1. Strategic Automation
If you didn’t know, this is a combination of automation and artificial intelligence to automate manual business processes and drive efficiency. In the past we’ve seen businesses use automation in individual areas of the organisation, not knowing the long term benefits of using it across all operations. This year we will see an increase in strategic automation, with multiple devices working collaboratively, with a combination of AI and human input.
2. Change to Chatbots
Chatbots can be annoying, yes we know. However the good news is, there’s been huge steps taken to better natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analytics, and that it’ll shake up the entire service industry that we currently know with 40% of businesses to adopt them in 2019. What’s also interesting is that NLP allows companies to gather insights and improve their service quality based on them.
3. The Voice Economy
Sooner or later, consumers will grow tired of asking Alexa and Siri questions that they cannot understand and can’t answer. However, with continued progress and development in natural language processing (an AI that helps machines to process human speech) we are able to see activity that demonstrates the future of voice assistants. Google’s Duplex assistant was able to successfully make 2 phone calls to human operators without them realising they were speaking to a machine.
4. Digital Twins
We may still not have the tech to create a digital twin of ourselves, but it is possible to create digital twins of our physical products, processes and systems. Today, IoT sensors ensure that digital twins self-update, gather and analyse data to improve the performance of the actual product. A new development to watch out for in the coming years is the digital twin of an organisation (DTO), which will help monitor an entire company rather than separate areas of it.
To some, blockchain has been a bit of a flop. The average consumer does not understand it, and everyone wants to use it differently. With Trump’s recent tweets and bill against Facebook’s Cryptocurrency ‘Libra’ we may not expect to see a growth in cryptocurrency anyway.
However, there may be some hope as big companies such as IBM continue to invest in it in ways other than cryptocurrency, with financial services finding ways to use it in the transportation of goods and services. Although many developers are slowly working towards realising the potential of Blockchain in 2019, it may take some time to get it up and running for everyone else. In the meantime, take a look at A Timeline of Crypto Regulations in Australia, you can almost predict the future of blockchain and crypto.
6. Smart Spaces
A growing trend over the years is the use of smart spaces. They are physical or digital environments, where both humans and technology interact in open, connected and intelligent ecosystems, to create a faster and interactive experience for consumers.
“This trend has been present around elements such as smart cities, digital workplaces, smart homes. We believe the market is entering a period of accelerated delivery of robust smart spaces with technology becoming an integral part of our daily lives, whether as employees, customers … or citizens,” said David Cearley, vice president of Gartner.
7. Connected Clouds
MultiCloud usage will be a big topic this year, with many public cloud providers like Amazon and Alibaba have now adopted private and hybrid clouds to meet the ever-changing needs of companies. This could be used for better cloud-source storage, networking, security or app deployment, depending on what the company needs.
8. Edge Computing
Edge computing is computing done near or at the source of the data, rather than relying on the cloud to find data from many sources at once, reducing the time it takes for information to be found. Companies are realising that there isn’t much growth left in the cloud space, and that most new opportunities lie at the ‘edge’.
As we progress through 2019, we will see an impact on data processing, giving companies better insight into their consumers.
9. Spatial Computing
Blending the tech world into our own, spatial computing involves the use of AR, mixed reality and VR. What’s interesting is that we describe this technology by how we interact with it, not by the object we interact with – for example, hand gestures, eye controls and voice controls. It is way cheaper and accessible than it used to be, and we can expect big companies to prepare for the next big shift in the way we interact with different interfaces.
10. Quantum Computing
Quantum computing may sound confusing, but this is the simplest way to put it – quantum computing uses quantum mechanics to perform computation more efficiently than regular computers can. This means that in the future, our computers will become more varied in capacity and power. However, Cearley says “not to believe the hype that it will revolutionise things in the next few years. Most organisations should learn about and monitor QC through 2022 and perhaps exploit it from 2023 or 2025.”
As more and more technologies emerge, businesses will have to keep up in order to remain relevant and to provide consumers and businesses what they need.