Tech Roundup – April 2018

In the ever-changing tech world, staying on top of big news announcements, musings from thought leaders and similar items is critical to understanding where the industry is going. With organizations needing to constantly adapt to new technologies and develop forward-thinking strategies, the leaders who are on top of major happenings are often the best prepared to plan and react.

There’s a lot to keep abreast of in the tech sector, and April proved to be a busy time. Here’s a snapshot of some of the ideas and happenings that defined the IT world in April.

Apple is becoming a major player in the enterprise

At the end of March, Apple made a major announcement pertaining to new devices and app ecosystems it had been working on. Many of these details focused on schools and other educational settings, but some were aimed at businesses. This announcement was a bookend on what has been a slow but steady move for the tech giant to get more involved in the enterprise space. The result was an April in which the need to manage Apple devices in business settings became a hot-button issue.

According to Computerworld, Apple’s new role in businesses emphasizes the changing IT climate that puts power in the hands of the users and forces IT to respond. In particular, the news source explained that companies need to work to eliminate complexity across processes, interfaces and backend capabilities. If solutions don’t work well in conjunction with one another, users will just look elsewhere, and they have the streamlined nature of Apple devices and operating systems to remind them how simple computing can be.

In this same vein, it is important to recognize that complex policies are also destructive, the report said. With user choice rising and simplicity becoming necessary, unwieldy security and management policies will be quickly worked around by users trying to get the job done as efficiently as possible. In most cases, you’re better off having simple, predictable and enforceable policies than trying to create complex, highly secure practices that users often ignore.
Apple is at the center of these conversations because its solutions break the status quo in enterprise IT, serving as a catalyst for discussions around user-centric service design and delivery.

AI taking over at blistering pace

Gartner just released a major study into the artificial intelligence market and its impact on the enterprise The research found that businesses around the world are expected to get $1.2 trillion in value from AI in 2018. This represents a 70 percent year-over-year increase.

John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, explained that deep neural networks (DNNs) are among the low-hanging fruit for initial AI value creation.

“DNNs allow organizations to perform data mining and pattern recognition across huge datasets not otherwise readily quantified or classified, creating tools that classify complex inputs that then feed traditional programming systems,” said Lovelock. “Such capabilities have a huge impact on the ability of organizations to automate decision and interaction processes.”

As of now, most AI projects are focused on using the technology to drive better customer experiences. Gartner explained that organizations are expecting AI to contribute to improved customer interactions. Lovelock pointed out that AI will likely be the most disruptive tech for the next decade, but this year’s rapid growth will gradually slow moving forward, with year-over-year value increases dropping to 17 percent by 2022. The AI revolution isn’t on the horizon, it’s here now.

Baltimore schools get creative with tech

This may seem like a bit of a niche news item, but it highlights an overarching trend in which schools are becoming much more reliant on technology and thus needing to develop varied strategies to source the solutions they need.

Education Dive reported that the Baltimore County Public School District recently announced a program to work with Towson University on a technology recycling strategy. The program was catalyzed when a Towson employee went to her daughter’s school and noticed poor conditions in a computer lab. From there, discussions took place and a deal was made in which public schools in the county will use the EduCycle computer Reconditioning Program to repurpose used devices from Towson University.

This isn’t merely an act of philanthropy from a university with resources to spare. Instead, the news source explained that both parties will end up with cost savings as a result. The Baltimore County Public Schools will get access to new devices at a much more affordable price point. Towson, on the other hand, will be able to circumvent expensive waste management procedures to properly dispose of electronics waste by allowing devices to be reused in another setting. Education Dive mentioned that this partnership is indicative of a larger trend happening throughout the country, in which institutions of higher education partner with local school districts to fill tech expertise or equipment gaps.

Technology diversity and constant change are a problem whether you’re an organization hoping to integrate Apple devices, working to keep up with trends like AI or scrambling to get the resources you need. At Faronics, we are always monitoring the latest disruptive technology trends, to help businesses handle new challenges through intuitive solutions that enable simplicity and stability. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions.

About The Author

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, expert on Reboot Restore Technology when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.

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