We are about two months into 2019, which is already shaping to be a great and transformative year in the world of technology. We’ve compiled a list of 5 major IT trends to be on the lookout for this year:
5G technology is already being widely developed, but 2019 will be the year where greater implementation starts to occur. The goal of 5g is to be a large upgrade from 4G, similarly to how 4G was for 3G. 5G aims to boost wireless internet speeds through the use of higher and larger frequency bands, increasing the range of frequencies available and the number of carriers transferring data. The end result of 5G is to have speeds that are approximately 1000x that of 4G. Despite the idea that 5G will create islands of wireless connectivity, this technology still requires a dense network of wired infrastructure. Until this infrastructure is in place throughout the country, the projected high speeds of 5G will not be a reality.
The race for 5G technology has been on for some time, but in 2018 we saw some examples of what 5G technology is going to look like. One example being 5G drone coverage at the Winter Olympics in early 2018. 2019 is the year that the expectation is to see 5G islands start to connect communities and business networks at a larger scale. This year will also be the year that we start to get a better idea of what 5G will look like in everyday life with implementations like self-driving 5G buses, which will lead the way for commercialization of 5G in the near future.
As 5G technology increases, we will see an even greater volume of data than we do currently. Over time we will see an increase in the number of connected devices as more IoT (Internet of Things) devices are created. These devices will also start to connect to 5G networks instead of WiFi routers connected to wired internet. As 5G helps to increase the number of connected devices, the amount and availability of data will exponentially increase.
Greater Implementation of Digital Devices, Including IoTs and Robotics
This trend is not surprising, as IoTs and robots have already been woven into many parts of everyday life. 2019 will be another year of rapid development and usage of digital devices across many industries. The addition of AI into digital devices will continue as IoTs and robots take on a bigger role in consumer homes and businesses. IoTs and robots will start to hold a bigger role in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation, taking on a more industrial role. Even though the world may appear to be heavily digitally connected already, this trend will continue to increase in 2019.
2019 will likely see a greater pursuit of blockchain applications outside of cryptocurrency. Harvard Business Review defines blockchain as, “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.” Blockchain essentially allows businesses and organizations to trace transactions without needing a centralized party like a bank. As this technology continues to develop and evolve, we will see an increase use in industries that include manufacturing, transportation, finance, healthcare, and government.
The growing infrastructure of the digital world, especially with AI, places a need for intelligent cybersecurity measures. A rapid growth in this infrastructure has left many systems in a potentially fragile state, open to cybersecurity issues. The commercialization of AI, in particular, places a large target on these platforms and systems due to the large amounts of data associated with them. Cyber criminals can also use AI technology to instigate more advanced cyber-attacks with sophisticated social engineering attacks that may include realistic video, audio, or disinformation. The Better Business Bureau estimates cybercrime to reach a cost of $2 Trillion globally in 2019. Defending digital systems from cyber-attacks will have to use the technology of AI to maintain secure systems.
Digital & AI Ethics
The increasing development and presence of AI, both in the home and in business, has created a greater need for digital ethics, specifically regarding AI. As commercialization and adoption of AI in business continues, standard expectations for AI ethics will need to take hold to maintain trust of consumers.
The greater implementation of technology into the lives of consumers has made individuals increasingly more aware of the value of their personal information. This creates a need for businesses to develop and adopt codes of conduct to ensure that ethical expectations are being held to maintain consumer trust. Codes of conduct for AI systems should include non-discriminatory, security, and transparent policies and procedures that maintain accountability.
The future of AI ethics also includes the involvement of government regulations, as we have already started to see with one prominent example being the GDPR in the European Union. As ethics in this technological area develops, we will also likely see an increase in development of education and training in AI to maintain ethical compliance.
What do these trends mean for business?
As the digital world continues to evolve with trends like these the landscape of business will certainly follow suit. An increase in data volume due to these trends will drive the need for businesses to take advantage of data analytics to make informed and data-driven business decisions. It’s also important to note that digitization of business very much applies to businesses of all sizes. Small to medium-sized businesses should digitize as much as possible to give them a competitive advantage over other businesses of their size.