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Top 10 Technology Predictions for 2019

This is a curated list of a range of predictions and possibilities for the technology industry in 2019.

Nothing is more of a Christmas tradition on the internet than the predictions for the year to come.

How will technology shape the landscape of your industry in 2019?

1. AI. 

Artificial Intelligence innovations will continue to bring scientific breakthroughs, in part thanks to the vast amounts of data that new technologies have been collecting and are now available. It looks as though China is emerging as a leader in AI developments and applications leaving the U.S. behind. Companies try to solve talent shortfall with robots, automation and AI. Advances in Machine Learning technology and algorithm training will result in new and more advanced AI. Autonomous vehicles and robotics are the two industries that will see the most rapid developments during 2019.  Companies will turn to software automation to fill talent shortages.  Although this will include growing pains. From Expert only to everywhere. While no one disputed the advent of automation, this particular prediction is preposterous in the short run but a sure thing in the long run. The evident caveats are where we should concentrate the debate and refine the message, as not all jobs and all humanity are up for grabs. Enterprise should focus on soft skills and exclusively human abilities to redefine the overall value of people as true capital and competitive advantage in a world where machines will simply be deployed to take the mundane and predictable out of the equation. As AI is applied to a growing number of areas, there are legitimate concerns about possible unintended consequences. The immediate concern is that the scramble to amass the data needed to train systems in infringing on people privacy.

2. The Cloud – Omnipresent. Speed, efficiency, innovation enablement. 

Cloud will become the universal foundation of technology. No one disputes the probability that in the future, all IT will happen in the sky – to think otherwise is tantamount to believing the earth is flat or that one can download the internet on a diskette. Finding an argument where any application will forever live in isolation in someone’s backend server room is increasingly difficult, but as Google, Amazon or Microsoft will tell you, the theoretical penny is slow to drop and the adoption speed doesn’t match the rational view of its potential. Cloud is already largely adopted as a matter of cost reduction and simplicity. It will play a critical role in influencing and driving business outcomes to be realized. Cloud computing will also aid in driving new products to the market at a much faster rate!

Along with this, there is the mastering of the hybrid cloud. As mentioned the amount of time of adoption is a major issue and although in time the integration of a cloud as a who will likely come to be, our existing networks and tools continue to work unabated. It is likely that the creation of a clear hybrid approach that ties together current applications with the latest technologies and network changes. The failure to adapt to the hybrid environment will be prevented from adopting cloud technologies at the right speed, which will eventually hinder their ability to achieve business objectives.

3. The Big get bigger – Amazon continues to expand.

In 2018 Amazon exploded with the launch of Amazon Go, entering the high-street grocery market. With the company constantly expanding and diversifying its portfolio, it is undoubtedly that there is more to come from Amazon

With experts expecting Amazon along with fellow tech companies; Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook will continue to dominate many markets.

4. 5G networks arrive. 

It is expected that a large number of operators will begin to launch 5G networks in 2019. 72 operators are currently testing the offering and a total of 1 million 5G handsets are expected to be sold in 2019 and this should expand to 20 million in 2020. Obviously, it won't happen overnight but the infrastructure and the foundation of this groundbreaking network will be laid in 2019. 5G will provide higher speeds and lower latency which will enable new and innovative consumer experiences in areas from augmented reality to entertainment to medicine and smart cities. 

5. Breakthrough in 3D printing.

Sales of enterprise 3D printers, materials, and services from large public companies will surpass $2.7 billion in 2019 and top $3 billion in 2020, growing 12.5 per cent annually each year. The list of possible 3D-printable materials has more than doubled in the last five years, which (along with other improvements) has led to a rebound in the industry’s growth potential.

6. State of Quantum Computing.

Quantum Computing will emerge as one of the largest new technology revenue opportunities over the next decade but are unlikely to replace classical computers. The future quantum computing market is expected to be comparable to the supercomputer market which is likely to be around $50 billion per year by the 2030s.

Although announcements about quantum computing have been appearing in the news with more frequency in recent years, but don’t expect quantum to go mainstream in 2019. Most companies could remain in the exploration phase through 2022 and begin exploiting the technology later. However, that doesn’t mean enterprise IT leaders should ignore quantum altogether. The technology is still in an emerging state, which means it is a good time for business to increase their understanding of potential applications and consider any security implications.

7. China Technological Prowess.

Revenues for Chinese-manufactured semiconductors will grow by 25 per cent to approximately $110 billion in 2019 to meet the increasing domestic demand for chips – driven in part by the growing commercialization of AI. Also in 2019, a Chinese chip foundry will begin producing semiconductors specialised to support AI and machine learning tasks.

8. Cyber Security will need to be addressed. 

2019 will be a year of unprecedented cyber threats to companies and individuals. It’s anticipated that these attacks will drive organisations to adopt zero trust security strategies and will cause at least one major brand to lose 25% of its valuation.

Developers who have job interviews next year will see a new question added to the usual list. For the first time, we will see virtually all businesses incorporating questions about security in coding. Engineers applying for jobs should highlight this experience to increase their chances. Deep security knowledge won’t be a requirement for all roles, but DevOps managers will increasingly prioritize those with security experience when they make their hiring decisions. The issue is simply too critical to ignore.

9. Blockchain. 

Blockchain has occupied the minds of not one but all that working in technology over the years. A shift in mentality more than a specific piece of technology, Blockchain promised the world to each and every industry with applications from the most mundane to the most disruptive captivating the imagination of every commentator in every corner of the internet. 

Blockchain will streamline the business. Blockchain has been hailed as the solution to Brexit, Russian election meddling counterfeiting and falling revenue in the music industry. However, if the price of Bitcoin is any indication a year on since prices peaked at around $19,000, the Blockchain hype is finally starting to die down. Yet, while Blockchain might not revolutionise everything as many previously predicted, businesses will start to see its full potential in 2019, with technology helping to streamline transactional, ordering, invoicing, payment and stocking processes, particularly for those operating in business to business marketing.

More IoT (Internet of Things) products can use this as a way to secure data and keep customer data private – especially in smart cars, smart home devices, etc. We will see more exploration of Blockchain technology in 2019 and into 2020 to add transparency to our supply chains, track ownership and more. For example, food recalls could be virtually eliminated by using Blockchain with nanotechnology sensors to track food origin and shipment.

10. Customers expect instant satisfaction and personalized experiences.

With data being more and more accessible, hopefully, it will be put to good use with the well being of the customer in mind and use it to hyper-personalize their experience.   

All customers will be the customer of 'now,' with expectations of immediate and personalized service; single-click approval for loans, sales quotes on the spot, and deliveries in hours instead of days. The window of opportunity for customer satisfaction will keep closing and technology will evolve to keep pace. Real-time analytics will become faster and smarter as data that is external to the organization, such as social, news and weather, will be included for more insights. The move to the cloud will accelerate with the growing adoption of open-source vendors.


Information Week
Venture Beat
The Enterprisers Project
Interesting Engineering