From the urgent requirement to adapt to new digital technologies, and the lack of communication between disparate systems; to money and time lost through ineffective processes, and the need to make the best use of big data, 2018 has proved a challenging but exciting year for SME and Enterprise brands alike.
For our clients, we are making sure next year they ccan stay one step ahead, providing them with the edge over the competition and to continue to add value to their digital landscape. We spoke to our CEO & CTO to get their ten digital predictions for traditional businesses in 2019:
1. Digital change to be top of the agenda
If your business isn’t already focusing on a digital change strategy in 2019 then it may be getting a bit too late. The barrier to entry for businesses across most sectors is far lower today because of digital technologies and that means your competition are everywhere. And if they’re not today, they might be tomorrow – literally.
According to Futurum, 76.6% of businesses describe their relationship with digital transformation and technology as average or above. Meaning that nearly a quarter of businesses are still completely behind the times. Are you one of those stuck in the dark ages? Get yourself equipped for the future with a digital change strategy today.
In 2019 our aim is to help 100’s more businesses leaders in Manufacturing, Distribution and traditional businesses understand how to utilise digital technologies to really propel their growth sustainably. Come along to one of our Technology Tune-up workshops to find out how.
2. Automation, automation, automation
Automation is absolutely imperative to creating a streamlined, functional workforce. Businesses who aren’t embracing proper automation in their workflows are not going to be able to compete on margin and that’s only a slippery slope to failure in the long run. Businesses who truly understand the power of automation will thrive as more processes become technology-enabled and traditional methods become a thing of the past.
According to CMO.com, modern technology could automate 45% of the activities people are paid to perform, and about 60% of all occupations could see 30% or more of their activities automated. But, believe us, it is not to say that people will not be needed! Automation should – and is – introduced to enable staff to be more productive and effective in their job so your business can focus it’s most valuable assets on important tasks.
3. AI will really make an impact
Now is the time for AI, but to really make the most of it for your business, the key is in the data. According to Forrester in their AI predictions for 2019, 60% of decision makers cite data quality as either challenging or very challenging. Learn how to harness the data and AI really will begin to have an impact.
We’re also set to see huge demand for AI talent in 2019 but where will it lead? In 2019, whilst there will be huge advancements in ML, we see that deep learning will continue to advance in power and importance over the coming years. It has already been the fastest-growing and most popular AI technology over the past few years so this is likely to continue making it’s mark.
4. 5G will speed things up
The next few years will see a huge increase in the number of connected devices for consumers. This can and will include cars, our watches and the fridges in our homes. According to Gartner, there will be 20.8 million connected devices by 2020. The increased speed and performance of 5G is essential to support that activity. Just to put things in perspective, the first iPhone was only released around 11 years ago, so it’s amazing to see how far mobile technology has evolved in such a short space of time. (Where will we be in 2020? Who knows!)
5. Voice search will take off
It seems the past few years we’ve only just scratched the surface on voice enabled technology and there is a long way to go with the practicality of the medium, but the rise of voice search has got every marketeer buzzing. And now is where it gets really exciting!
Providing the consumer with devices to make this a reality has enabled businesses to take advantage of a whole new era in search marketing. ComScore predicts that 50% of searches will use visual or voice by 2020, which is an entirely different approach to conventional search as we know it.
If you’re not already at the party, don’t forget to show up, because your competitors will already be there.
6. Robotics on the rise
The robots have been coming for a while now, but 2019 is really set to be a pivotal year in the robotics space. This year we’ll see more cloud connected robots – Google and Amazon are predictably ahead of the game, but this will be revolutionary for the manufacturing sector.
Did you know the UK has the lowest use of robotics in the EU? 72 out of every 10,000 employees. Korea have over 650 per 10k. We’ve got a long way to go!
7. Big data set to get bigger
For many, big data is already an established part of gathering business intelligence. In 2019, it’s only going to get bigger. We’ll see AI used to process and gather it and we’ll also see the requirement for bigger businesses to have a data curator in place. GDPR is also here to stay, at home and in the US.
8. Hybrid technology and IT services
The traditional CIO is no more and today, your information team needs to be providing not just technical IT and hardware support but also be digitally savvy to be able to provide the breadth of services required for businesses to really function.
9. IoT will continue to grow
This is nothing new. Originally coined in 1999, but with references in history dating back to 1926 it’s safe to say a connected world has been on the agenda for a long time! Smart factories, cities and homes are on the rise and IoT is at the core, set to shape both commercial and consumer lives.
With IoT enabled technologies across all sectors, it’s only a matter of time before everything is connected in some way.
In 2019, traditional businesses with a forward thinking outlook are set to benefit tremendously from IoT in 2019. Sensors, RFID tags, and smart beacons have already started the next industrial revolution and they’re moving forward at a rate of knots.
Whilst growing in popularity, Blockchain has still been a bit of a dirty word in 2018 among a great majority with the rise of Crypto investors and a lack of real understanding from most. Throughout, businesses have pushed to make sure that data can be trusted, especially when managing data in a distributed way. GDPR also played a big part in highlighting why this distributed network is so important for businesses to adopt.
Industries that have an important need for extremely secure data will benefit from Blockchain solutions, such as Healthcare to ensure the protection of patient data and electronic medical records.