From year to year, the evolution of technology is one of staggering promise and opportunity – as well as uncertainty. The future may be unknown, but digital advancement continues to reshape our world in ways that encourage people to form new habits, find new ways to work together, and become better human beings. And, in most cases, these changes translate into a range of opportunities and disruptions across every industry.
I am always surprised by how well and quickly a growing number of organizations navigate this unclear path from asking what’s next to realizing new competitive advantages with emerging technology trends. The pace of innovation and change is mind-numbingly fast, yet these intelligent enterprises are meticulously making sense of digital advancements and applying them with tremendous confidence.
But don’t be fooled: There are still plenty of opportunities to catch up and further evolve. Deloitte’s “Tech Trends 2019” report predicts eight trends that will turn 2019 into “a more exciting time, a more opportune time to leave your mark on your company, your industry, and an entire world of possibility.”
1. Technology trends past, present, and future converge
Digital experience, the cloud, analytics, blockchain, cognitive technologies, digital reality, core modernization, and cybersecurity may be old news, but that doesn’t mean that they are no longer a vital part of business transformation. Deloitte suggests that “through their collision and the innovation unleashed, these forces will likely dominate enterprise IT, internal operations, and markets to an even greater extent than they have as individual technologies.”
2. Artificial intelligence fulfills the full potential of the enterprise
Autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) is fueling a new era of people and machines working together with data-driven insights and highly strategic and outcome-focused processes. To fully realize the promise of the AI-fueled organization, Deloitte highlights three system models currently in play: cloud-native, package-adjunct, and open-algorithm. By embracing AI, machine learning (ML), and other cognitive tools across the IT ecosystem, the entire company can spend less time on redundant and mundane activities that waste the value of every employee and spend more time on informed decision-making.
3. IT organizations enter NoOps in a serverless world
With the growing reliance on cloud providers, IT organizations are now seeking to create a “NoOps” (no operations) landscape that is so automated and abstracted that only a small team is needed to manage the underlying infrastructure. For CIOs, this new reality opens up a transformative opportunity to rethink technology culture, roles and responsibilities, enablement tools, and processes – all while ensuring limitless scalability and high availability.
4. Advanced networks open the door to the future of connectivity
For years, networking advancements have been in the shadows of high-profile innovations. But they may finally have their moment in 2019 as new building blocks and techniques for intelligent enterprises. For example:
- 5G brings higher speed and lower latency, which can be a considerable advantage when connecting massive numbers of sensors and smart devices.
- Edge computing processes data in a “mini-cloud” close to the originating device – or better yet, as an embedded capability within the device or endpoint itself.
- Software-defined networking (SDN) extends a traditional software layer from the data center to wide area networking (WAN) to connect data centers or other multi-location applications.
- Network function virtualization provides dedicated physical network appliances with scalable virtualized software while replacing the need for routing, switching, encryption, firewalling, WAN acceleration, and load balancing.
5. Intelligent interfaces reimagine how people, machines, and data interact
Intelligent interfaces represent what Deloitte calls the “next great technology transformation” – enabling capabilities from tracking customers’ offline habits and personalizing new products and solutions to enhancing operational efficiency and personal productivity. This blend of human-centered design with near-frictionless interfaces currently leverages conversational technologies and, in the future, will likely include computer vision, gesture control, embedded eye-tracking, bio-acoustic sensing, and emotion detection.
6. Attention to brand experience goes beyond marketing
As consumers emphasize their desire for more human and customized experiences, marketing organizations are reaching a turning point in their strategies and practices – referred to as “beyond marketing.” This tactic requires chief marketing officers (CMOs) and CIOs to together reconsider how their organization manages and uses data, automates decision support, and delivers personalized content dynamically, which is outside their traditional domain. By collaborating and partnering, they can effectively carry out this new strategy while adhering to the company’s established digital agendas.
7. Cyber risk is elevating, embedded, and evolving
As concerns over cybersecurity keep executives up at night, security culture, practices, and tools are being embedded into each phase of the DevOps pipeline. This approach, known as DevSecOps, automates sound cybersecurity practices throughout application development cycles and system operations to ensure that every release is tested, secure, and reliable. By improving security and compliance maturity with each new release and implementation, businesses can increase operational quality, boost organizational productivity, and shrink time to market.
8. The future of business transformation is no longer a mystery
Charting a digital future is no small feat – but it doesn’t have to be a mystery. Companies that know how to make the connection between technology advancement and outcome are the ones that go beyond anchoring their digital strategies to a specific technology. They imagine, deliver, and run a digital future based on additional factors such as connectivity of evolving ecosystems to human-centered design, macroeconomic forces, and real-time data intelligence.
Learn more about these trends and how you can embrace them now as the building blocks of your intelligent enterprise in the Deloitte report “Tech Trends 2019.”