2018 was another interesting year for technology, from GDPR and data privacy to fake news and the ever increasingly popularity of AI. But what does 2019 have in store? Here are EBC Group’s top tech predictions.
The concept of a ‘smart city’ has been banded around for a while, however technologies that are coming of age are bringing that vision much closer. 2019 will mark the start of a race to build ‘city brains’ that will integrate sensors, cameras and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to operate whole urban areas, essentially acting as a ‘brain’ that connects all public services in a city.
2.Cyber attacks in reality:
Cyber criminals and large-scale cyber attacks have been making headline news for sometime now, however 2019 will be the year of cyber-physical hacking. We are all aware of the effects of ransom attacks with leading names falling prey to significant data breaches, but we’re about to see a move from cyberspace into the real world. From manufacturing equipment to data centres, and even surveillance cameras, hackers will have the ability to shut down entire business operations with detrimental consequences.
3.RIP in-house IT:
As SME’s continue to battle against a rapidly expanding remote workforce, cloud technology and big data, 2019 will see a significant rise in businesses abandoning costly in-house IT in favour of outsourced solutions. Attempts to maintain their own IT infrastructure will now be handed to an expert Managed Service Provider, who will act as a single source to deliver cost effective, integrated and fully managed environments.
4.Here comes 5G:
5G will finally make it’s eagerly awaited appearance in 2019, promising to bring with it the ability to transmit massive amounts of data super quickly and enable the likes of immersive VR, Self-driving cars and other future techs.
Concrete deadlines have now been put in place, with telecom companies, phone manufacturers and government officials meeting over the next year to finalise standards, with the first wave of 5G compatible smartphones being released in the coming year. It’s likely however, that unless you’re in a specific city, on the right network, 2020 will be the year where there are more phones and networks available. Businesses in the meantime should start drawing up plans as to how they can leverage 5G technologies to gain a competitive edge, with increased bandwidth and speed improving efficiencies business wide.
Expect a shift from stand-alone intelligent things, to a host of devices working collaboratively, with or without human input. According to Gartner, 2019 will see automation and AI technologies provide technology that can carry out functions previously performed by humans. This new technology will no longer be limited to an individual task, but will be linked to carry out projects from start to finish.
For example, we may see autonomous delivery vehicles driving through our streets with on-board drones used to complete the delivery of a parcel direct to your door.
6. Ethics & Privacy
Four letters that gave most businesses a very big headache in 2018 is far from gone. Issues surrounding GDPR and privacy rights will continue to be a growing concern, due to the rising awareness of how data is being used, and where this is stored.
With privacy now closely linked to the broader policy of ethics or trust, it will be become much more apparent which companies value their customers privacy, and most crucially which ones don’t.
Although Cloud news may seem like old news, developments and issues surrounding cloud adoption continue to evolve. 2019 will see the birth of a new buzzword, ‘Multicloud’, whereby business will mix their workloads between running in public, private and hybrid cloud environments. Organisations will realise that putting all your ‘eggs in one basket’ isn’t necessarily the right choice, with Multicloud bringing with it a host of benefits that include; lower risks from DDoS attacks, flexibility, reliability and cost efficiencies.
8. VR for business
It’s a trend that has been making steady progress over the past few years, but it would seem Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Realty (AR) are now fully on their way to being integrated into the mainstream market. Businesses will start to find ways to use AR to showcase their products in real time, allowing customers to view their products in 3D, and essentially ‘try before they buy’.
9. Rise of the remote workforce
This of course is not a new trend. Remote working has been rapidly growing for a number of years, however 2019 will start to see a shift in the way employees engage with both their business and customers. Thanks to the rise of telecommunications such as video, message platforms and cloud capabilities, the need for employees to commute or be on the road has subsided, and made way for a new remote workforce that can simply connect from home or any remote location.
Businesses will need to re-address both their collaboration and communication strategies in order to accommodate the changing ways in which business will be conducted.
10. Attack of the ‘Vaporworms’
A new wormlike malware which runs entirely on memory without leaving a file on the infected system is about to make things much more difficult in 2019. Without a malicious file to scan, traditional endpoint antivirus systems have a tough time detecting and blocking these fileless threats, and paired with unpatched vulnerable software, leaves the door wide open to ‘Vaporworm’ exploitation. We only have to look at previous cyberattacks such as WannaCry and NotPetya to realise the significance of having a good cyber security strategy in place, for now, and in the future.