Technology & business trends: 2019 & beyond

Technology & business trends: 2019 & beyond

Digital & Technology

Lester Fernandes

Lester Fernandes

290 week ago — 9 min read

Summary: The new year beckons and it is the right time for business owners to reflect on the disruptive trends of 2018 and how they will further unfold in the upcoming year. Lester Fernandes tracks the development of technology and business trends from 2018 to 2019 and beyond. Read on to find out more about these transformative trends. Do share your experiences with Digital Transformation (DX) and insights in the comments section.

2018 is drawing to a close - it is time to sit back and reflect on technology trends of last year and what upcoming trends can be realised in the new year. I have compiled a list of transformative trends augmented by technologies that are targeted at helping us usher in 2019 with a resounding disruptive bang!

Let’s take a look at these technology trends that have been tracked in their development until 2018 and their likely direction in the coming years.


1. Customer experience (CX) & Immersive digital reality

High on my list of transformative trends is the enhancement of customer experience and related immersive digital reality. This is getting close enough to the point where real and virtual are almost indistinguishable in all aspects. Customers are only too happy with seeing the projected results in a virtual reality simulating real-life scenario through a number of intelligent interfaces. This definitely goes beyond marketing and is applicable to a variety of use cases like smart policing, vehicle IoT (Internet of Things) and self-driving technology.  


2. Cognitive analytics & Intelligent learning

An AI (Artificial Intelligence) augmented organisation is the new imperative today, considering that AI and machine learning are ubiquitous and every department is creatively recognising how they can leverage more in their day-to-day use. With the applications of cognitive analytics becoming more prevalent and ways to get more data increasing exponentially, AI is predicted to be the big game changer for 2019. Also, closely related is that machines are now increasingly getting more intelligent and from task-specific, the upward shift is slowly and gradually towards general intelligence.  


3. Cloud with API (Application Programme Interface) services and zero operations

The cloud has proved to be a very versatile imperative today with almost every organisation relying on the cloud for storage of data, applications as a service and even intelligent analytics and insights. Various services are further orchestrated from the cloud, tailored to your organisation needs and APIs created/used to service unique needs. Slowly and surely, we are plunging ourselves into a world, where there are no operations overheads for our services and all physical infrastructure is managed for our specific requirements by external providers at optimal costs.  


4. Blockchain & the Trust economy

The bitcoin crash has played a definite role in subduing this technology interest area, but its usage has now been extended to various sectors where trust is imperative and cannot be upheld by a single player or even multiple players. Blockchain use cases today extend from commodity pricing, government records and, several other applications across industries. Fighting fake news has also become a critical use case that should see the light soon. Various non-currency use cases and diverse applications of blockchain will be visible soon as it becomes pervasive across all industries where trust is an issue.  


5. Business IT collaboration with portfolio prioritisation

The strength of collaboration between business and IT is a very decisive factor in governing how a successful digital transformation can be achieved across an organisation. With the ubiquitous nature of technology advances across all businesses, changing business models and improved customer experiences, cohesive collaboration becomes critical. Starting with the notion that technology is easily taken care of, people and business processes alignment will be the focus of business IT collaboration to reap the benefits of disruptive digital changes.  


6. 3D printing across various industry applications

3D printing has now become an established practice to create everything from prototypes to industry-grade intricately designed equipment to even creative abstract art pieces. The next level application of 3D printing could be the design of prosthetic body parts that could be used within the medical industry. As 3D printing of living body organs becomes a possibility, we are likely to see more creative bio-engineering miracles that will enable even more radical creativity towards designing the next evolution of living organisms.  


7. Risk as an omnichannel threat

With the connected workplace of tomorrow coupled with the gig economy and serverless operations, risk implications have exponentially multiplied across all channels within the enterprise. Having the risk accountability and responsibility distributed among various players in this scenario is only a disaster waiting to happen and likely to destroy the very core of your business if it materialises. Addressing risk and security concerns in a centrally and mutually interconnected and often overlapping security perimeter is then an imperative for the long-term survival of the business.  


8. Medical genetics & new age pharmaceuticals

With the mapping of the human genome completed and the resultant advances in gene sequencing, we have seen major advances in biomedical engineering and custom and preventive medicines. As we learn more about what is happening within the human body, we will be courting controversy by seeing creative gene editing at conception/ before birth itself. We will also see custom medicines tailored to the genetic disposition of an individual as opposed to a one-formula treatment with statistical treatment predictions.  


9. Drones with anytime/anywhere delivery

Drone technology has stabilised today to the extent that we are able to manage human controlled flights and safe landings/takeoffs within specified distances and at prescribed height limits. As drone technologies mature, we are likely to see more machine-controlled flying, making the concept of anytime/anywhere delivery with autonomous flying an achievable reality. The day is also not far when machine based autonomous passenger/freight planes flying, take-off and landing becomes a reality, thanks to learning from mature drone technologies. 


10. Core business services

The core business needs to be reimagined in the context of the transformative trends today. With the idea of having a digital core and a slew of new-age business services around this digital core, every aspect of business must undergo a radical rethink of what the core constitutes and how the services model will play out over the near future. Every company will further have to plan how it will play out in an algorithmic and technology-enabled future as we are slowly and steadily progressing towards it. 'Take care of your core and align your services around that core' is the new-age mantra.   


The technology trends identified above seem to be the most promising given the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world we are living in today. Time will decide what technologies advance and what technologies will be relegated to the wayside. Considering the technological advances across all dimensions and their impact on businesses, supply chains, employees and customers in the near future – we can only think about what’s next and plan accordingly. Without further ado, let’s ensure we enjoy our present by ringing in the new year 2019 and watch, shape and adapt to our vibrant, technological future. 

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker. 


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Lester Sebastiao Fernandes

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