Technology innovation over the past decade has seen most businesses embrace digitalisation to increase efficiencies and customer reach. The digital framework is set to become the foundation for disruptive technologies to offer businesses extraordinary new capabilities as services become highly customised, real time experiences built around customer needs and preferences.
Here we further review the new technologies tipped to be transformative in 2019.
Forbes has compiled Technology Predictions for 2019 and Beyond. There is a main focus on AI and Blockchain. Cloud, IoT, Big Data and Security are all covered with an emphasis on combinations of all these technologies leading to greater advances.
Deloitte Insights focuses past the digital frontier in identifying Tech Trends for 2019. The full potential of the existing core elements of digitalisation – social networks, mobile connectivity, analytics and cloud – remains largely untapped with these technologies evolving at an astounding pace. Deloitte identifies three key new trends of virtual and augmented reality; artificial intelligence and machine learning; and blockchain as a purveyor of trust in an increasingly digitalised world. 2019 will see more use of blockchain across industries as well as the continued growth of blockchain-as-a-service solutions. The environment is particularly ripe for innovation now with data privacy protection, identity verification and incorruptible recordkeeping top on the agenda for business executives.
In Accenture Technology Vision 2019 the focus is also on a post-digital world and the technologies business will have to embrace in order to compete. Accenture use the acronym SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) to describe the core foundation components of a digital business. As companies continue to grow as digital businesses, they will need to keep up with the latest technologies, as well as continue to master those that have been maturing. New technologies are catalysts for change, offering businesses extraordinary new capabilities. Distributed Ledger technology (blockchain), Artificial Intelligence, extended Reality and Quantum computing (DARQ) are tipped as being the next set of new technologies to spark a step change.
Accenture predict that the world is now moving into a post-digital era with companies shaping how governments, business partners, employees and individuals interact with the world through technology. In order to succeed future-minded leaders will need to incorporate new technologies that work in conjunction with all existing digital tools. The digital revolution has enabled businesses to understand their partners and customers at unprecedented depth. Ambitious companies are looking at DARQ technologies for the next source of differentiation and disruption. As these technologies reach maturity and converge, they will let businesses expand upon their digital capabilities to build intelligent and highly customised, in-the-moment experiences that help shape their business partners’ and employees’ lives.
Success in the future starts now. As they mature, DARQ technologies will offer businesses huge opportunity. But there is a risk in waiting to make a move. Many took too long to build their digital capabilities through adopting SMAC technologies and as a result struggled to keep up with digital first businesses. Accenture report that a whopping 89% of businesses are already experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies. Each technology is at a different point on the adoption curve. The most widely used is artificial intelligence (and machine learning). Forty-one percent of business and IT leaders report that AI will have the greatest impact on their organisations over the next three years. Nineteen percent say the most significant technology over the same period will be blockchain as companies create new value and efficiencies through distributed ledgers. Whilst quantum computing has been talked about for many years, out of the DARQ technologies, it remains the furthest from maturity. The high level of investment required has been a major hindrance to adoption but advances in quantum research are bringing down the costs significantly. Fifty years of advances in mathematics, material science and computer science has transformed quantum computing from theory to reality. The number of qubits (the quantum equivalent of a bit in a traditional computer) in leading chips is accelerating; it took IBM 19 years to get from a chip with 2 qubits to a chip with 17, which they finally achieved in 2017; later that year IBM bested their own record with 50 qubits and in 2018 Google had unveiled a chip with 72 qubits. Alongside these significant technological advances, Microsoft, Rigetti Computing, 1Qbit and other leaders in quantum research are increasingly making their quantum systems available for experimentation via APIs and software development kits. These offerings allow companies to develop and test quantum solutions for specific enterprise use cases today.
Volkswagon are an example of a company that is truly embracing the potential of DARQ technologies. They are testing blockchain to protect cars from hackers, facilitate automatic payments at petrol stations, create tamper proof odometers and more. They have teamed up with Nvidia to add AI capabilities to new models and are providing step by step augmented reality instructions to help service employees repair vehicles. Volkswagon are also using quantum computing to test traffic flow optimisation models and to simulate the chemical structure of batteries hoping to accelerate the battery development required for the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
As with all new technologies, wider usage will build up the DARQ capabilities and accelerate development of further applications. Many experts believe the true potential and value of the DARQ technologies will be released by combining them.
Microsoft and Adents have combined to offer a supply chain tracking platform with integrated distributed ledgers and AI. The platform is a blockchain-as-a-service solution and offers greater traceability, transparency and security throughout the supply chain, guarding against counterfeit goods. The Microsoft machine learning and business intelligence services transform the collected data into actionable business insights to increase efficiencies.
DARQ technologies will empower the post-digital era for businesses and those looking to lead must start now. The companies that recognise the opportunity will be the leaders in a brand-new competitive landscape and will offer the greatest upside to investors looking to ride this new wave of technology.
One thing for sure, this is an exciting time for technology with greater advances predicted over the next ten years than what we have seen in the last decade. Quite remarkable when you consider how smart phones, social media and connectivity have changed the way we work, communicate, spend time and generally live our lives over the last ten years.
With the new waves of technologies sitting on top of existing tech, the mind boggles at the increased capabilities and speed of development as the new technologies combine to generate exponential change. It is an even more exciting time to be backing these new technologies and identifying investment opportunities. Seasoned tech investors know that sensational returns are possible from trail-blazing companies that successfully ride the upcoming technology wave.
Deloitte Insights “Tech Trends 2019 Beyond the digital frontier”
Forbes Technology Council “Technology Predictions for 2019 and Beyond”
Digital Trends “5 tech trends to watch in 2019”
Accenture Technology Vision 2019 “The Post-Digital Era is Upon US – Are you Ready for What’s Next?”
U.Today “Top 10 Blockchain Stocks to Invest in 2019”
IBM Digital Nordic “IBM tech predictions for 2019”
Forbes Technology Council “2019 Tech Forecast: 11 Experts Predict the Next Wave of Breakout Technologies”
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