IDG Contributor Network: 7 technology trends to watch in 2018


2017 was a memorable year for the tech industry—and not always in a good way. From the massive to and the challenges with , technology was in the headlines more than I can ever remember.

Thankfully, the world of enterprise tech saw a bit less controversy, but developments were no less significant for businesses. The drumbeat around AI continued throughout the year, and amid all the some real use cases started to emerge. Data is now recognized as a for businesses, which are exploring new ways to connect and analyze data for maximum value. And the move to the cloud continues apace, with enterprises grappling with how to best leverage the diversity of services on offer.

Against that backdrop, here are seven technology trends for enterprises to keep an eye on as we move into 2018.

1. Enough AI for AI’s sake—bring on the apps

This past year we saw a lot of AI for AI’s sake—technologies that, , can’t necessarily be mapped easily to real business needs. In 2018, the focus needs to shift to building smarter applications instead of just smarter AI. Investments in startups offering horizontal AI technologies—those applied broadly across many use cases—are drying up. A lot of core AI technology is open source and developed in academia. As a result, the differences between one core technology and another—such as natural language processing or computer vision—are not that meaningful. Those looking at AI in 2018 should narrow their focus and consider specific applications that can benefit from it. Ultimately, the goal of AI is not smarter AI but more productive applications.