What can you expect from technology in 2018?
Following a year tarnished by countless data breach announcements and ransomware attacks, 2018 looks set to be a more positive one for the technology industry, but what are the main predictions?
Below are four of the most noteworthy:
COMPANIES WILL AIM TO IPO IN 2018
Top predictions for IPO in 2018 are Airbnb and Spotify following months of rumours in 2017.
Airbnb’s CEO and co-founder has admitted they were preparing an IPO ‘as soon as possible’ and the company has had a period of revenue increase throughout 2016, and further growth in 2017. As a result, they appear well placed to IPO in 2018. Spotify’s IPO was paused in 2017, and a number of sources have now admitted the company is looking at 2018 to file its IPO. There is presently a push to significantly increase their valuation to $11 billion – $13 billion. During 2018, it’s likely that both Airbnb and Spotify will IPO and there will be some surprises too.
As reported by Sophos in November 2017, the most-likely trend for 2018 is the increase of Ransomware-as-a-service. In its simplest form, Ransomware-as-a-service is a malware kit available to anyone, regardless of skill. Cybercriminals have now identified the ease at which they are able to sell RaaS and use it to distribute their attacks, as opposed to carrying them out personally. As it is now such a well-paying industry, authors are now focusing their attention on offering multiple payment options such as restoring only a few files, all the way up to a full system restore.
This is a new way they are able to extort victims as during the desperate moment following an attack, the prospect of paying $10-$20 to release a few files seems a small price to pay. During 2018, these types of attacks are likely to increase.
RISE OF AI
Gartner has listed a number of predictions regarding the rise of artificial intelligence, including its impact on the job market. Gartner believes AI is due to create more jobs than in takes away. Whilst some consider this prediction as uneducated, it definitely indicates that the utilisation of AI shows no sign of slowing down. Firms will soon be able to automate and scale more efficiently as it will be able to learn and adapt rather than requiring programming. As a result, organisations will need to invest heavily in skills, processes and tools in order to make the most of AI and its potential.
UTILISATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES
2017 was an exciting year for cryptocurrencies, with the value of Bitcoin soaring throughout the year. As we move into 2018, the popularity of cryptocurrencies is predicted to further increase. In 2014, over 850 retailers were accepting cryptocurrencies, but the utilisation of cryptocurrencies is anticipated to further diversify meaning it may not be long until they are accepted by large online retailers such as Amazon or eBay.
According to Gartner, ‘by the end of 2020, the banking industry will derive $1bn in business value from the use of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies’, and further estimated that in October 2017 that the ‘combined value of cryptocurrencies in circulation worldwide [was] $155bn’ . As their popularity continues to increase, the different cryptocurrencies available will begin to infiltrate the market. Currently, the most popular currency; Bitcoin; seems to be the only one widely known, but by the end of 2018 others such as Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin (as well as many more!) will all have become more widely acknowledged.
2018 is lined up to be an exciting year within the technology space. Are there any key predictions you are excited about?
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