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11 Stories And Trends That Dominated Tech In 2016

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

Time to take a look back at what has been an extremely interesting 2016…

2016 has been an…interesting year to say the least.

The technology industry in the UK and abroad has been hit by massive cyber attacks, political upheaval and record-breaking deals that have all served to significantly transform the business landscape.

As the countdown to Christmas continues and the year draws to a close, we’ve taken a look back at some of the biggest, baddest and most impactful stories and trends to have hit the headlines in 2016.

2016 leap year

Breaches, breaches everywhere

Data breaches were everywhere in 2016. Some of the worlds biggest organisations have been affected, as cyber criminals develop more sophisticated methods of attack and businesses struggle to deal with an increasingly-complicated technology landscape.

Amidst what has seemed like a constant stream of data breach reports, one of the biggest and most widely reported surrounded internet giant Yahoo. Not only did it announce that the data of 500 million accounts were compromised in a hack from 2014, investigations also revealed that a billion accounts were hacked in 2013, making it the biggest breach in history.

On top of that, hackers exposed the personal details of 412 million AdultFriendFinder accounts, Tesco Bank halted transactions after 40,000 accounts were hit by online fraud and a Tumblr data breach was revealed to have affected the personal data of more than 65 million users.

dell-emc-keynote-day-1-3

Dell and EMC make history

Dell and EMC, two juggernauts of the technology industry, made it into the record books in September with the completion of a  $60 billion (£45bn) merger, making it the biggest IT merger in history.

Despite concerns over a hefty tax bill and dwindling investor confidence, the deal was approved by the European Commission in February and completed around 8 months later. The new company – named Dell Technologies – is now the world’s largest privately held technology company, boasting a whopping $74 billion in revenue.

Dell Technologies chairman and chief executive Michael Dell said that the new organisation has “the products, services, talent and global scale to be a catalyst for change and guide customers, large and small, on their digital journey,” although rivals such as HP have argued that the integration could actually hinder the company in the short term.

Lets get digital

Technology is an industry known for its love of buzzwords, but there’s one that has clearly stood above all the rest in 2016 and that’s digital transformation. In fact, it’s been about as pervasive as you could ever imagine, with old and new businesses alike being forced to embrace digital in order to stay competitive.

A Cisco report in June 2015 suggested that 40 percent of companies will need to adjust their focus within the next five years to keep up the rise of new digital systems and processes, but even that figure now seems low as the hype around digital transformation and disruption has well and truly taken hold of the industry.

“What is going in the world of this digital revolution is the most fundamental thing to have happened to our world since humans beings were able to communicate with each other,” Fujitsu’s Duncan Tait claimed recently at the company’s conference in November, a statement which the majority of the technology would probably agree with.

However, despite all the promise, there is one rather significant issue of ‘going digital’ that has been largely avoided by tech companies: The human cost. Digital transformation is fantastic for businesses in many ways, but it ultimately means that employees will be sacrificed. It’s a growing problem and something that the industry needs to start taking responsibility for sooner rather than later.

Ransomware and Brexit on page 2…