2019 is off and running. Every new year presents an opportunity for the next big innovation or breakthrough. Nowhere is this truer than in the tech industry. Here are a few trends and developments we’ll be watching closely in 2019 to help our companies be more productive and better serve our customers.
1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning aren’t necessarily a new trend, but one that’s always evolving and exciting to keep an eye on. More and more machines are capable of doing the “thinking” aspect of work. In 2019, AI will become more transparent, so to speak. One of the main concerns about utilizing AI is the lack of trust and the fear of liabilities from something you can’t see or understand. With the workings of AI becoming more transparent, that trust will grow.
This will be a focal point for 2019. For example, IBM has announced improved traceability for decisions made by its AI technology. This helps companies keep on top of AI-made decisions that may be biased or discriminatory, allowing those to be eliminated and the technology improved. Amazon recently learned this lesson when they discovered their AI hiring tool was discriminating against women. With more transparent AI, issues like these will continue to be resolved before they happen.
2. Internet of Things Market Boom
There are already an estimated 3.6 billion devices connected to the Internet and used for daily tasks, according to IT Pro. That number is expected to grow, helping pave the way for a need for 5G connectivity.
The effect of these devices on the manufacturing and healthcare industries will be even more impressive. With devices that are part of the IoT, manufacturers will be able to manage inventory, prevent delays and improve production easier than ever before. The IoT will also completely change the approach to healthcare. Smart home care will become part of the norm offering an increased dedication and convenience to patient care.
There will also be an increase in “smart” areas in popular cities. We’ve already seen the advent of smart homes and smart cars, but in 2019, cities will begin to follow suit. Areas are already being built that can record walking routes, building occupancy and temperature preferences. Data like these is sure to help businesses of every stripe better serve their customers, so keep an eye out!
3. The Changing Opinion of the IT Department
Previously seen as a cost section of the company, businesses are now beginning to see IT departments as worthy contributors to their revenue growth. Not to editorialize, but it’s about time. According to the 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, nearly 50% of respondents expect to increase their IT budget in 2019. You read that correctly—50%!
With a dramatically increased budget, CIOs will look to expand their IT staff. One of the IT hiring trends to look for 2019 will be a larger focus on specialized talent. Companies are going to be looking for experts in specific areas of tech, such as AI development, ML engineers, etc. With additional resources, companies will be able to afford to look for these areas of specialization.
However, an increased interest in specialized talent will mean that finding the right job candidate will require even more work. With more tech departments competing for the perfect hire, companies are going to have to step up their game. Creating appealing benefit packages and competitive salaries as well as ensuring an unbeatable company culture will be more important than ever if you’re looking to attract new talent.
Along with hiring more specialized talent, 2019 will also highlight the importance of diversity in your tech department. Diversity made the news all throughout 2018. Many companies will continue to prioritize diversity throughout the coming year. Additionally, there have also been reports, such as this one from McKinsey, proving the business benefits of diversity, such as increased innovation.
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Phil is Aspirant's Technology Director with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.