Technology Trends that Will Transform Business in 2019
5th February 2019
Each year, the world seems to be getting busier and busier. As businesses grow and expand, there is always more to do, more to remember, and more to keep track of. However, each year also brings more and more new technologies to help us keep up with this demand. So, what’s in store for us in 2019 and beyond?
2018 brought some progressive tech, both new and improved. Businesses of today are adopting new technologies to improve productivity, quality and, of course, profit margins.
Secure, suitable and safe
Cloud computing has been a natural choice for many companies, particularly those in the early years of growth who want a secure yet cost-effective IT solution.
Amazon’s Alexa is now undergoing optimisation to enter the business environment, giving it a boost from the consumer and arguably novelty landscape.
Virtual Reality (VR) simulation has been embraced by companies to train people in a risk-free environment to carry out tasks that may otherwise be dangerous. Even older technologies are being reimagined and used in creative ways: enter desks with built-in wireless charging solutions!
With momentous shifts in security, productivity, safety and multifunctionality, what innovations and evolutions in technology trends can we expect in 2019?
Artificial Intelligence will get smarter
From voice assistants to neural networks, artificial intelligence (AI) is delivering great gains globally being for both businesses and entertainment.
The potential benefits of AI in the workplace are almost endless. In the long run, AI has the potential to do anything that a human can, without experiencing productivity losses such as tiredness and boredom. Removing the possibility of human error increases the quality and delivery of the product or service.
As well as the obvious cost implications for automating tasks, AI can process data more quickly and more accurately than a human being. Tasks are therefore completed with a higher level of precision and in a shorter timeframe. In 2018, global strategic management consulting firm, Accenture, revealed that AI is set to increase labour productivity by 40% in businesses, generating more time for its team.
Although AI is still in its infancy, it already has applications in industry for tasks such as analysing weather patterns and restoring artwork. AI is an incredibly versatile tool, and its ability to make decisions under conditions that may adversely affect humans is invaluable. With AI built into most smartphones, it is undeniable that we will also be seeing a lot more of it in the office and in daily interactions.
The Cloud will continue to grow
Cloud computing is taking off at a rate of knots, and for a good reason. It is almost impossible to imagine a functional office with no internet connection. So why keep all the company’s data in one place on a local server, when it can be uploaded to the internet?
Cloud-based services save companies from spending money on server maintenance and system updates, as (to an extent) they can function as an outsourced IT department. As updates can be rolled out overnight, businesses avoid the pitfalls of additional resource spend and the reduced productivity of people using the system.
Utilising cloud-based services can also simplify collaborative projects, backup data automatically and even remotely delete data from devices. Services available on the market also provide functionality for multiple users to view, edit and comment on documents concurrently. This can significantly improve productivity over the more outdated method of sending a file as an attachment, waiting for it to be edited and returned or sent to the next person.
Market intelligence provider, IDC, anticipates that by 2020, spending on cloud computing will grow at more than six times the rate of IT spending.
The GDPR, brought into force in May 2018, however, has brought new challenges to cloud computing. As the regulation states that personal data cannot be stored for longer than is necessary, data in the cloud will have to be much more closely regulated.
Cloud services can also make it difficult to distinguish whether data falls under the jurisdiction of the GDPR, based on the source of the data and the geographical location of cloud servers used to store it.
Despite these new problems, and the general security-related problems that would be expected of giving your data to anyone else to store, the positives appear to outweigh the negatives when it comes to cloud computing.
Although office servers are a long way from extinct, it is a safe bet that we will be seeing fewer of them as the year progresses and GDPR-related issues are overcome.
Virtual and Augmented Reality will become more real
The idea of VR and Augmented Reality (AR) has been a sci-fi staple for years. However, as the technology improves and becomes more affordable, businesses are seeing the benefits. As well as its obvious uses in the movie and video gaming industries, VR and AR can be used for realistic advertising and marketing, training simulations and 3D design.
VR and AR simulations are a fantastic way for businesses to save money on training. Practising difficult or dangerous tasks in a safe, optimised environment enables frequent training to take place, resulting in a higher level of skill.
Augmented Reality (AR) has also made its way into the manufacturing industry. Increasingly, factories are implementing AR on their production lines, in their warehouses and even for quality control, for example. In automating these processes, not only does the company save money on labour, but it also vastly reduces the potential for human error.
VR and AR have proven a big item on the agenda in 2018 with a vast number of industries including gaming, education, manufacturing, automotive, retail and healthcare investing in the technology, to name a few.
With the availability of apps and programmes that can easily create AR or VR instructions and images that are relevant on a variety of platforms, the technology will evolve quickly enough that we will see it applied a lot more of it in the workplace. Technology-Proofing for the Future The technology available today is in the concept, and very rapidly, the roll-out phase, almost as quickly as businesses can dream it up, identify the need for it and prepare its business for its implementation.
A And these businesses that can adapt to these technologies are going to be more successful than those that don’t. Add to this the fact that as humans we typically loathe carrying out a task if a machine can do it for us, and the modern workplace is set for a pretty quick upheaval.
We may still be far from taking our self-driving car to work at the VR headset factory — but maybe not quite as far as we think.
Guest post provided by Dynamic Consultants.