In the tech industry, trends are perpetually shifting, and only a few hang around to become long-term mainstays of the field. In 2017, these are some of the topics likely to be dominating conversation.
1. Increased focus on subscription models
Thanks to the vastly increased internet speeds over the last few years, many software companies have shifted to digital-only releases which require a subscription for access, rather than a one-off physical purchase. As we move into 2017, my prediction is that we’re going to see even more companies shifting towards this model.
This isn’t limited to software – we’ve seen it with the rise of all manner of subscription-based products around the world, like the Dollar Shave Club and LootCrate. It’s a model that can potentially have great benefits for both customer and business alike – the customer doesn’t have the onerous costs of purchasing multiple copies of software (which may end up being ill-suited to their particular needs) and they typically have access to the most up-to-date version of the product. From the seller’s end, a subscription-based approach can potentially generate substantially more revenue than a one-off sale over the lifetime of a product. Additionally, it provides the developers with better feedback about what customers are happy with, and what may need to be reworked in the next iteration of a product.
2. More loss of business data
Having a disaster recovery plan in place for your business’ data is absolutely crucial. In an era where cloud storage has removed the need for physical storage media, there’s no excuse for not maintaining some kind of archive, to ensure that operations can be restored to normal after a crisis. There is a broad variety available on the market, including hard drive cloning, cloud-based storage and encryption.
But many businesses still haven’t yet invested in any sort of cloud storage for disaster recovery – if things go wrong, then they’ll be stuck without recourse. Even more worryingly, many companies who have invested in disaster recovery don’t have a clear understanding of what’s actually covered by their particular plan. Emails, documents, databases – all of this crucial information could be gone forever if you aren’t backing up regularly, or are operating under the assumption that it’s all protected by default.
3. Greater awareness of cloud-based risks
Conversely, companies and the general public are starting to become more aware of some of the issues that can occur with cloud storage – though it’s an exceptionally powerful tool, it’s no secret that the technology has vulnerabilities. The last few years have seen a number of high-profile cases, with celebrities having intimate pictures scattered across the internet and companies having their customer databases leaked. There’s no doubt it’s problematic, but it doesn’t change that cloud storage is here to stay.
As a result, tools such as data encryption, Blockchain and others are likely to grow in popularity over the coming years, as people look to protect their data. Whether it’s simple photos, and documents, through to more sophisticated and sensitive information, the core principles will likely remain much the same.
Tony Drewitt is General Manager Acronis ANZ