Another year has gone by, and if last year’s blog post was more focused on product innovation, this time we’re focusing on digital transformation trends! Knowing that digital transformation is not only a technological shift, but an organizational change at the intersection of technology, business, and people, such reflection must take into account countless possibilities.
We’ll try to take a year’s worth of technology and digital transformation research to better predict where are we going and why are we going there. Also – what potential surprises are in store?
Technology in itself does not equate to digital transformation. The customer, culture, and employees along with business continuity must be at the heart of every technology investment.
So what is next? Here are our predictions for technological transformations to come in 2019!
AR Yes, VR (Still) No
Virtual reality is so cool, but right now it’s not feasible beyond gaming and highly specialized applications in today’s marketplace. Instead, augmented reality (AR) —VR’s less sexy little brother— continues to be the name of the game in 2019 digital transformation trends. AR has found tons of use cases in enterprise workforce training, meaning it’s not just cool, it’s useful. And that’s what technology is all about. In fact, even though some think it will be slow, we believe AR’s development will ramp up in 2019.
Chatbots Good to Great
We’ve all had extremely frustrating chatbot experiences as we round out 2018. But the good news is that huge steps continue to be made in the way of natural language processing and sentiment analytics—so many, in fact, that some believe NLP will shake up the entire service industry in ways we’ve never imagined. Think about all the services that could be provided without humans—fast food lines, loan processors, job recruiters! What’s more, NLP allows companies to gather insights and improve their service based on them. Some 40% of large businesses have or will adopt it by the end of 2019—which makes it one of our top 2019 digital transformation trends!
Data to Analytics to Machine Learning to AI
Data is key to companies being able to make good decisions about products, services, employees, strategy and more. We won’t see a slowdown anytime soon. As recent data has shown we have created 90% of the world’s data in the past year, research is also showing that we are only using 1% of the data effectively. While being in the top 1% is often a good thing, this is a 1% that most of us preaching the power of analytics should be ashamed about. There is much to be done by data driven organizations to realize the power of the data on hand and the data that they are collecting! With improved processing power that can increase machine learning, we are going to data-driven leaders investing in making more of all of their data and this will be done with machine learning and AI and we believe that 1% figure will grow to 3 or 4% by 2020; which may seem small but is a massive increase in data utilization.
Blockchain Finally Understood
As we continue to explore this technological miracle worker, we’ve come to realize that blockchain is kind of a mess. It’s too complicated for lay people to use right now, and there’s no standard way to use it because we all want to use it differently. The only way to get mass blockchain adoption is to create a plug-and-play version that all of us can use and understand. Our guess here is that a lot of smart developers will continue to work on realizing the potential of blockchain in 2019, but it will be 2-3 more years before we start to see the traction that has been promised.
5G Fixed to 5G Mobile
Here’s the thing about 5G: we’ve been talking about it for a while. So, what’s the big deal with it? In short, we’re finally in a spot where we will start seeing 5G everywhere. If you have been following the tech community, you will have seen that there are a wide number of fixed and test deployments with companies like Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, Ericcson, Samsung, and Huawei all getting into the action. We are also seeing new companies like Mimosa Networks making it possible to roll 5G out to both rural and urban locations, paving the way for bullish 5G mobile providers to start offering new, cooler, faster, more innovative services for mobile users. It’s an exciting time for 5G and mobile alike! While 2018 was the year that fixed 5G applications found their legs, in 2019 we are going to see 5G finding its way into the upper corner of our Mobile devices, albeit for you iPhone users it is more likely going to be 2020 or later.
CEOs Take the Reins
Countless studies have shown an overwhelming desire from employees to see digital transformation start at the very top of the company, however, trends are still showing that the task is being too often delegated to IT, Marketing or HR departments. So even though we’ve seen a range of C-suite leaders charged with taking the reins of digital transformation, the CEO will (must) finally step up in 2019, realizing digital transformation isn’t going anywhere. They’ll be making it more of a priority to hire for digital transformation, recognizing the critical nature of building cultures that can change, and the value of reskilling employees and hiring for agility—learning to trust data more than ever before. That’s good news for all companies in 2019!
Digital transformation will continue to change how we do business—in every industry. While it may be hard to see the inroads some of these technologies are making right now, their potential to change how we work and interact is tremendous—and their implications will continue to land far beyond the year ahead.