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Blockchain technology has the potential to re-shape businesses, governments and economies, according to a new report.

Published by Deloitte, ‘The Tech Trends 2016 – Innovating in the Digital Era‘ report, said that blockchain tech could bring greater efficiency to the processing of transactions.

Dave Tansley, UK technology partner at Deloitte, commented on the report: “Harnessing and navigating disruptive technologies like augmented and virtual reality, blockchain and the Internet of Things, have the potential to deliver measurable impact to customers, attract and retain employees and bring real innovation to the organisation.”

Augmented and virtual reality

The report noted that the future of mobile was shifting towards wearables, especially since augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) had burst on to the market. In the report, Deloitte predicts that the VR market could enjoy its first billion-dollar year in 2016, as it is expected to sell approximately 2.5 million headsets and 10 million games.

“While the hype surrounding each – particularly in the realms of entertainment and gaming – makes for good headlines, the real story in the coming months will likely be AR and VR’s disruptive potential to recast long-standing business processes and tasks while opening a door to fundamentally new experiences,” says the report.

With this in mind, the report continued to highlight specific areas where both technologies could prove more useful.

In terms of communication and collaboration, the report says VR and AR “may soon be able to accomplish what static and flat mediums for knowledge failed to do: Replace real, one-to-one human interactions”.

Additionally, the report adds that both technologies offer opportunities to change the way in which businesses and their employees report and share information.

The report also highlights the idea that AR and VR provide new ways to interact with products and services. “Moreover, they offer companies opportunities to raise awareness, promote features, and inspire desire for their suites of goods,” it continues.

Internet of things (IoT)

“Like a wildfire racing across a dry prairie, the Internet of Things is expanding rapidly and relentlessly,” begins the report, adding “Vehicles, machine tools, street lights, wearables, wind turbines, and a seemingly infinite number of other devices are being embedded with software, sensors and connectivity at a breakneck pace”.

The report calls for organisations to think more broadly about the possibilities posed by IoT as well as taking into account what strategies would help them to realise IoT’s full disruptive potential.

It also warns businesses about the potential risks derived from the technology. “There will likely be new security and privacy concerns to address. These concerns could particularly acute in industries like healthcare – which may be aggregating, analysing and storing highly personal data gleaned from sensors worn by patients – or in manufacturing – where risks may increase as heavy industrial equipment or infrastructure facilities become increasingly connected,” the report says.

Cyber risks

The report outlins that cyber risks remain a universal concern, and as such it should be embedded into the planning, design and realisation of each individual trend mentioned in the report.

Companies, the report adds, should be clear on the security, privacy, regulatory and compliance implications of the likes of VR, AR, blockchain and IoT.

“Organisations will need to ensure solutions are secure, vigilant and resilient,” it concludes.

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