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5 Things to Learn from 2017

2017 has been a year of innovation, developments and scandals but what can we learn from this year and avoid doing next year?

By April Slattery

2017 has been a whirlwind year in the technology sector across the UK and around the rest of the world. Cyber-attacks left, right and centre the implementation of Brexit on the horizon, as well as deciding what the best way forward for individual organisations is as technology competition heats up.

Though there have been unplanned incidents, from the destruction caused by WannaCry to the widening skills gap, there are many things we should all learn from 2017.

In order to not make the same mistakes next year, CBR has devised a list of what you should have learnt from the last year and take on board into 2018.

Security first

Hot on the hit list is cyber security. After the widespread hit of WannaCry to Equifax and Yahoo! data breaches, not to mention the hidden breach by Uber – it is definitely a lesson for companies to learn from. Better protecting data should be on the ‘to do list’ next year, to ensure history does not repeat itself next year.

First and foremost, ensuring software is protected correctly so that the eventuality of a data breach is unlikely to happen. Another option for companies is to up-skill the staff that they employ.

What businesses need to learn from 2017 is that artificial intelligence (AI) could be the key ingredient to security in 2018, by automating the process instead of manually putting everything in place. Using AI technology in real time can give organisations more of an idea of vulnerabilities the business may be facing.

In 2018 businesses need to learn from mistakes this year and watch the moves hackers make with care, as AI is not a one sided area. Hackers seemingly change approach when attacking a different vendor, but are expected to be using the same technology just the opposite way round in a sort of frenzy of who can do it better.

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Embrace, not fear AI

A lot of talk in 2017 has been around the fear of AI taking over, replacing jobs and stopping human workers from flourishing in their respective industries. However, one thing everyone needs to take from this year is that robots simply will not and could not take over.

Studies have shown that AI and robotics are expected to increase the number of jobs available in the future not replace them with 2.3million jobs being created as 1.8million are destroyed.

5 Things to Learn from 2017

Working with AI, robotics is the best way forward in 2018.

Many companies will go down the route of implementing AI for tedious tasks such as filing, sifting through data and predicting repeated outcomes. All of these jobs can be carried out much more efficiently by AI in comparison to a human, leaving the complex jobs to us.

The thing to learn is that for robotics to work effectively, the technology will work best in partnership with humans rather than against them. Embracing AI is what workers should take from the growing technology this year and not fear being replaced, instead thinking of robotics and AI as personal assistants to help jobs become much easier.

Get your head IN the clouds

Cloud computing has continued to evolve this year and one thing to take away as a savvy tech goer is that there is more than what meets the eye to cloud. Gone are the days of one option, instead this year has shown the rise of hybrid and multi-cloud to optimise those business goals.

Multi-Cloud has taken up a lot of the space, offering consumers the ability to operate with multiple cloud platforms to meet their business aims and objectives. What to learn from multi-cloud development is that whether it is on or off premise, multi-cloud brings the best parts of each cloud platform and uses those to achieve business aims.

Additionally, a lot of organisations still struggle to see the full benefit of moving to cloud and adopting this new platform. Though it is not something to be feared, cloud offers cost saving, efficient storage services that every business can benefit from.

Cloud can bring vast cost savings for companies, taking away upfront costs of IT infrastructure and instead, taking on a system that can be regularly updated to move with the times of technology. So from 2017, those organisation that have not yet adopted cloud should think again, because it could benefit you a lot.

However, if you’re heading down the multi-cloud route then tread carefully, more clouds can mean more complexity and a difficult to manage cloud ecosystem is one that could leave you with a headache.

Mind the skills gap

A worry among industry and the government this year has been around the digital skills gap widening at a drastic rate, with many suggesting events such as Brexit and the election Donald Trump could have an impact on the availability of skills.

Following the Brexit vote, there is expected to be much tighter regulations on the talent that comes from overseas, which causes concern for businesses as a third of employers choose skilled workers from overseas. However, in order to tackle this issue, the Government has tried to put the world to rights in the Autumn Budget, allocating a total of £30m to tackle this skills gap.

5 Things to Learn from 2017

Fill the skills gap from talent within the business.


Despite investing in the area, businesses need to learn from the mistakes they made in 2017 and in 2018 up skill their current workers, instead of always finding new ones. A business would be much more productive with a skilled worker that knows the business inside out, as opposed to one that has little knowledge of the company itself.

Therefore, although the prospect of reaching wider talent from overseas to benefit the company the answer could in fact be closer to home if there were more training programmes in place. Advice for 2018 will include reinvesting in the staff already in the workplace, because the best solution could with the people already on the team.

Driving home for Christmas…could change forever

In the growing industry of the Internet of Things (IoT) driverless cars has been a big one up for debate over safety, efficiency, economy and competing between technology companies.

Although there is a long way to go, one thing that everyone must take from 2017 is that driverless cars will one day be fully functioning on the roads – whether we like it or not. Yes, there is much concern over the safety and smartness of the devices today but look at life examples like the DLR or driverless pods to and from Heathrow Airport that are benefiting lives around the UK already.

Driverless cars are just another step into the future, which users have already taken on in some ways including self-parking technology in cars. The only difference in the latest IoT development is the car self-drives itself. Twenty-four, seven.

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Unsurprisingly a daunting prospect for users and pedestrians but looking at other technologies that are improving each day, users need to take on board how much technology has developed over the last 12 months and go into 2018 with an open mind. Anything could be possible.

As we move into the year of 2018 we say goodbye to a scandalous, innovative and fun filled year of technology developments but hopefully say goodbye to the woes of data breaches, cyber-attacks and take these ‘failures’ as another form of success to learn from next year.

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