With 2019 on the horizon, we’ve been on the lookout for which technology trends have the potential to radically change the way we live and work in the coming year — and there are plenty of contenders.
Self-driving cars, blockchain, virtual reality, and edge computing are all poised to become more prominent parts of our technology-fueled lives.
There’s a couple of bigger questions behind our curiosity, though. How will the coming changes in technology affect the way businesses utilize and support their IT teams? How will businesses adapt to the changing demands of their customers and the burgeoning capabilities at their disposal?
Of the many exciting possibilities on the way, we’ve identified five technology trends that seem to be the most likely to affect many businesses in 2019, as well as a few ways that these companies will have to adapt in order to incorporate them.
1. Digital Transformations
Many companies are beginning to realize that, as they leave their legacy systems behind and move into the digital future, they have a myriad of technologies and capabilities at their fingertips that are being underutilized. In 2019, many businesses will start digital transformations, learning to leverage and integrate their digital assets to increase efficiencies, develop new revenue streams, improve analytics, and bolster the value of their products and services. This will, of course, require considerable planning and expertise to achieve.
Many businesses will likely increase their reliance on outsourced IT professionals to smooth the transition and optimize their performance.
2. AI Integration & Automation
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter and more capable every day. The rapid growth of this technology means that, in 2019, many jobs that once required a human will be able to be completed (nearly) flawlessly by AI. As businesses undergo digital transformations, the adoption of AI is bound to increase dramatically, leading to radical changes in jobs. This could have major effects on the way we tackle analytics, customer support, and much more.
While current technology won’t eliminate the need for humans entirely, it will have significant effects on the ways in which we perform our day-to-day duties. To gain the most from these kinds of technologies, companies will need to find technology professionals capable of providing support, guidance, and training on new systems.
3. Smarter Chatbots & More of Them
According to Forbes, nearly 40% of large business have or will adopt natural language processors by the end of 2019. This will likely be a key player in many companies’ digital transformations, overhauling the ways in which we approach customer support. While AI lacks the capability to empathize with the customer over troubles, it is extremely efficient at tackling clear-cut requests.
This means that current customer service workers may be in a position to be upskilled, focusing on the most complex jobs while leaving AI to tackle the bulk.
The large-scale integration of chatbot technology will almost certainly require most businesses to partner with external IT experts for implementation and maintenance.
4. Smart Speakers & Expanded UI
Smart speakers have quickly become one of the hottest new technologies, with nearly one in four people having adopted them, according to TechCrunch. With such a profound adoption rate, it’s clear that businesses will need to learn how to incorporate smart speakers into their digital transformation in the coming year.
On top of that, businesses will need to evaluate how their customers interact with their business through these devices, adjusting their user interface to be optimized both visually and audibly. The integration of this new tech could require seeking an outside, flexible IT workforce in order to optimize the layout of the devices, as well as train employees on how to use them effectively for business.
5. Better Analytics
What companies might not know is that, despite the business world’s striking efforts to improve analytics capabilities over the last few years, we are only using 1% of the data we collect effectively, according to Forbes. By incorporating machine learning into our analytics capabilities, businesses can hope to drastically increase their capabilities and insights over the coming years.
The power of analytics is no secret amongst business owners.
However, for companies with smaller IT teams, they might consider augmenting their staff with outsourced IT professionals in order to keep things running smoothly as the technology is incorporated into their analytics model.
As businesses begin to transform and incorporate new technologies into their existing models, the need for expert IT professionals will likely increase in equal measure. For many companies, a la carte IT services will be the most effective solution to their needs. Since things will be changing quickly, the ability to hire a dedicated professional or team to tackle a specific job will likely become invaluable.