’s The State of Service in Manufacturing report, manufacturers’ most common use for IoT is diagnostic data. Specifically, 71 percent of manufacturers agree IoT data is key to increasing customer retention. We predict this percentage to close in on 100 percent by the end of 2018.
#3: The meaning of “cloud” for consumers and business users will shift, as it gets more known for the ability to provide dynamic capabilities such as real-time number crunching and self-learning.
Long gone are the days when the cloud is associated with data storage. The cloud is now a crucial tool for AI and machine learning capabilities.
In fact, Gartner recently reported that worldwide server revenue increased 16 percent in Q3 this year, underscoring the high demand to build infrastructure that supports cloud implementations. These consumer applications include crowdsourcing, virtual reality, and product virtualization – according to IDC, 50 percent of manufacturers will be collaborating directly with customers and consumers through the cloud.
Take virtual assistants and bots, for example. Having taken off in the consumer world, we will see “virtual assistants” transforming our business lives. From scheduling meetings to taking and sending meeting notes, to providing real-time answers from sales and marketing platforms, AI assistants are the future. These advancements are only possible with the evolution of the cloud. So the next time someone says “cloud,” the first thing that will come to mind is “smart” rather than “storage.”
There’s the ROI in new technology that business leaders have been looking for all year…more to come in 2018.