Slideshow 8 Technology Trends to Expect In 2017

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  • October 04 2016, 6:30am EDT
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8 Technology Trends to Expect In 2017

The end of the year always brings plenty of forecasts for the year ahead, and Spiceworks has gotten an early jump on technology predictions. Here is a look at what to expect, based on the just-released “2017 Spiceworks State of IT” report.

IT budgets and staffing levels will remain flat

“If you were counting on stagnating IT budgets to say ‘I'll be back’ this year, you might be disappointed,” Spiceworks notes. “IT pros told us allocations for tech spending will remain flat across the board, despite the fact that 60 percent of IT pros expect their company’s revenue to increase in 2017. Contributing to this sobering news? Budgets are down in the UK due to political and economic uncertainty likely caused by the ‘Brexit’ referendum. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of organizations don't expect any change in the number of IT staff they employ. That means many IT departments will have to continue to do more with less, as usual.”

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Laptop sales finally surpass desktop sales in the workplace

“While global consumer sales of new laptops passed sales of new desktops long ago, there are still plenty of older desktops used in businesses around the world,” Spiceworks says. “In fact, according to Spiceworks network data, desktop usage has stubbornly remained higher than laptop usage in the workplace to this day. However, the trend is finally starting to reverse as organizations in EMEA have budgeted more for laptops than desktops for the first time in 2017. In North America, the amount businesses will allocate for laptops or desktops are roughly even, but desktop spend still maintains a small lead… for now.”

Windows 10 business adoption will exceed 70 percent

“In 2015, approximately 11 percent of organizations took advantage of Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade offer within 10 weeks of the OS becoming available,” Spiceworks notes. “One could say the excitement around the new OS drove many to install the OS almost as fast as you can say, ‘get to the choppa!’ And by July 2016, we found nearly 40 percent of organizations had begun to implement Windows 10, putting the market well on track to hit the anticipated 73% of organizations who told us they plan to use Windows 10 in the workplace within 2 years of launch (by July 2017).”

‘Cloud first’ strategies drive Windows Server 2016 adoptions

“Windows Server 2016 promises to be a ‘cloud first’ server operating system that will provide improved virtualization features in addition to enhanced security, more advanced software-defined storage functionality, and better integration with popular cloud services such as Azure,” Spiceworks explains. “These advancements make the upcoming server OS a worthy contender and a solid option for those looking to upgrade from older OSes. However, companies won't be rushing too much to get to the new OS, as technology end-of-life tends to drive new OS adoption, and the most widely used server OS is currently Windows Server 2008, which doesn't EOL until 2020.”

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Organizations will be slow to upgrade EOL OSes/software

“As it was in 2016, technology end-of-life will be the number one driver of new tech purchases in 2017,” Spiceworks predicts. “However, technology upgrades often get delayed due to budget and time constraints. As of September 2016, Spiceworks network data shows 56 percent of organizations are still running at least once instance of Windows XP, despite the OS passing its end of extended support (EOS) date in April 2014. We also know that 52 percent of organizations in Spiceworks are stilling running Windows Server 2003, an OS that reached its EOS in July 2015. In 2017, we'll see a few more widely-used products see their end-of-life, namely Windows Vista, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Microsoft Office 2007... but don’t expect organizations to fully let them go any time soon.”

VR won’t take off, but 3D printers will gain momentum

“We've heard a lot of buzz around the great potential of future tech like virtual reality and 3D printers over the last few years, but is it all hype or do businesses actually plan to adopt these emerging technologies?” Spiceworks poses. “According to an upcoming Spiceworks study on the future of IT, we know few organizations currently use VR technology, and only 10 percent of IT pros told us their organization plans to adopt it within the next five years. In contrast, nearly twice as many organizations plan to use 3D printers within the next five years, and adoption rates in the education and manufacturing industries trend even higher. “

Security concerns will grow due to IoT and AI technologies

“Among emerging technologies, Internet of Things devices and artificial intelligence are expected to have a big impact in the workplace, even more than VR and 3D printers,” Spiceworks predicts. “We’ll see IoT and AI adoption pick up and continue to grow in 2017, and in 3-5 years, 80 percent of IT pros say IoT will be a useful for business purposes and 59 percent say the same about AI. However, most IT pros say security/privacy issues are their biggest concern as IoT and AI enter the workplace. Many IT pros fear unpatched IoT devices might create security gaps and potentially lead to network compromise. And with IoT and AI technologies logging and analyzing data about us, many IT pros are concerned this could create additional security and privacy issues.”

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Cloud and hosted services continue to be big priorities

“The shift to the cloud is on,” Spiceworks says. “In 2017, worldwide spending on hardware and software projects will both decrease by two percentage points, while budget allocations going towards hosted/cloud-based services will increase by three percentage points. This subtle shift is just another indicator in the slow but steady trend we've seen for years now, with organizations transitioning some on-premises hardware and associated costs to cloud services. This is good news to cloud services providers who want their pocketbooks to ‘jingle all the way’ to the bank.”