The modern world is changing more and more quickly with each passing year. If you don’t pay attention to these new changes, it’s easy to fall behind the times (and the market) while other companies beat you to the punch. The solution? To keep abreast of current changes – at least at a level of basic understanding. Adding to that, if you can’t understand the buzzwords others are using in conversation, it’s much harder to look smart while participating in that conversation. In this post, we’re going to give you the 10 IT & technology buzzwords you won’t be able to avoid in 2019, so that you can stay poised to take advantage of market opportunities and new conversations alike. The rapid change of the technology realm has become a paramount factor in the economic, social and political changes of our world. To stay on top of these changes, we have gathered the most impactful trends that will take over the year 2019.
This technology buzzword will change the way people perceive reality. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are finding their way into business organizations, making customers and employees immersed into the purchase experience, or reducing errors during business operations, all interconnected with sophisticated devices intensifying the reality perception. Smart glasses, 3D rooms, sensors learning about users’ movements and using historical data, creates a powerful network of personalized experiences in the realm of services, products, and customer experience.
DHL started using augmented reality into their logistics processes, making AR devices register if delivery is complete and ready to pick up, check trade documents, digitally navigating the picking staff in warehousing operations, and many other applications to reduce costs and develop the business operation. This multi-experience environment creates a connection between people and digital devices, enhancing the reality experience and providing multiple information that can be utilized in many businesses and, therefore, customize the product or service. As David Cearley said: “The multichannel experience will use all human senses as well as advanced computer senses (…).” Not to be neglected as one of the technology buzzwords of 2019, immersive experience will grow into its potential and applications.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Already in our shortlist of tech buzzwords 2018, Artificial Intelligence is on the front scene for next year again. Scientists have been working on AI for years and in 2019 we will see some more new applications.
AI refers to the autonomous intelligent behavior of software or machines that have a human-like ability to make decisions and to improve over time by learning from experience. Currently, popular approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, and traditional symbolic AI. There are a large number of tools used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics, and many others. In business intelligence, we are evolving from static reports on what has already happened to proactive analytics with real-time dashboards assisting businesses with more accurate reporting. They indeed enable you to see what is happening at every moment and send alerts when something is off-trend. An important part of artificial intelligence comprises machine learning, and more specifically deep learning – that trend promises more powerful and fast machine learning. An exemplary application of this trend would be Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) – the predictive analytics method of analyzing data. Neural networks create a system of interconnected layers with each subsequent layer acting as a filter for more and more complex features that combine those of the previous layer. This feature hierarchy and the filters which model significance in the data, make it possible for the layers to learn from experience. Thus, deep nets can crunch unstructured data that was previously not available for unsupervised analysis.
You can see an application in business intelligence with the datapine solution, that comprises an AI algorithm based on the most advanced neural networks for its alerts. That way, any anomaly is identified with a high accuracy, as it learns from historical trends and patterns: every unexpected event will be notified, and an alert sent.
Some more examples of AI application can be found in various domains: in 2019 we will experience more AI in combination with big data in healthcare. Heart monitors, health monitors, and EEG signal processing algorithms are already on the research frontline. Likewise, major advances have been made in the field of self-driving cars, as major companies, like Tesla and Volvo, are competing to take over the market. Volvo has announced that their autonomous car drivers will have the option to “eat, sleep, work, watch a movie, relax, do whatever.” Another direction in which AI is heading is the introduction of a truly smart smartphone which would be able to make stuff for us. For example, you could tell your phone about the trip you plan and it would book the most convenient flight, hotel and rental car for you. Likewise, 2018 was the year of virtual assistants: Alexa, Cortana, all of them have taken the consumers’ market by storm. It is not going to stop in 2019, as their development is never-ending; Google Now and Siri have become ubiquitous, thanks in large part to the voice recognition software becoming much more powerful over the past year. Siri, Cortana, and Alexa all share similar roles – enabling us to live one step closer to the futuristic notions of having AI virtual assistants that can do anything we need on a whim. Who knows, maybe AI will even have the potential to make or at least help us with our strategic business decisions in the near future.
Regarding the future growth of AI, it is undeniable. The research firm Markets and Markets, for instance, estimates that the AI market will grow from $16.06 billion in 2017 to $190.61 billion by 2025.
AI is undoubtedly one of the most prominent 2019 buzzwords to look out for. Gartner has stated that “artificial intelligence in the form of automated things and augmented intelligence is being used together with IoT, edge computing and digital twins.” We will probably talk about AI as the megatrend of the future. They also predict that by the year 2022, 40% of new application development will have AI co-developers on their team. That being said, it is evident that artificial intelligence won’t leave the IT buzzwords lists any time soon.
When 3D printers entered the market, its revolutionary road became faster with each material added to its printing list. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of creating 3D objects via layers of materials. The latest is metal. Companies like HP and Nike have started to use 3D metal printing into their operations, creating alterations in the manufacturing sector.
Now we can print plastic, food, houses, human tissue and, the last but not least, metal. While the printing process hasn’t yet entered into the average consumers’ living-room, it is just a matter of time when its application spreads to the average consumer’s level. Startups have also started to use this technology, making its utilization into smaller companies, not just market giants.
Biological tissue, food printing, customized jewelry, shoes, or designing your own 3D object and sending to a company to print it for you, all create a set of interesting possibilities where this technology will take us. Buzzwords 2019 won’t be able to set aside the 3D.
Internet of Things
Without a doubt, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most influential IT & tech buzzwords of recent years and will continue to grow in popularity as its applications will become more and more tangible. Advancing society, connecting different systems, improving the quality of our lives – all these potential elements of the IoT is starting to correlate with our traditional perception of reality. The number of connecting devices is growing rapidly, and 2019 won’t be an exception to this trend.
With the Internet of Things, the physical world will become one big information system. Everyday physical objects will be connected to the Internet and to each other creating the ambient intelligence. The new task of designers will be facilitating of an ambient user experience that smoothly flows across and exploits different devices. The device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information. It includes mobile devices, wearables, consumer and home electronic devices, automotive and environmental devices — all sensors in the Internet of Things that interact and cooperate with each other and that will constitute our Internet-connected reality.
The monetary value is also increasing, as more devices are becoming interconnected, bringing more potential to the computing networks of organizations. A study conducted by McKinsey pointed out that the potential economic impact of IoT by the year 2025 could be equivalent to 11% of the world economy. Digitalizing vehicles, machines, physical objects to refine and upgrade our reality is indeed a powerful idea, that should be monitored in the year 2019.
While some may argue that Internet of Things is eating up our world, even creating smart cities, and not just used in business operations, the potential of one of the most important IT buzzwords must not be easily disregarded.
The major holdup right now preventing the “smart home” revolution from happening is that there are too many different platforms on the market and connectivity issues. Google, Amazon, and Apple each have their own “ecosystems” that don’t play well with each other. However, it’s likely that soon this problem will be solved by the forces of innovation and capitalism – so keep an eye on this space in 2019.
The blockchain is the trendiest trend of the past years that keeps growing. This IT buzzword was on everyone’s lips already in the last years, after it made history when in 2017, bitcoin increased its value from $1000 to roughly $20000 (20 times in one year!), but 2018 brought a major price correction that still hasn’t stopped – bitcoin decreased under $5000. Despite the challenges, blockchain technology has significant potential in providing an alternative trust model opposing banks, governments, and many other institutions.
Everyone has heard of the blockchain, but few actually understand how it works due to its relative complexity, so we will try to introduce it here. Blockchain was invented in 2008 to serve as a ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Depending on the circles you run in, bitcoin was either:
- The shadiest thing that has ever happened to the internet
- The coolest innovation in modern currency, ever
- A non-factor since you had no idea what it was
In order to clear up any potential confusion, bitcoin is a system of currency that doesn’t rely on banks, countries, or any outside institutions. This is potentially a very big deal, as there are many people living in developing countries that have to deal with issues like hyperinflation, not being able to exchange their currency for others, and having to exchange currency on the black market.
Bitcoin can solve all that – but the technology underlying bitcoin, called blockchain, is the real star of the show. The blockchain is what enables bitcoin users to be able to exchange currency without any fear of being ripped off or getting “counterfeit” bitcoin. Basically, blockchain works by keeping a record of each transaction that happens using Bitcoin as a currency. This record is completely transparent to everyone and is part of the fundamental structure of bitcoin.
As Investopedia puts it: “To use conventional banking as an analogy, the blockchain is like a full history of banking transactions. Bitcoin transactions are entered chronologically in a blockchain just the way bank transactions are. Blocks, meanwhile, are like individual bank statements.”
Bitcoin is just one example of using blockchain technology in the cryptocurrencies. Last year was the year of many other that entered the market.
This blockchain structure makes it very difficult to forge cryptocurrencies or do any sort of fraudulent activities involving the currency itself. And indeed, its solidity is shown as blockchain is starting to be used by major banks around the world as a way to pay large amounts of money with less time spent on security, thanks to the safety of the blockchain. For example, in October 2016 Wells Fargo and The Commonwealth Bank of Australia made history by using blockchain to facilitate paying for a shipment of cotton from the U.S. to China. The increasing potential does not solely rely on the transaction settlements, but also a highly secure framework for protecting data. In recent years, we have witnessed some shocking data breaches that made users skeptic towards sharing their personal information to 3rd parties. Blockchain has stepped up as an incorruptible encrypted recordkeeper that can be used in securing simple tasks like online shopping. Considering the ups and downs in the last years, blockchain will remain one of the 2019 buzzwords to keep an eye on.
How it will be used in enterprises, we will yet to see.
Microservices / Microservice Architecture
The fifth of our technology buzzwords is more IT-related. The microservices, also known as microservice architecture, is a method of developing software systems different than the traditional one and that has grown in popularity over the past years. It is an architectural style structuring an application as a suite of deployable services that implement some business capabilities.
There is not much out there about such architecture if just some observations and deductions from the common characteristics recognized. And just like there is no “official” definition, there is not one standard model represented in every system based on this architectural method. As we said, microservices can be decomposed into several component services, so that these services can be deployed, twisted, and redeployed independently. That way, the integrity of the application is not compromised by the changes. The microservice architecture is organized around business capabilities, and has cross-functional teams for its development, unlike the traditional “monolithic” development method. They design it in a way that it can cope with failure: as there are several services communicating together, one might go down; then, everything should be designed so that the neighboring services can keep on functioning. That adds substantial complexity to the microservice architecture, with regards to the monolithic one. Finally, the microservices don’t like old-fashion ways of centralized governance. Its developers aim at creating tools that can be used later by other people to solve similar problems: decentralized governance is preferred. Likewise, the data management is also decentralized: while monolithic systems use a single database across different applications, the microservices have a unique database managed by each service.
To sum up, the microservice architecture focuses more on products rather than projects, is organized around business capabilities, adjusts for service breakdown, and has a decentralized data management and governance. Such architecture enables the continuous delivery and deployment of complex and large applications and thus helps companies to evolve their technology stack. A warning, if we may give you one: many IT professionals advise not to start with microservices, but with a monolith. Keep it modular and then split it into microservices once the monolith architecture becomes problematic and you need to evolve.
Martin Fowler summed up the difference between the two architectures in an expressive image:
Source: Martin Fowler
Business utilization of the microservice architecture has started to grow into building applications and software systems specially designed for the specific industry. For example, a retail company may have built an application that can assist in shipping, storage, inventory or accounting. Logistics may use it by connecting vehicles and process the microservice to deliver the exact status and location of the vehicle. While there are many challenges in which microservices can affect a business, a careful thought and strong DevOps and engineering practices must be taken into account when building such systems.
Quantum Computing will continue being a major technology buzzword in 2019. In general quantum computers can solve much more complex problems than classical electronic computers by using quantum bits (qubits) instead of binary digits (bits). This means that the data doesn’t have to be limited to two defined states any more: 0 or 1. For this reason, quantum computing is much more flexible by allowing computations to be performed in parallel.
However, the real challenge is how do quantum machines really carry out these quantum computations. Scientists have been researching in this field for decades, so it may still take some years before quantum computing becomes a reality. Nevertheless, the increasing potential to use quantum computing has even made researches map the path to a quantum Internet. There are many ways in which this new way of computing can be utilized, from cryptography (the most common area people associate for quantum computing), forecasting, aviation, but the interesting part lays within data analysis and interpretation. Although quite far from the everyday usage of quantum systems, big organizations like NASA are already looking into utilizing it for analyzing the enormous data they collect about the universe.
Mobile first is not exactly a new technology buzzword, but it will be accentuated in the years coming. Software providers have realized that users have many different interfaces to the Internet, and to access what they want. They’ve stopped assuming that users – and employees more specifically – do most of their works sitting at their desk in front of their PCs. There is hence the need to develop software and apps that are adapted to these alternative ways of working and use habits.
Mobile first answered that need, by accommodating desktop computing in a way that fits the flexible work style of the mobile and smartphone era. As the name states, it designs the online experience for mobile before designing it for the desktop: a real change in paradigm. First an issue for B2C businesses who have to adjust to permanently changing consumers habit, it has reached the more defined, traditional working-style professional world, and B2B companies are increasingly moving towards mobile first – or at least, “mobile too”.
That is a trend that also came to the business intelligence world. Today, with solutions like datapine’s, you can take your data everywhere you go and work with it flawlessly. Data analysis tools have made the mobility possible, accessing data in real time, and providing insights while on-the-go. We know that modern businesses are not restricted to the physical limits of an office and the opportunity to access and work on your analytics whenever and wherever comes in handy. Digital nomadism is not just for hipster bloggers traveling the world – mobile BI accompanies you with its flexibility and ease of use, whichever device you chose to work with.
New self-service business intelligence tools will provide users with advanced analytics and friendly user interfaces that would enable autonomous and informed decision-making. Business people will be able to pull valuable data insights whenever and wherever they want, as mobile enables easy access on-the-fly. In theory, missed business decisions won’t belong in the future but some decision-makers will still ignore data and follow their guts – humans will remain the weakest part of the system.
We have officially entered the zettabyte era. Cisco has predicted that by the year 2021 annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 ZB per year, or 278 exabytes (EB) per month.
By the way, a zettabyte consists of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.
Churning this vast amount of data brings challenges to companies and consumers alike:
- Smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic
- It would take more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month
- Business IP traffic will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) at 21%
- Business IP traffic will grow fastest in North America
Using data within a context is becoming harder than ever before, and becoming aware of the interpretation and insights we can extract from, data can become our best friend.
Managing data with an online reporting software can make this task easier, securing a smart approach that can make sense of the massive increase of data generated in today’s environment. In business, data has become a precious resource in creating management reports, combining different software and tools to obtain the best possible decision-making process, and leveraging the invaluable information needed to stay competitive in the market.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation is the use of software to automate business processes. It automates repetitive tasks that people used to do. We have heard in the recent years negative connotation that automating processes will alter the labor market and approximately 9% of the global workforce (230 million people). According to Gartner, the RPA market will achieve $1 billion in the next 2 years, so it’s not far from the truth when we say that the robotic process is the next big technology thing. From generating a simple automatic e-mail response to processing transactions or configuring a software for other business processes, RPA will not be possible to disregard as one of the buzzwords 2019.
Many companies have started to use RPA, including, but not limited to, Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank, Walmart, and American Express Global Business Travel which uses RPA to automate refunds of canceling airline tickets.
The benefits consist of reducing staff costs and potential human errors, but the installing process is still quite a demanding task. It is complex and expensive, so not many companies can utilize the whole potential of RPA. Nevertheless, RPA, as one of the noticeable technology buzzwords will continue to change the market in 2019.
What Are The IT & Technology Buzzwords For 2019?
2019 holds a lot of exciting tech innovations in store, that we don’t know about yet. We can, however, sum up here the 10 IT and tech buzzwords that we believe will be abundantly discussed in the coming year:
- Immersive Experience
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- 3D Alteration
- Internet of Things
- Microservices / Microservice Architecture
- Quantum Computing
- Mobile First
- Zettabyte Era
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
The rate of change in our modern world is accelerating with each passing year. However, by keeping pace with these changes, you can take advantage of new opportunities in the market that your slower competitors either can’t see or can’t act upon quickly enough. Hopefully, by reading these 10 technology buzzwords to watch out for in 2019 you’ve learned what to pay attention to in the headlines – the rest is up to you!