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Most wanted B2B tech in 2017

It’s the holiday season! So here’s the obligatory predictions-based listicle you know you wanted. Unsure what technology projects to invest in this year? Need ideas on where you can innovate? We’ve got you covered.

Here's the list of tech that offices won't want to be without next year:

Chatbots

Why spend money on people when you automate? This year saw the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, and Slack all getting on the chatbot bandwagon. As more companies and users get to grip with both setting them up and interacting with them, expect anyone wanting to be known as ahead of the curve in customer experience deploy an automated helper…

AI/Machine Learning/Deep Learning/Robots/Smart stuff

…Which brings us nicely into all kinds of clever automation. Whether you’ve got a fleet of drones, cars, trucks, factories, offices, farms, or fast food workers, it’s all about automation. Super clever, self-learning systems can now do most of the jobs people can. So fire all your staff, automate every process. Just make sure you talk about Universal Basic Income so you all sound all futuristic and progressive.

Security

Every year. Every year we see massive hacks of major companies. Every year we see new technologies pushed out to market without a care in the world. You need security folks. Luckily a lot of it now comes with some sort of automated artificial intelligence built in. So at least you can convince the board it’s all futuristic and cool, and not just another endpoint protection system.

Getting open

Open Source. All the cool kids are doing it. What, you still use mostly proprietary tech? How quaint. Linux Foundation Exec Jim Zemlin says that it’s the 20% proprietary value you offer on top of an Open Source stack that really matters. Why waste your time doing it any other way? And as well as using as much OSS tech as possible, it’s important to release a load of your own tech for the world to use. You might even end up creating a platform (see below).

Getting everywhere

Getting everywhere is also important. Everything is a platform these days. So you want to be on every chatbot platform, every Alexa-like smart home/digital assistant device, every connected car, every social media network, every messaging app, every Cloud-based app store. Just being on the App Store doesn’t cut it anymore.

Quantum!

No not Quantum Leap. Although it will probably end up being remade. Quantum computing! Super materials like Graphene are STILL yet to produce any meaningful wide-spread uses, so scientists are instead turning to super-advanced and confusing physics to usher in a new era of super-computing.

Blockchain

So Bitcoin hasn’t replaced currency. In fact, most governments are now ruling it as a type of currency. Whoops. But still Blockchains - the technology that powers it - is kind of cool and trendy. 2016 saw lots of fintech companies exploring distributed ledger stuff, while both IBM and Microsoft now have Blockchain-based offerings.  Expect more in the near future.

The usuals

There’s probably some people who haven’t heard of the Cloud. Or Big Data, or the Internet of Things. They’ll want to hear about it.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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