11 Stories And Trends That Dominated Tech In 2016

EnterpriseInnovationMerger and acquisitionSecurity

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

Did somebody say ransomware?

We’ve already talked about the mass of data breaches that have kept us on our toes this year and ransomware is another area of cyber security that I believe deserves some special more attention. No other type of virus or malware has grown so dramatically in 2016, with attacks on businesses now equal to one every 40 seconds according to a recent report.

We have been repeatedly warned about the ransomware threat over the last 12 months and the stats make it clear as to why. Ransomware has been claimed to make up  a quarter of all UK malware attacks and nearly 50 percent of all malicious code found in enterprise cloud applications.

The especially worrying thing for organisations is that no industry is safe. Ransomware has struck down public transport systems in the US, as well as multiple universities and even NHS hospitals over here in the UK. Ransomware is estimated to bring in hundreds of millions of pounds a year, so businesses will have to be on red alert in 2017.

EU Brexit referedum

Brexit shock

On the 23rd June, the British public made history by voting to leave the European Union, a decision that will have consequences for all industries and will probably continue to be debated in pubs and around dinner tables across the country for years to come.

The decision split the country, but the technology sector was one industry that was pretty much unanimously opposed to the to a Brexit vote due to the negative impact it would likely have on businesses and the economy, with the likes of IBM, Microsoft and BT publicly supporting the Remain campaign.

Tech industry experts and analysts predicted that a decision to leave the EU would hinder Britain in multiple areas, from cyber security to citizen’s digital rights, but six months later we’re still not really sure what the true impact of Brexit will be. Whilst companies such as Microsoft and Amazon have shown their commitment to the UK by opening data centres in the country, we have faced price increases and warnings of a London tech exodus as the economy continued to fluctuate.

In fact just this month representatives from the UK tech industry wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May raising concerns about the impact Brexit will have on the sector. Uncertainty is still the prevailing feeling and the only thing we can be sure of at the moment is that this debate will rumble on into 2017 and beyond.

AI revolution takes hold

Artificial Intelligence is the future. That fact has been made abundantly clear in 2016 as AI has quickly become one of the most talked about topics in tech. Innovation in the field has continued to gain momentum throughout the year, as Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Facebook looked to lead the way. 

And they weren’t the only ones. Apple and Intel both splashed out on AI startups, shelling out a reported $350 million (£280m) and $200m (£153m) respectively in an effort to bolster their AI and machine learning offerings. Even the public sector is getting involved, with London Council deploying the UK’s first public sector AI service and the White House releasing a report outlining how the economy needs to prepare for the future of AI.

The AI revolution has well and truly taken hold in 2016 and, with alliances between some of the world’s biggest companies helping to drive research forward, the wave looks set to continue into 2017 and beyond.

FBI v Apple & Trump on Page 3…

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