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Technology Industry News & Trends, January 2017

Below is the technology industry news & trends report for January 2017. You can also check out our latest news & trends report to be in the loop of what’s shaping the tech industry landscape today.

January debuted the new year with innovative technology, interesting news, and developing trends that we are excited to present to you in our first report of 2017.

Software Engineering

Eta, Haskell dialect, is a new star in programming languages' heaven. The new JVM technology is a functional language. It is close to Scala and Clojure, but Eta founders say the new language is different enough different not to compete with Scala and Clojure. The key advantages of new technology are a powerful type system and lazy evaluation. The language is now available in alpha version 0.0.5, which permits reuse of Java libraries.

While the popularity of NoSQL databases is slowing down, MongoDB, Cassandra, and Redis improved their positions in the DB-Engines ranking, taking positions in the top 10 for 2017. Adding NoSQL functions to traditional RDBMSes coupled with the strong positions of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google will make it difficult for NoSQL databases to beat their top competitors.

Learn how AltexSoft engineers help marketing startup to leverage the power of NoSQL and SQL databases.

UX/UI Design

Bad UX design is one the main weaknesses of financial software. However, fintech startups and neobanks nail UX better. The competition is getting tougher due to lowering barriers for new entries and advertising cost increase (e.g., the CPC for the keyword "credit card" grew by 14 percent in 2016, according to Brainlabs). So, the problem of UX design improvement is now critically important. Check out the 5 best practices for financial services websites.Best UX Practices to Drive More Conversions on Banking Websites

Here’s how AltexSoft improves UX/UI design for Fintech Startup.

Internet of Things

Over 58 percent of financial services executives look at the Internet of Things (IoT) as an area of strategic opportunity. Because of that, it is expected that IoT spending will soar 31 percent by 2018. Bankers can benefit from technology usage in following areas:
  • Improved customer experience
  • Enhanced risk management
  • Reduced time to market
  • Strengthened customer engagement
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Increased revenues
Currently, the key use cases of IoT for financial institutions are client apps monitoring (64.5 percent), retail locations monitoring (31.6 percent), usage of sensors for product performance (21.1 percent), and usage monitoring (15.8 percent), according to The Financial Brand research.The Average IoT per Financial Services Company Spending, 2015 and 2018

Manufacturers have already recognized the value of IoT information that provides customer insight, facilitating improvement of product design and performance. Customers get a lot of freebies–whether they want them or not. So, IoT adoption into products has both negative and positive sides. Manufacturers should accept accountability for the products at every stage of their lifecycle or else they will not capitalize on the power of IoT’s strong side and soften the risks of IoT product usage.Pros and Cons IoT Technologies Implication into Products Manufacturing

Big Data & Data Science

NewVantage Partners presented the results of its Big Data Executive Survey, which examines the opinions of 50 Fortune 1000 firms’ technical and business executives. The results showed that big data projects have gone from hype to value generation. Over 48 percent of the top managers say that their big data projects have already delivered measurable value. The research conveyed the following intel:
  • Over 80 percent of C-level executives identified big data initiatives as successful.
  • Over 55 percent of the companies have already established chief data officer position.
  •  Aspects of corporate culture were set as the major barrier for projects implementation.
  • Nearly 70 percent of the firms mentioned the establishment of data solution usage culture as a key opportunity for innovations.
  • More than 88 percent of the respondents identified AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning as the most disruptive among the emerging technologies for their companies.
Venture investors have significantly increased activity in the AI field in recent years. According to CB Insights, AI startups disclosed funding has risen from $589 million in 2012 to $5021 million, the number of deals also climbed quickly from 160 in 2012 to 658 in 2016. The US-based startups occupy a nearly 62 percent share of total funding, 17 percent less than in 2012. Key non-US locations in 2016 were the UK, Israel, and India.

If you are exploring ways to implement machine learning strategy in your company, take a look at our recent article on the topic – Developing Machine Learning Strategy for Business in 7 Steps.


According to a Gartner survey, mobile app users are more likely to spend on in-app transactions than pay for downloads. The study shows the average spending on in-app transactions accounts for $11.59, while mean spending on paid-for downloads reached only $7.67. In addition, revenues with the first monetization model grew faster than the second ones (26 percent versus 4 percent growth rate in 2016).

Google acquires Twitter Fabric to boost its developer tools portfolio such as LaunchKit. The platform makes app development easier by enhancing stability and analytics facilities. Currently, the Fabric community has reached 2.5 billion active devices and 580K mobile developers worldwide. Google is trying to repeat Amazon's success with AWS by simplifying work with infrastructure by Fabric platform.


Total infrastructure spending will increase from $104.3 billion in 2016 to $131.1 billion in 2020, according to IDC. Organizations accelerate the usage of DevOps frameworks for applications delivery, though only 20 percent of IT executives cite that this technology already has a strategic impact on their companies. DevOps technology adoption was driven by reducing OpEx, CapEx, and improving time to market. The F5 study also showed that the most popular frameworks in this area were VMware and Cisco. The interesting fact is that 47 percent of IT professionals who use only one framework prefer VMware.The most popular DevOps Frameworks

Cloud industry experts say that enterprise cloud migration will boom in 2017. According to different estimates, 20 to 30 percent of workloads in Global 2000 enterprises are processed in the cloud (the figure includes SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS). The migration picture will strongly change if we will consider only PaaS and IaaS, which account for 5-7 percent now. These segments are usually related to ledger software migration versus the SaaS associating with whole software replacement. Expect to see Global 2000 enterprises relocate about 20-30 percent of software per annum in 2016 and 2017.

Technology Сonsulting

Gartner reviewed Worldwide IT spending forecast for 2017. The consultancy decreased the expected growth from 3.0 to 2.7 percent, expected that IT spending will grow from $3,375 to $3,464 billion in 2017. The driving trends would be cloud, blockchain, digital transformation, and AI. The key slowing factor would be political uncertainty, which may lead to relevant deviations from the standard scenario growth rate. The IT service ($938 billion) and software ($355 billion) market will grow faster than other segments at 6.8 and 4.2 percent respectively this year.Worldwide IT Spending Forecast ($, Billions), 2016-2018

Business Industries


US fintechs want to get banks' customer data to utilize in their own services. Several tech companies have already established the Consumer Financial Data Rights (CFDR) coalition. This group is going to lobby for open banking. At first, they are expected to focus on the idea of sharing the financial institution's customer data with regulators for protecting client rights. At the second stage, fintech industry players will try to legitimize the third parties’ rights for data processing. The approval should significantly boost the US industry, which is considerably restricted by regulations, and make it closer to the European model, which allowed Europe to become a fintech innovation center. Generally, the idea of open banking is becoming more popular. Fifty-one percent of bankers surveyed by Temenos in 2016 claimed building an open banking platform as a top priority contrasted with 30 percent in 2015.Global Banks` Attitudes Toward Open Banking, 2016

Want to unlock the potential of your fintech company? Read our article on the top 10 opportunities to transform the financial the industry with the use of technology.

The CFA Institute says that blockchain is the most disruptive technology for the financial services industry. According to Oliver Wyman, it will help banks save about $15-20 billion a year by 2022. Fifty percent of those responding selected payments as the key area to be significantly changed in next five years. The other ones selected digital currency, capital markets, digital identity, etc. The survey covered 466 financial professionals.Over the next five years, in which of the following areas of finance will blockchain technology make the most inroads?

Travel & Booking

Skift informs us that the hospitality industry needs to find a balance between technology innovations and customers interactions. Many technologies such as robot concierges, smartphone room keys, and mobile check-in tools might boost hotel ROI in the long term. The hotel executive’s greatest concern is that the solutions do not mesh with customer needs. Statistics convey that only 3 percent of guests used hotel technology tools like mobile check-in in 2016. So, the conclusion is pretty simple: Hotels should determine which technologies boost customer experience.

Stay on the cutting edge of travel technology. Here are 12 real-life cases of data science use in the travel industry.

Retail & eCommerce

In 2017, the eCommerce market will soar to $2,352 from $1,915 a year earlier. The market will occupy 10 percent of global retail versus 8.7 percent in 2016. CIO.com experts identified the major segments and technologies that will drive the industry in 2017.

Intel announced the launch of the Responsive Retail Platform. It will connect retail hardware, software, APIs, and sensors, that will make IoT solutions deployment easier. The new platform also provides access to open source analytics PaaS for cloud applications. The chipmakers tell us that they are going to invest about $100 million in the retail domain in next 5 years to implement other emerging technologies such as VR and robotics in retail.

Aviation & Transportation

Uber announced the launch of Movement, a free travel-time data maps website. The company states that the project aims to help city authorities process transportation better. Currently, the service is in the private testing stage and covers such cities as Washington, Sydney, and Manila, but the company plans to cover most of the cities in which Uber operates.


HIMSS Analytics has analyzed the historical demand for medical applications from 2008-2016. Based on historical data, researchers identified 81 types of applications to be required by hospitals during 2017-2018. The solutions were connected to 7 major categories such as precision medicine, telemedicine, security, etc.Top Demanded Medical Apps, 2017-2018

Online communication and booking services for healthcare are gaining momentum. France-based startup Doctolib has raised €26 million of venture capital. The funding would be spent on market expansion. Similar projects that actively attracted investments in 2016 were ZocDoc ($130 million, USA) and DocPlanner ($20 million, Poland).


The Customer Data Platform (CDP) Institute says the CDP market will reach $1 billion in revenue by 2019 versus $300 million in 2016 with an anticipated 50 percent annual growth rate. This is the first research that discloses key market metrics. The research bears out that many businesses are already using CDM and that the numbers will continue to grow as others learn its benefits.Key Customer Data Platform Market Metrics in 2016