Technology is developing at such a rapid pace that in order to just keep up, businesses need to think ahead. The New Year is looming so now is the time that businesses should start thinking about the technology trends that will matter to their business.
Seven experts in the industry have given their technology predictions for 2019, ranging from augmented reality becoming more common place and the further development of the cloud.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Sam Furr, Founder & Product Director at Tappable, the App Developers
Augmented and Virtual reality tech is going from strength to strength lately, some of the best displays at CES this year were innovations in the field and I think we can expect more moving forward. One of the show’s big highlights was an app that allowed the user to try out different hair colours in real time with an AR display. You’ve probably seen it; the video has gone a bit viral.
I would expect that the increased interest in wearables will be a driving factor for the growth of this market and we may even see headsets designed to blur the line between AR and VR which can be used for both. Beyond a consumer viewpoint though, there are more and more industries adopting the technology as it improves. The healthcare industry being a prime example where both AR and VR have been used to enhance the treatments available to patients. AR can offer options that only a few years ago would be impossible.
Michael Foot, Founder of Quote Goat
2019 will be the year of centralised logins for online users. With GDPR being a big part of 2018 as well as growing concern with regards to data breaches, I’m expecting to see the development of online passports whereby a user creates and manages their data through one central provider, removing the need to create a different account for every online store, social media profile, email account etc. When a user wishes to sign up to a website, that site will send a request to access necessary elements of the user’s data in order to provide their service. Users will benefit from being able to control which online services have access to what information at any time, all from one place, not to mention the fact that we’ll all hopefully only need to remember one password in the future.
Louis Fernandes, VP & UK Country Manager, Basware
I think we’re all aware that A.I is one of the big things to expect in 2019. Driverless cars, automated processes, A.I is filling more and more roles in business and we’d expect this to continue. In heavily data driven sectors like finance there are occasionally concerns that such fast growth will affect jobs, but I’m more inclined to believe that the technology will change how we work rather than replace the human input entirely.
I think that rather than fully replicate human thinking, A.I will move along as a complimentary agent that can be used to collate and process large amounts of data while the human element will be in interpreting this data for meaningful information. Of course, training your staff to make best use of this technology and ensure they can avoid bias in their interpretations will be key. I expect that this is the direction A.I will be moving and it’s something we’re already preparing for.
UK Manufactured Hardware
James Wickes, CEO and co-founder of Cloudview
I think we’ll see an increasing interest in the provenance of hardware, particularly IoT devices. The Bloomberg story about a major hardware hack may have been discredited, but it highlights very real fears about the security of hardware we rely on for everything from personal use to national infrastructure. In my own sector, there have been warning about Chinese CCTV cameras from MI6 and the US Dept. of Homeland Security, and malicious backdoors have been identified. So I predict that we will see more visits to overseas manufacturing facilities as organisations check out where components in their equipment are made. Perhaps it will lead to a growth in UK manufactured hardware, where it exists? I certainly hope so.
Nik Whitfield, CEO of Panaseer
The two main objectives for cybercriminals are typically to steal or break something. This might be stealing personal information or intellectual property, and breaking things such as websites and services. However, in 2018 we saw a continued growth in good old fashioned state sponsored propaganda, through widespread influencing campaigns over social media. The Internet and social media are just so good at scaling propaganda that it’s hard to resist.
In 2018 the world didn’t experience any mega-ransomware attacks, such as with WannaCry and NotPetya in 2017, but it’s important to note that cybercriminal and nation state hacking groups haven’t disbanded – the truth is that if they are meeting their aims using covert tactics and existing techniques, why deploy new ones? Instead they have likely been working to develop new techniques, which they can deploy as defences are strengthened.
Organisations need to be prepared for more sophisticated attacks in 2019. As no company can be 100% secure there must be clarity on acceptable levels of risks and investment in the fundamentals of cyber hygiene – knowing, on any day, what assets you’re protecting, how they’re controlled, and how they’re vulnerable – will crucially help protect against the vast majority of future attacks.
Matthew Schofield, Security Solutions Consultant at NTT Security
The cloud is no longer an adjunct to traditional on-premise or co-located IT. Employees and application owners neither recognise nor care about the differences – they’re all just applications and data services regardless of location. Yet organisations are still struggling with secure adoption of the cloud. Implementation of unified or hybrid IT and security policies, visibility and control into cloud usage, data security/suitability issues and a mis-held belief that it’s the responsibility of the cloud provider continue to hamper the secure adoption of the cloud and continue to put organisations at unnecessary risk.
The inherent depth and breadth of opportunity that cloud computing now provides means organisations must think in detail about both the opportunities and risks associated with the nuances of different cloud services and models. Throwing things in a cloud ‘bucket’ is increasingly less helpful much in the same way that businesses 40-50 years ago might have referred to ‘computers’ and more recently ‘IT’ – terms that we now recognise are unhelpful when evaluating information security and risk.
AI In The Cloud
Simon Evans, CTO of Amido
2019 is the year that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will go mainstream using the power of today’s cloud. It is not just the technologies of the cloud that have changed; its purpose is shifting too and businesses need to start accepting that the New Normal lies in these five major cloud elements: Cloud-native applications, multi-cloud strategy, embracing mobile applications into the cloud, viable data lakes and the democratisation of data science – all of which are pivotal to becoming an AI-Driven Business. Most importantly, if companies want to remain competitive and relevant, then they must embrace these cloud elements.
2019 will be critical for enterprises to build a usable/viable data lake as they continuously deploy services using cloud native applications and a multi-cloud strategy. Companies must add an intelligent set of discoverable, metadata-tagged data from all their systems, devices and services to extract value from the daily terabytes of structured and unstructured data generated. Analytics, business intelligence, Machine Learning (ML) and AI is then applied to gain vital insights into new efficiencies to gain a competitive edge. Finally, and most importantly, adding data science tooling will allow more control and prevent the data lakes into becoming data swamps.