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Our Top Technology Stories in 2017 and 2018 Industry Predictions

SPK wants to wish our growing subscriber community a Happy New Year! We’re honored to be welcomed onto your desktops and smartphones to share stories on how to make your engineering team and company work more efficiently. Perhaps more importantly, we hope any efficiency improvements you were inspired to implement lead to more fulfilling and rewarding work.


To help kick off a profitable and productive new year, here’s a roundup of our favorite 2017 posts along with our 2018 industry predictions.

Engineering and Collaboration

Allowing Custom API Applications in your PTC Integrity Lifecycle Manager Environment

Steve Lundy walks through his simple but effective fix for allowing custom API applications in PTC Integrity Lifecycle Manager. His solution allows you to maintain security and control while accessing the flexibility of custom applications. That provides the best of both worlds, allowing you to tap into the power of custom applications capable of hypercharging your organization’s productivity.

Predictions for Engineering in 2018

In 2018, we believe the current trend of a tight engineering labor market will continue. This tight engineering market will manifest itself not only in difficulty finding skilled engineers, but also in increased labor costs for those engineers. Companies paying top dollar for engineers will want to get the most out of those man hours and that means automating away many mundane and repetitive tasks.

Internet of Things

How to Navigate Compliance and Cyber Security Concerns in Smart Medical Devices

It’s not an overstatement to say that the Internet of Things is changing the way nearly every organization does business. However, medical device manufacturers are faced with stiff challenges when developing smart, Internet of Things-enabled devices. Regulatory and security burdens can have your organization feeling gunshy about entering the IoT pool. This is SPK and Associates’ guide to how you can reap the benefits of IoT without stepping on a regulatory landmine.

Predictions for the Internet of Things in 2018

The Internet of Things will continue to grow, and along with it security concerns. In many high-tech fields like medical technology and financial technology, security concerns are also compliance concerns. Organizations looking to leverage the Internet of Things and other emerging technologies will need to be aware of current security best practices, and have a “security first” mindset in their product development lifecycle.

The Cloud

How Automation Helps Reach Target Product Launch Dates and Increases Engineer Morale

People often think about automation in terms of manufacturing. Less talked about is how automation can streamline engineering, devops and other, less concrete processes. Not only can automation save you payroll hours and increase morale, it can also help you to shorten your development time table, getting your products to market faster and staying one step ahead of the competition.

“There are many ways to automate,” says SPK’s CEO, Chris McHale. “Factory automation is an important topic and gets a lot of press these days.  But the automation of engineering and business processes can provide enormous efficiency and quality benefits.  It’s important to pick the right candidates for automation, and then find or develop software to achieve it.”

Three Monotonous Tasks That Are Killing Morale In Your Software Engineering Team

This is another article about how automation isn’t just for manufacturing. This blog post contains three monotonous tasks your employees would rather not perform that you can easily automate out of existence. You can save payroll hours and boost morale at the same time, allowing your team to focus more on what you pay them to do — create better products.

Five Hybrid Cloud Implementation Pitfalls Your SMB Must Avoid

If you’re like a lot of SMBs, your organization needs to upgrade its IT infrastructure. The answer lies in hybrid cloud. Configured properly, hybrid cloud is more secure than total on-premises infrastructure. However, “configured properly” is the key phrase here. Learn about the five pitfalls your organization must avoid when rolling out hybrid cloud.

Predictions for The Cloud in 2018

The cloud and automation go hand in hand. We expect to see more organizations learning how to be more agile and lean, leveraging hybrid cloud technology, machine learning and automation. However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential pitfalls of each of these and the nexus of all three.

“The focus for companies small and large will be getting products connected and collecting appropriate data on the cloud backend,” says McHale. She adds that many times companies will opt for out-of-the-box solutions but stresses that those might not be best.

All told, we expect 2018 to be an exciting year for the engineering and IT sectors. Monotonous tasks will continue to be automated away, allowing engineers to spend more time on what they’re passionate about.

Next Steps

  • Subscribe to our blog to stay informed on the latest stories on how to make your engineering team and company work more efficiently.
  • Contact us to learn how SPK can include your industry experiences in our specialized technology stories in 2018.

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