Top three technology trends for 2019

With 2019 now upon us, it’s time to look to the year ahead at what it holds for technology. 2018 saw the rise of digital transformation, with many businesses questioning the hype of emerging technologies – such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, this year we will see these technologies truly come into fruition, transforming how businesses operate, secure talent and define themselves. The three key emerging trends of 2019 will focus around the need for businesses to use technology to streamline their operations and increase efficiency. With more of a push around micro-services and AI, businesses will need to rethink how IT functions within their business as priorities shift from maintenance and keeping the lights on to innovation With this in mind, here are three emerging technology trends of 2019:

  1. The rise of unbundled micro-services

This year will see the beginning of the next big shift in enterprise computing, from conventional cloud computing to micro-services. Currently, most cloud services come in the form of purchasing access to bundled apps (for example, Office 365). But for many organisations, this involves paying for access to tools they don’t use.

The next logical step will be to only pay for the individual services consumed. This makes things very easy and efficient for users, who can use the best tool for the job, rather than being confined to a bundle. But it does bring complexity for software providers and IT. The former need to pull apart their bundles into individual service layers without undermining the integrity of each tool. Whereas, the latter will need to manage a wider volume and variety of providers.

The rise of unbundled micro-services will also put a premium on IT talent as the race for multi-skilled IT talent intensifies. The deployment of multiple micro-services will make security and architecture into key issues. This will in turn increase the demand for employees with technical skills, broad business expertise, and processes knowledge to manage portfolios of tools and applications.

  1. AI fear subsides

It’s no secret that 2018 was the year AI hype and anxiety truly peaked. Instead, 2019 will see business leaders and organisations move into the next stage of the hype cycle – nascent yet broad enterprise adoption. This will include the acceleration of real-world applications of AI, with the technology seeping into the fabric of businesses and offices everywhere, changing business operations without most even noticing. For example, this could include the reduction of senior executives’ meeting schedules or optimising datasheets to reconfigure traffic flows without human intervention, all of which would become part of everyday life. AI services are becoming available to organisations - from providers such as AWS and Microsoft - as reference architectures which will emerge into (not as easy as it sounds) plug and play standard services. As AI becomes part of everyday business life, widespread and scaremongering around job losses will also subside as people realise that AI’s role is predominantly to assist, rather than replaces humans. This will help organisations to push employees to feed the AI machine and so increase its effectiveness with a larger quantity and quality of data that it determines. At the end of the day, 2019 will see a renewed push across all business functions - not just IT and Marketing- to use as many digitalised and AI-driven services as possible.

  1. IT will be stretched between innovation and maintenance

Despite the fact that digital transformation has been an established priority for businesses for several years now, this year will see tension continue to build-up between IT and other business functions.

Over half of IT decision makers say that they are now expected to maintain their traditional role of managing core systems as well as innovate; however, this will lead to even greater tension between IT and other functions as 80% of IT leaders say they are already lacking resources.

One of the sources of tension between IT and other business functions is a matter of definition. Traditionally, IT has been viewed as a required cost centre for maintaining core business technology. However, this does not align with IT’s emerging role of driving innovation. Research indicates that more than a fifth of IT departments find themselves owning both roles, without the resources required for success.

As a result, 2019 will see organisations begin to redefine IT from a cost to a profit centre, having a positive impact on IT budget planning and resource allocation. This will be a natural cycle which should accelerate over the coming years.

*By Mike Guggemos, CIO at Insight *

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