The main technology trends to watch in 2018 largely mimic a continuation of what we’ve been seeing the past several years. Technology that has been in its infancy continues to grow with adaptation of everything from personal assistants to corporate cloud servers continuing to become more and more mainstream.

It’s cliché to keep talking about the internet of things, machine learning and so forth every single year, but it appears that’s the way technology is headed in 2018.

Below are some 2018 tech trends to keep an eye on as we get closer to the new year:

Continued Cloud Adaption in Businesses of All Sizes

This is good news for us at ThrottleNet, but also good news for the small companies who are making the jump from legacy servers to the cloud because they’ll be enjoying new features that help their business operate more effectively.

Surprisingly, enterprise level companies and government agencies have been some of the slowest to adopt the cloud model due to privacy and data security concerns. Fortunately, by 2018 we will have enough of a sample size in place for these organizations to make an informed decision on the cloud and recognize that it’s safe to make the move now.

Larger companies and government agencies are becoming more comfortable with the cloud, and we could begin to see many of them making the switch in 2018.

Continued Improvement in Data Security Laws

In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect on May 25th, creating additional requirements for businesses that process personal data. While government intervention isn’t exactly a popular way of managing anything in the US, the country does not have centralized, formal legislation in place regarding data protection. We can be sure that those in Washington will be keeping a close eye on the GDPR in Europe as it becomes law.

Machine Learning, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence

We know that’s a mouthful of buzzwords but all three of these items have an incredible impact on the marketing world as companies work to optimize their conversion rates through gaining a better understanding of their target consumer. Machine learning can help marketers scale their campaigns to create unique experiences and develop advertisements crafted just for you. Data will continue to help marketers make more informed decisions designed to facilitate growth.

The Internet of Things Becomes Just a Thing

At the center of the increased levels of data flowing in is the growth of IoT. For the past five years or so, smart devices have become smarter and have officially graduated from gimmick to necessity. Year-over-year, the market for smart speakers led by Amazon Echo grew 131% in 2017 compared to 2016 and is expected to grow another 71% in 2018. In 2018, 26.2 million American homes will have a smart speaker, compared to less than a million in 2015.

By 2020 connected devices are expected to surpass 75 billion.

AI & Automation Continue to Improve

Computer learning capabilities are becoming more and more human, all because of the massive increases in data made available to them. Facial recognition and listening capabilities lead the way for AI, while automation means that more and more processes, decisions and functions can be carried on by robots performing algorithms rather than people. It is estimated that in the future, 47% of US jobs could be at risk to automation, but for our sake, we hope that holds off well beyond 2018.