The Experts Top Tech Trends for 2019

Technology is now evolving at such a rapid pace that annual predictions of trends can seem out-of-date before they even go live as a published blog post or article.

As we take our first steps into 2019, innovation and agility have become essential competitive ingredients for any organization, regardless of industry. Companies need to take even greater advantage of technology opportunities. These tools are helping accelerate experimentation, innovation, boost performance, and power digital transformation journeys.

Each new year, new technologies are introduced, and old technologies are perfected or deemed obsolete. For this list, we have investigated and dissected some of the most comprehensive and detailed reports available for tech trend analysis.

In order to narrow down our most exciting trends and predictions for the new year, we explored the research reports issued by global leaders such as the Gartner Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 report, South Africa’s own Dimension Data 2019 Disruption report, and Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions for 2019.

From the arrival of 5G to further development in artificial intelligence and Blockchain, here are some of our most exciting tech trends and predictions for 2019.

  1. Blockchain within IoT

    What started nine years ago as a complex concept of a digital ledgers that only a few people understood, Blockchain has now evolved into a full-fledged business sector and industry. According to a report by International Data Corporation, many IoT companies will be incorporating blockchain technology into their products in 2019. IDC predicts that 20% of IoT devices will have blockchain services installed by 2019. Why blockchain and IoT? Because it is based on a distributed and decentralized system that provides a secure framework for communication between these IoT devices and also has high resistance to cyber-attacks (discussed later). According to Tech Trends giant, Gartner, in their 2019 Tech Predictions Report, blockchain will be a $3.1 trillion business by 2030. Although a wildly specific estimation, Blockchain platform growth, standardization and use across industries is a safe bet and a legitimate technology trend. We already have digital startups in this niche, and we can only expect the sector to grow in 2019.

  2. 5G

    5G is going be 100 times faster than 4G. To put that in perspective, that means downloading a film in just 10 seconds. You could download an entire movie while standing in line at a coffee shop, just to see that one scene you like. The next-generation technology is poised to connect devices like phones and driverless cars to wireless networks almost instantly. It’s a beautiful vision. Mobile companies just can’t stop talking about 5G and there are a number of carriers promising to introduce the technology as soon as possible. But the reality is that while 5G phones and networks are coming as soon as early 2019, it’ll be a long time before South African carrier’s 5G service will roll out properly and this roll out will be done slowly, devices and service plans are sure to cost you more, and it isn’t clear exactly how fast those speeds will run straight out the gate.

  3. Privacy and Data

    Technology companies may have a particularly daunting task in 2019 as they try to address their customers’ privacy concerns. This challenge is growing due to the skyrocketing number of people embracing social media and the ever increasing cyber and privacy attacks and breaches. GDPR, a European Data Protection and Privacy Regulation, was a great first step, but global regulation and governance still remains a complex issue. As governments implement new data privacy regulations, tech companies will increasingly require the adoption of a ‘Privacy First’ approach to data management. However, in 2019, the challenges these companies will face will be significant. We predict tech companies will need AI-powered, automated, outcome-driven data management solutions to address these challenges if they hope to implement strong data privacy policies without sacrificing productivity or agility. As personal data is extremely valuable to the consumer, young tech companies will need to end data breaches in order to survive the future.

  4. More Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Expect to see major changes in 2019, especially in how organizations use AI, the rise of new ‘digital workers’ and increased competition for data professionals with AI skills to cope and service these new roles that are being created. Forrester Research has released its top predictions for artificial intelligence in 2019 in which it describes as AI efforts, offering most organizations find ‘no pain, no gain’. In 2019, we see AI becoming a fundamental facet of any good business, whether a large corporation or a start-up, improving processes and augmenting human action and interaction. We predict the technology to develop further and being used to convert big chunks of data into comprehensible and digestible text, so that humans can understand the implications of a string of numbers even further. Virtual agents and chatbots serving as online customer service representatives will become more advanced and might even develop the ability to work out what you’re not saying as well as what you are.

  5. Smart Speakers

    The past year has been great for the smart speaker industry. As this technology has developed impressively over a short period of time, we are now able to make searches, play music, order an Uber and even purchase items. Globally, smart speaker enabled devices have nearly tripled in sales over the last year. Brands like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, although mainly in the USA, are becoming household names, and consumers have already gotten used to having a voice-activated assistant on standby such as Alexa and Siri. Deloitte’s believe that over time, we will end up talking to speakers and other technologies much more than currently. This will become particularly more important to those who are vision-impaired and/or those who struggle with traditional keyboard or small buttons. Based on this rapid trend, there is good reasons to expect speaker sales to both new and existing users to grow in 2019 and allow for multiple everyday applications.

Those aren’t all the tech trends we can expect to see this year. We could see Virtual and Augmented Reality evolve in a big way to finally live up to its expectations, electric vehicles start to become more affordable and appear in a huge number of cities around the world, and NASA complete its Unmanned Aerial System Traffic so that drone traffic in the skies can be managed. When it comes to tech, the possibilities are endless, so continue to watch these trends and see how our world is going to transform in this new year.