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Tech Trends and Predictions: 2019’s First Digi-Cluster Panel

At last month’s Digi-Cluster Event, our expert panel were asked to give their opinions and thoughts on some of the largest tech trends of the last 12 months and the coming year.

On the night, our panel was made up of:

They covered GDPR, 5G, Voice Search and what we really mean when we talk about innovation. Here’s what they had to say.

GDPR

This was the subject with the most consensus. We all know about the huge storm that GDPR caused in 2018 and it seems to have very much dropped off since then. Crucially, we’re all getting the same levels of spam.

Tim commented on the lack of contact from data protection officers and that the only movement has been focussed on Google in Ireland. Is it just a play for the big boys?

Key takeout: Just because the noise has died down doesn’t mean GDPR is gone forever. Quite the opposite in fact. 2019 is when we’re set to see some enforcement in action. Are you compliant?

Voice Search

The debate quickly heated up with the discussion of voice search. With an increase in voice search will 2019 become the year of laziness? Will we all be using Alexa to write a text message while we queue for our coffees?

Will it truly impact businesses or is it just another fad? Who remembers Google glass?

Well, one of the things our panel were all in agreement over was of the different ways that generations search. Kids use the keyboard as a last resort. Everything is voice. If that’s what you’ve grown up with it makes sense that that’s how it should be done.

Unfortunately, in industry things aren’t always that intuitive.

Jess touched on how many traditional organisations continue to struggle with basic things and low level tech. How quickly can businesses in financial services or traditional industries move to make the most of voice? While it may be popular with their consumers, the organisations themselves will be slow.

However, for cutting edge brands in the lifestyle space, 2019 could well be the year for voice search.

Kelly also highlighted how it is in fact being adopted by more traditional industries, where the need is there, and the thinking is right. For example, construction companies that have a need for activation when people on site are required to order parts quickly while wearing gloves. Voice is the way to go.

Key takeout: when voice can begin to do your chores for you rather than simply listen to your requests, that’s when it becomes a game-changer. As yet, we’re not quite there. But we may well be this year.

5G

We know it’s set to be rolled out this year, but our panel was concerned with how this can further highlight the disparity between areas of the UK.

Key questions focussed on how or when this will be available in rural areas. It may be transformative for agencies and especially for the use of video, but ultimately it may only benefit a very small number of people.

This led onto a discussion of the pace of change and the implementation of tech that will be defunct before it’s in place.

Consider the cost of the HS2 railway and how long it’s taken to be implemented. Compare this to the Virgin Hyperloop system that sets to be available to the public in Dubai in just two years. HS2 is already well behind in the tech stakes and it’s not even in place yet.

Key takeaway: tech that focusses on bringing packets of people together quickly and easily, as opposed to pockets of data is where the real innovation can be found.

Innovation

Which moves us on to innovation itself. What is it? Is it just associated with tech? And if so is it a finite resource to quote the thinking of Elon Musk?

Or is it just simply making things better? Is it less about focussing on the latest tech and more about understanding the best way to enhance a product or service in line with the needs of the customer and the overarching business objectives?

If it’s the latter, then there’s plenty more innovation to come.

Bringing together some of the best minds in the industry to gauge their thoughts and opinions on all things digital is a key part of our Digi-Cluster events. You can learn more here about our events and book your ticket for April’s Digi-Cluster.

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