written by owen on 2018-Feb-04.
Business Process Outsourcing Sector (BPO)
The government will keep making moves to solidify Jamaica's position as a BPO hub. Time consumed at these work places will keep some out of trouble but only the strong will survive until they find some other form of employment or learn to live in the low pay high competition environment. Many young people are not even qualified to take on these jobs so a push in the education sector might be in the works for 2018.
The Software Development Sector
Foreign software products, satellite companies and software as a service will continue to dominate the market. Even if government could build and fund the NIDS system locally, the millions in USD low interest loan is too tempting an offer to resist. Its basically free money! Building software will be even more niche in 2018. Jamaica will have to stay out of the software game until it can produce enough programmers at numbers that can compete with other countries already invested in the industry both in terms of quality.
Search engines are already making the move to localize search/content by region. Eventually Jamaica will be regulated into group by itself across all platforms simply by IP address. No longer will it be a case of "fast lane" versus "slow lane" but "this is your play pen". It has been done before but in 2018 it will be a subtle/delicate change that will creep up in the night. This section of the internet is not available in your country Segregation of the internet will lead to a shrinking of potential markets for ICT producers that are based in Jamaica while favoring large conglomerate companies who can afford to localize in every country they operate. The portals that control the wall-gardened will make the walled gardens even smaller via IP address. It will not matter how "neutral" the internet is when the walled gardens in which you play are the ones that determine what you and your customers can see.
The Social media treadmill
The internet will start to have an inflationary effect on everything it touches - like a sort of internet tax. Social media is going to consume even more time in 2018. The effect on the productivity of individuals browsing the gram and facebag will be impossible to calculable. People who actually produce content will continue to decrease as the internet becomes flooded with people starting discussions. One can never be sure what effect this will have on GDP. Trapping people into never ending conversations for hours at a time while they look at ads is going to reach epic levels.
Data and Internet Providers
Data costs will go up along with data speeds to accommodate the 4K television rush. Energy costs will marginally decrease. The battle between the service providers will come down to who can get the most people to go post paid. If I had to guess they are going to find a way to say that pre-paid phones are not "secure". Upload speeds will continue to increase as more people strive to become youtube stars. Ping rates might even increase.
They will keep teaching beginner courses in Universities. University students that want a job in ICT will still need to do extra work outside of school in order to get the required knowledge and experience to be effective in an interview. New courses will be introduced such as "Effective Social Media", "Internet Entrepreneurship", and "Smartphone Advanced Computing using Apps" whatever gives young people hope and fills the classrooms.
Teachers will continue to struggle with wages. The push towards a standardized system for grading the quality of a teacher's work will again rise to the forefront as the economic machine seeks a way to reduce the cost of the labor force. A.I. teachers and stay-at-home online distance learning high schools? Maybe
Start-ups, Venture Capital and Boot Camps
There is no shortage of funding to go around so the VC business will keep buzzing at a healthy clip. Digital innovation will continue to look for profitable and easy edge case problems to solve in the short term. IPOs will continue to be over-subscribed. All this money has to go somewhere.
As we continue to push more and more people onto the internet the rising paranoia and fear will increase. Any website that does not have a HTTPS will be seen as the source of viruses and hackers. Large companies and banks will continue to get hacked under the quiet as credit card fraud increases. Get ready for 3 factor identification and Face ID websites. Waiting for something to be hacked will continue to be best game in town. Your hardware is not secure, you will no longer receive updates until you buy a new smart toaster!
Artificial Intelligence, AI, and Big data
As usual this will continue to be a wait and see game in 2018. The most likely outcome will fall between the total and absolute destruction by robots or NOTHING at all. The needle will more likely fall close to "nothing-at-all" as these systems continue to take user data to train bots and then sell these bots back to the consumer base. Someone in Jamaica will buy a self driving car but never let it drive itself for fear that it will fall into a pothole and die an self-driving death. It will be a good year for marketing A.I., all things considered, fingers crossed.
Internet advertising and buying likes will continue to rise. Bit-coin will start to slow as the cost of processing time sky rockets, less hashers running full nodes. VR will continue to die a slow death. Cloud services: free services will continue to bait and switch leading to useful features being stuck behind paywalls crippling anything built on the platform. Internet of things: like smart cities, VR, smart wristbands, smart watches and connected objects will continue to be marketed while filling our landfills with useless plastic that cannot be maintained or re-purposed. There will be new smartphones, tablets and TVs that feel better in the hand than the old versions i.e. if the batteries don't explode. PlayStation 5 will be announced and Microsoft will be forced to announce something as well to the dismay of all the people who bought pro versions of the consoles.