Tech Trends You Should Know About in Nashville

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‘Tis the season for 2017 “tech trends” and forecast articles. (We like Forbes, Business Insider, and InfoWorld.) There are lots of great lists, but we were curious about what trends might affect Nashville in the coming months. So, we asked some experts…the Centresource development team.

According to Business Insider, software spending is projected to reach $357 billion in 2017. For Nashville companies looking to stay ahead of the curve, it might be a good year to consider what custom software would streamline business and increase innovation.

There’s a lot happening in technology, but the dev team had a pretty strong consensus on what trends Nashville should pay attention to.

Machine Learning

Conversational UI and machine learning were both popular choices. Machine learning is a broad section of technology that will undoubtedly make inroads into enterprise in the coming years. This isn’t just robots. It’s any program that can learn and adapt to data without being reprogrammed.

One subset of machine learning is conversational UI. Think chatbots as well as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. This technology allows the user to communicate with a service just like they would a person, via talk or text.

Why does this matter in Nashville? Machine learning has big implications for healthcare–not by replacing human doctors and nurses, but in aiding them with better diagnostics, treatment, and followup.

But, even outside of healthcare, building a chatbot or other conversational UI program will give customers more convenient access to your company. By helping prospective and current clients answer questions quickly, you could shorten a sales cycle or increase retention.

Finally, as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook open their machine learning APIs to third parties, companies wanting to reach and serve users on those platforms will be smart to start development in 2017.

Internet of Things

Another big topic in our dev talk was the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT is not a new conversation, of course, but the increase in machine learning may be the tipping point for all those connected devices. As the ecosystem grows, we can expect to see intelligent devices communicating with each other.

What does this look like? Smart drone deliveries. Driverless cars. Virtual assistants. It all sounds futuristic, and probably won’t take over Nashville in 2017, but the technologies are being put in place to make it reality.

So, this matters to Nashville businesses….why?

One of the biggest hurdles to the Internet of Things is security. Companies that can figure out how to keep data private and secure in the IoT will be well-positioned to grow in the coming years. Even if you don’t make connected devices, incorporating connected devices into your business model will be beneficial–and the sooner you do it, the better.

Cybersecurity

Security is an issue with the IoT, but that’s not the only place it matters. No one has really solved the security problem in our new society, and it’s a big one to be tackled in the coming years.

As one of our Managing Partners, Brandon Valentine puts it: “Between the IoT botnet that sprang up this year (Mirai), another banner year for credit card hacks, and the concerns around russia tampering with the election, a lot of firms are going to have to get serious about security in ways they aren’t right now.”

From payments to customer data to HIPPA regulations, security is a big problem to tackle in 2017. Every business, in Nashville or anywhere, needs to be aware of and meeting security threats.

Global Tech Trends

And then there are the big things the global tech community is talking about. Virtual and augmented reality. Driverless cars. Blockchain (which is bigger than Bitcoin and might solve a lot of security woes.) Serverless computing.

These things may not affect Nashville…yet. But the ground is being laid for ever more innovation.

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