IT Freedom Blog

2016 Technology Year in Review

by Matt Miller on

2016 technology saw a lot of changes. From new innovations, to old products becoming new again, it was an interesting year. Though not everything in the tech world was new and shiny, and we definitely saw some tech downfalls, it was a good year for innovation and growth.

Streaming Video

This year we really saw the rise of streaming video. 2015 introduced us to Periscope and the ability for regular individuals to give the public a view into their life. But in 2016 that went a lot further. Facebook live was introduced to us in April, and more recently Instagram live has joined in on the party. And while Snapchat has been around for a couple years they really hit their stride this year with businesses and celebrities joining in on the fun bringing them up to 10 billion daily video views. 2016 was definitely the year of transparency for individuals and businesses, a lot of whom gave individuals an inside look at the inner workings of their organizations.

And speaking of snapchat, we thought we’d suggest some good tech and business snapchats to follow!

Gary Vaynerchuk

Women In Tech


Casey Neistat



Virtual Reality

While 2016 wasn’t the true beginning of virtual reality, it definitely brought it into the public sphere. Though they aren’t perfect, a wide variety of virtual reality headsets were released to the public this year. Oculus (the kickstarter bought by Facebook) released the Rift in March with the Touch controllers released in December. The HTC Vive premiered in April, and then in September Sony came out with their Playstation VR. Although these headsets made their way into the public market, they came with a high cost, lending to early adopter purchases and not many others. 2016 will definitely be known as the year that VR became mainstream, but only the future will tell what that really means.

Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks Galore

For all the good this year there was some bad. 2016 gave way to some of the biggest data breaches in history. In September it was released that at least 500 million Yahoo! User accounts were stolen, many of which were discovered being sold. And less than 3 months later Yahoo! released the news of yet another breach affecting more than 1 billion accounts (just our personal opinion here, but if you still have a Yahoo account, you might want to find another option and deactivate that one). We also saw the Dyn DDos attack in October that left users unable to get to some of the most popular internet sites. These attacks showed the strength of cyber-criminals today and the affect they can have on our everyday life.

On top of that, nation-state-sponsored hacking came back into the news in a way that we haven't seen since Stuxnet.  Politics aside, this is yet another way in which cybercrime is increasingly felt in the “real world” as more and more things become networked—and this isn’t a trend that’s going away anytime soon.

The Re-Rise of the PC

While smartphones and personal assistants, like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, are still taking a large chunk of the market, this year seemed to give way to the PC becoming a larger topic of conversation. Apple and Microsoft have focused their attention, once again, on the part of the market that is willing to pay the money for a device that does it all: businesses. Businesses have shown their willingness to pay extra for devices with all the features they could imagine. From the Microsoft Surface Pro, and the highly anticipated Studio, to the Apple MacBook Pro with the new OLED Touch Bar, companies catering to this demographic have definitely profited, even with less product being sold.  

SMB to the Cloud

Over the last five years small to medium sized businesses have been systematically moving to the cloud. In 2016 the percent of companies with less than 100 employees who made the move was at 70%, compared to the 20% five years ago. A big part of this migration was the introduction of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work (now known as G Suite.) 2016 also saw a big change in how companies are going about this migration. It’s become clear that just because you think you can manage the migration, doesn’t mean you should. More and more companies are starting to understand the importance of having a professional manage their migration to the cloud.

P.S. if this is something your company is interested in don’t hesitate to reach out! As both Microsoft and Google partners we can help make sure your migration is customized to you, and done in the most efficient way possible!

With all the good that came out of 2016, I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are excited to see what next year has in store!

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