Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends to Expect in 2019Hopefully these trends can serve as an indicator for what organisations and businesses are trying to push their digital roadmap forward. Based on predictions made last year alongside some new additions, it’s important to note that it’s not just the technology that facilitates digital transformation.
Digital Transformation is not only a technological transition, but an organisational shift at the intersection of technology, business and people. One must consider the endless possibilities and outcomes. Inspired by an article written by Daniel Newman written in Forbes last month, Parallel has taken account of all the technology and digital insights from this past year to attempt to predict what’s happening next year.
Hopefully these trends can serve as an indicator for what organisations and businesses are trying to push their digital roadmap forward. Based on predictions made last year alongside some new additions, it’s important to note that it’s not just the technology that facilitates digital transformation. Customers, culture and employees and business continuity are all at the heart of technology investment and digital transformation successes.
1. 5G Fixed to 5G Mobile
Here’s what we know about 5G – it’s been on the radar for quite some time. Most commuters now that it is still possible to slip into 3G from time to time. So, what’s all the hype around 5G? Well, firstly, we will begin seeing 5G everywhere. The likes of Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung and Huawei are all getting involved with 5G, showing a wide number of fixed and test deployments.
New companies are paving the way for other 5G providers to start offering new, innovative services for mobile users that can be rolled out in both rural and urban locations. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time for the mobile world – there’s no doubt that we will start seeing 5G on the top corners of our phone as early as next year.
2. Chatbots Are Finding Their Way
Huge steps have been taken to enhance the chatbot experiences for customers on a global level. Natural language processing and sentiment analytics deployments will shakeup the service industry. Around 40% of large businesses have or will hop onto the NLP train – taking full advantage of the technology’s ability to gather insights and improve their service based on them.
Don’t panic just yet – companies will absolutely take measures to upskill their employees rather than replacing them with machines. Empathy and human emotion are still inherent to delivering great customer experiences, qualities that chatbots have yet to master.
3. It’s Still All About That Cloud Connection: Public, Private and Hybrid
As companies are realising that public cloud, private cloud or data centre aren’t the best options, they have been mixing them together! Et Voila – we have the connected clouds that are continuously developing to meet businesses evolving needs. This encompasses anything from cloud-source storage to networking to security to app deployment. The commitment to connecting clouds can be most seen by Microsoft with Azure, HPE with Cloud Technology Partners and VMWare’s acquisition of CloudHealth Technologies.
Meet the term “Multicloud”. Get used to it, as it will be the new buzzword in the cloud-o-sphere throughout 2019. For the most part, businesses will have a mix of workloads running in public, private and hybrid environments and these applications will need to be seamless, secure and streamlined.
4. Blockchain – A Blessing or a Curse?
As we continue to see the deployment of the bitcoin “wunderkind”, Blockchain, it has come to our attention that it’s kind of a “hot mess”. Without a standard way to use the technology or a solution to the complicated nature of the technology, the only way to get mass blockchain adoption is to deploy an easy-to-use, plug-and-play version. There will be a lot of wise developers who will continue seeing the full potential of blockchain throughout 2019, but these developers might have to prepare themselves for the waiting-time of deploying such applications on a large scale.
5. Data, Analytics, Machine Learning, AI – Oh My!
As technology innovations continue to evolve, it is impossible to ignore that data is key to making lucrative, effective business decisions in terms of products, services, employees, strategies, and more. According to a recent data, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past year alone, with more research showing that we are only using 1% of this data effectively.
There is much to be done in terms of promoting data to be made into meaningful business analytics and realising the full potential of the data being collected. Using enhanced processing power to increase machine learning, digital leaders will invest more of their data with machine learning and AI. Investment into Data, Analytics, Machine Learning and AI could grow the amount of data being used effectively by 3 or 4 times…talk about digitally transforming the ways in which companies operate!
As of August, about 33% of companies this year were still not compliant with GDPR, a regulation with the goal of providing an enormous about of data protection for users. What does GDPR have to do with our 2019 digital transformation trends? Well, customers will start catching on to which companies actually care about protecting their data. While companies don’t HAVE to participate in GDPR, they will start recognising how important it is for the customer’s experience and audience that they protect their customers, or at least show that they want to. Misuse of personal data will impact brand identity, marketing and selling – all business-critical initiatives to keep the customer happy and coming back.
7. AR is the New Favourite, Move Aside VR
Virtual Reality (VR) was a dealt a bad hand in this game of digital life. Whilst it is a genuinely cool technology, its uses beyond gaming and highly-niche applications in the market are not viable.
Now, Augmented Reality (AR) on the other hand, has surpassed its sexy older brother in popularity. AR can be used in several cases in enterprise workforce training – AKA, still cool, yet practical – the perfect date if you will. Isn’t that what technology is all about – making life easier and cooler simultaneously. AR has a bright future in 2019, with big tech giants investing money in new AR or mixed reality products.
8. Edge and Core and IoT – more, more, more
As IoT grows and the number of connected devices expected to grow to 1 trillion by 2020, there will need to be more space to process the data and store the data. Without edge computing, Smart Cities and Autonomous Vehicles have no chance of being realised if data processing is happening in the cloud. Analytics and data will be processed in REAL time – of which edge is the only tech that can support this right now.
Cisco calls the interdependence of edge and cloud as “The Fog”, as critical data interactions can take place between the edge and the cloud to maximise data utilisation.
9. Consumption-Based IT Services for the Win.
According to CIOs and IT Executives regarding their IT budgets and trends in their consumption of cloud overall, in a survey done by Forbes, there is a genuine interest in creating efficiency, having grander flexibility in terms of workloads as well as the ability to scale up and down rapidly based on business needs. This means that the “as-a-service” market is bound for great things, with companies opting for the a-la-carte menu to fit business needs. Now dubbed, “ITaaS”, the idea of having not one but all services allowing for scalability, the latest tech, shorter procurement cycles and increased agility is enabling companies to be as sophisticated as the market without the price tag.
It only makes sense that businesses will lean this way to get the most bang for their buck, whilst undergoing digital transformation in all parts of the company.
10. CEOs – More Than Just a Face of the Company
For the longest time, IT, Marketing or HR departments have been deploying digital transformation efforts, as opposed to these efforts beginning from the top-down. 2019 will see the rise of the CEO who will take the reins of digital transformation at businesses worldwide. Digital transformation is no longer looked at as just a fad, but rather a means of staying relevant in today’s business-world. Hiring those in digital transformative efforts will become a top priority as each CEO recognises the critical need for building cultures that can evolve, as well as the value of reskilling employees and hiring for an agile workplace.
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Our Digital Transformation & Business Change Team:
Director | Digital Transformation & Business Change
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Consultant | Digital Transformation
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