Looking back on 2017’s technology trends

Johan Paulsson

As we get into the last few weeks of the year, inevitably we start to look forward to what 2018 might hold for our business. It’s imperative that we stay on the front foot with regards to the trends in technology that will affect and shape our own products, solutions and services, and over the coming weeks we’ll be publishing our thoughts on those.

Before that, however, I thought it would be interesting to look back on the trends we predicted would be the ones to watch in 2017, to see how accurate our predictions were.

Cybersecurity an inevitable issue

Though it was the last trend we highlighted last year, cybersecurity as an issue was probably the most obvious. Cybercriminals are ever more sophisticated and well-resourced, and tirelessly look to exploit vulnerabilities in technology across all industry sectors. The proliferation of devices connected to the network – the now familiar Internet of Things (IoT) – means that billions of new network access points have been created, each of which, to the cybercriminal, represents an opportunity. Throughout the year, we have highlighted many cybersecurity issues and the ways that businesses can defend themselves against threats.

Sadly, however, cybersecurity is a continual issue, and unlikely to go away anytime soon. Here at Axis, we train our partners through our comprehensive Axis Communications’ Academy program, as well as providing a Hardening Guide and of course continue to deliver products where cybersecurity is high on the agenda.

The re-birth of video analytics

We saw increased use and sophistication of video analytics being a trend during 2017. CCTV has previously been purely focused on security-driven applications, but today the analysis of visual data from modern network cameras supports a wide range of functions. Whether used in retail for store optimization and enhancement of the customer experience, in planning smart cities, as a drive towards more sustainable business, or even protecting endangered rhinos in South Africa, the greater ability to analyse the feed of data from network cameras will affect all sectors in the future. If you’ve yet to start your own journey towards analytics, here’s a useful guide.

Security as a Service

In line with the provision of many other technologies, we predicted and have seen an increased momentum towards security as a service, with remote hosting and monitoring of video transmitted from a customer’s premises, and the solution managed by a sector-specific specialist. Such models remove a significant management burden from the customer, not only freeing up resource, but resulting in an improved level of service, better device management, and strengthened cybersecurity. Even if we have seen some uptake in the market 2017, the real growth is yet to come.

A move towards solutions, not product

The growth in analytics – and the added insight and value this delivers to organizations in specific sectors – is closely related to another of the trends we predicted at the end of last year: a move towards integrated solutions rather than specific products. The retail sector is a great example, where we now talk to customers about solutions for store optimization (including specific elements like queue management) and loss prevention rather than specific products. It’s something we’re seeing across all sectors – from education to banking – a desire to solve key business issues and enhance operations, rather than buy a selection of hardware and, in doing so, improving the system reliability, performance and total cost of ownership (TCO).

The potential for deep learning

One further trend that we included last year, and which still shows enormous potential, is the opportunity for deep learning. Currently related to the growth in analytics, and the vast amounts of additional data that this is creating, we predict that deep learning can enhance security through predicting events based on behavior in the future, allowing for intervention before an incident takes place. Some of our partners are already doing very interesting work in the area, and there’ll be more to come in 2018 no doubt, but it’s certainly an area that needs further time to reach its full potential.

So, that’s where we got to with our 2017 trends. Stay tuned for what we see in store for 2018.