Technology Outlook For 2019: What Experts Are Saying

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 27, 2018

digital

It’s that time of year where everyone is predicting the future. As we move from 2018 into 2019, the technology industry certainly has seen a slew of new developments and will foresee many more technological advancements in the next one year and beyond. CXOToday comes up with a list of opinions from experts in the IT industry to know what they believe would be the top tech trends for 2019. Excerpts.  

Vijender Yadav, CEO at Accops Systems

“We stand at an inflexion point for technology adoption at the end of 2018, where we predict 2019 will see huge focus on Mobility & Security as the growth in ICT spending continues to be driven by The Big Four: Cloud, Mobility, Big data & Artificial intelligence. This business transformation has given rise to the need of secure data access at any time, from any location and from any device.
 
Cloud technologies have crossed the chasm, accelerating digital transformation, but heavily regulated industries such as BFSI, Healthcare, Defense and Government have already raised concerns pertaining to privacy & security. 2019 onwards, regulated industries can expect stricter governance policies and compliance. Data protection of cloud applications such as O365, Dynamic CRM, Salesforce etc. hence becomes imperative for enterprises. At the same time, security practices will have to evolve keeping in mind ease of use, seamless access with stronger authentication policies for devices and users. 
 
The Big Four will unleash multiplied innovation with massive data sharing and monetization, and hyper agile application deployment technologies.  They will help organizations to create seamless digital work spaces that are dynamic in nature. Business operations have already started seeing benefits with chat-bots being able to solve level 1 technical support queries with help of machine learning. Accops predicts with the help of The Big Four, security teams will be able to automate & self-heal faults and provide both predictive and proactive security that is self-aware. Time-consuming tasks of IT teams such as troubleshooting, or provisioning of applications and infrastructure will be automated leading to reduced IT complexity. Digital transformation will also witness plethora of benefits with other upcoming technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, block chain & IOT driven industry 4.0.  
 
Providing secure access to endpoints and business data distributed across geo diverse locations is a major challenge, while adopting any new technology. Implementation efforts on any of big four technologies will be futile until IT infrastructure is consolidated. Data, which is the key underlying element for implementation of big data or artificial intelligence or mobility, can only be brought under control with help of centralized IT infrastructure.”
 

Makarand Joshi, Area Vice President and Country Head, India Subcontinent, Citrix

“We see four key technology trends shaping the next stage of transformation, in 2019.

Cloud Integration – The next wave of transformation through cloud technology will be through its integration with AI, machine learning, analytics and robotics

Diverse needs of a multigenerational workforce – With an increasing number of millennials joining the workforce, enterprises need to address concerns of a multi-generational workforce, while ensuring growth and boost productivity
Tightening the Security Lens – While 2018 has been crucial in terms of data management and security, organizations must make concerted efforts towards fully adapting to new policies and regulations
AI: Making its presence felt across sectors – Enterprises across sectors are increasingly looking toward AI as it has now taken a front seat in an IT set-up. When analytics is integrated with machine learning and AI, it can bring forth profound changes for businesses.”
 

Shantha Maheswari, Managing Director – Industry Practice, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India 

Accenture sees two broad factors shaping the retail industry – on one hand, rapid advancements in technology are enabling  retailers to create innovative experiences for products and services to consumers; and on the other hand the fundamental definition of retail is itself evolving.

In the Accenture Technology Vision 2018, we said that the world is reimagining itself not just around digital innovationbut, by extension, around the companies that provide the innovative services. People are not just using companies’ products and services, but are feeding information and access back to them, and retail is perhaps one of the best examples of this trend. As a  result, to deliver such “integrated innovation,” retailers need a profound level of insight into, and integration with, people’s lives and their partners’ business. As a result, technologies like analytics and artificial intelligence in the retail industry will enable retailers to develop more personalized experiences for consumers.

Retail will also be one of the early trend-setters in the adoption of immersive experiences for consumers, effectively  changing the way people connect with information, products, services, experiences, and each other. We can expect more virtual reality and augmented reality-based solutions from retailers to woo their customers and enrich their experiences.

Additionally, retailers who are more progressively adopting technologies to grow their business will realize that theyneed to build a greater degree of trust with their customers, and this is significant. The expansion of customer touch points will force retailers to transition from a fixed real estate distribution strategy to a dynamic marketplace-level service strategy. To grow in the future, retailers must use innovation to reimagine offerings, selling and operating models. Emerging technologies will create new affiliations and partnerships in the industry, enabling retailers to achieve new levels of growth and differentiation. Technologies like AI, robotics and automation will significantly influence supply chain and logistics.

 
Rajesh Thadhani, Sales Director at Crayon Software
 
“AI itself is a vast and deep subject. AI has already paved its way in most of the industries. In the future, AI and big data will offer powerful tools to streamline business processes, get rid of legacy systems, simplify operations and expedite processes. AI will be the key enabler in innovating new products and understand the customers better to deliver the best. The future holds more disruption from AI, not less.
 
IoT is not a new thing. Soon, there will be thousands of devices connected from one individual, generating enormous amount of data. To leverage value out of that data is through AI tools.
 
Cloudification of storage: When I say, “storage cloudification”, it typically means that we need to get the right type of storage for the specific job. In 2019, companies will start utilizing storage based on the purpose/requirements. We will witness that IaaS, storage and databases will become intelligent and rule the market.
 
Storage and the data it houses are the two main components of every business foundation. When we cloudify the storage it gives us the freedom of data - a valuable asset — being available, accurate, reusable and secure.
 
Mobility: 2018 was a year for enterprise mobility, as organizations continued leveraging new mobile technologies to boost productivity& improve employee experience, reduce costs, and protect data. With 5G implementation round the corner, businesses should start ramping up their systems for this to make the most out of it.
 
Software as aService (SaaS) a key motion to drive cloud 2020
In the upcoming year, with SaaS, we will witness more and more companies adopting SaaS as it helps in legacy application migration to the cloud. Most of the companies will be turning to cutting-edge SaaS powerful tools. Why not? Their operations will no longer depend on legacy systems as most of the performance apps say 70-80% will be hosted and maneuvered in cloud. It will benefit the companies in terms of financial savings, productivity and of course it’s easy to use.”
 
Satish Kumar V, CEO at EverestIMS
 
“The year 2019 can foresee huge transformation in IT industry. It is expected to see various organizations define, adapt and transform their offerings from a technology heavy design leading to service offerings with a niche in the market. Similar to how the various verticals adopted & benefitted through Cloud technologies, the focus will now all be on the “tangible services” that are relevant to both individual & corporate consumers at large scale. We can expect to see new service segments being created alongside standardization of existing offerings in a highly competitive environment. The technology companies will continue to flourish based on their roles in the chain of data generation - data aggregation - data communication - data analysis - data presentation - data generation.
 
AI will be the one prime technology that is bound to evolve a lot in 2019.The special focus will be on the adoption of AI in daily lives on both personal & work front. “Cloud” evolved at making IT consumption (be it individual or corporate) generic enough to scale & manage on the go before settling down to personalization of each consumer space among the service offerings (from IaaS to PaaS to SaaS). Each of the major CSPs is now offering services that can be adopted to specific / custom use-case scenario through flexibility on structuring / design / billing and delivery.
 
Similarly, AI will be all about personalizing the technology all over again in order to make service consumption seamless to consumers through their daily interactions / activities. Firstly it will be about identifying useful data among the plethora of data being generation from all kinds of sources & platforms. Then it will involve humans again for bringing in that natural factor to define the churning of data to come up with actionable Intel that will finally lead to service delivery with a touch of personalization.”
 
Ravi Raj, Brand Head Director, Sales & Support at NetRack
 
“The year 2019 will be very experimenting for all the industries. With the intrusion of cutting edge technologies and new initiatives taken up by specific organizations, we can expect an exponential growth among various businesses across the globe.
 
The epicenter of the IT industry is the innovation of their IT infrastructure, mainly in the data center space. We can’t deny the fact that data center is shifting to support wider platforms in the digital landscape. Considering this, the businesses of organizations seem to rely on the capabilities of the IT ecosystem for supporting the new initiatives. There is a need to fill more computing power into precious data center space. Hence companies need to organize their servers and other necessary IT infrastructure. And the backbone of that organization scheme is the data center cabinet (or rack), which is designed to bring order to a potentially chaotic mass of servers, power distribution units, cables, switches and other gear. Thus, organizations look forward for the solutions with increased intelligence designed to simplify operations, enable remote management and service, and bridge a widening skills gap.
 
Experts say the global data center rack market is growing at a CAGR of 10.9% from 2014 to 2019 and will worth $2.7 billion by 2019. The emerging markets including China, Singapore, Brazil and India have become attractive market for new and established companies engaged in the development and marketing of the rack for data center rack market. With the continuous developments happening among the organizations globally, one can expect a sizeable business in 2019 from IT, Telecom, BFSI, Healthcare, Retail, Public sectors.
 
One of the major drivers for end-user adoption is the lower cost associated with rack solutions. The manufacturers are adding new features such as corrosion protection, system expandability, self-cooling, modular DC and thermal management, compatibility and connectivity for making them economically feasible for various verticals. Also, many organizations from SMBs started to implement Modular and Colocation datacenters considering the factors such as more scalability, agility, efficiency offered with disaster recovery. However, growing investments in data centers will offer ample opportunity to the various established and new data center rack vendors in the coming years.”
 
Gaurav Ahluwalia, Managing Director at R&M India
 
“2019 will be the year of implementation for various industries. Along with continuous acceleration of IT industry, one can expect the structured cabling industry to flourish in the global markets. Structured Cabling is one of booming industries across the world.
 
The global cabling market is divided into major two segments, namely Electrical and Telecom/Datacom cables which are used for various industries in various applications. In 2019, Telcos will be looking towards fiber connectivity solutions to remodel/renovate their cabling infrastructure and increase their efficiency. Also organizations/companies are revamping their data centers with structured/fibered cabling connectivity to minimize the downtime and yield more benefits. Thus, increasing demand for structured cabling solutions from Data center industry and Telecom industry will be the major market drivers in 2019.
 
Also, 2019 will witness the organizations adapting technology rich connectivity products to their cabling infrastructure such as Shielded cables, S/FTP products, Cat 8 cabling solutions etc., Speaking over Indian market, 2019 may also play a positive role by introducing more benefitting initiatives for cabling and manufacturing industries, proportionally increasing investment in network and building infrastructure which drives the Indian cables market.”
 
Prashanth J, CEO at TechnoBind
 
“According to recent Gartner report cloud market is projected to reach a staggering $206 billion in 2019, from $175 billion in 2018 and $145 billion in 2017. In a data driven society, Cloud computing has become default platform for fueling DXs and modernizing IT portfolios.Infiltrating the enterprise space, more businesses shutting their traditional data centers and making heavy investments, undoubtedly Cloud is here to stay.
 
 
Big data analytics trends are changing over past couple of years, from a departmental approach to business-driven data approach, embracing agile technologies and an increased focus on advanced analytics. As businesses are shifting from being data-generating to data-powered organizations, data and analytics implementation have become the center of gravity for many enterprises to stay ahead in the competition.
 
Given the advantages of cloud computing, many businesses will likely rush into it and ‘Security’ regularly ranks as the number one concern among cloud adopters. Between GDPR, WannaCry, and a handful of other high-visibility incidents, dollar figures for security breaches have grown to the point that companies cannot stay in business without serious consideration of implementation of better security solutions.”
 
Javed Tapia, MD, Clover Infotech
 
“Organizations are transforming the way they do business by leveraging the power of digital technologies. Businesses are leveraging these technologies to be seen ubiquitously and to target customers contextually. With IoT, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality etc. businesses are enhancing the customer experience. The interactions with technology are now better captured, recorded and analysed through Data Analytics capabilities. The power of artificial intelligence is enabling to enhance the learning curve and create unprecedented levels of automation. Computing and storage is chartering new levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness with Cloud. I believe Information Technology coupled with the power of digital transformation will significantly and positively impact businesses across industries.” 
 
Zairus Master,CEO,Shine.com
 
“With cutting-edge technologies like AI and machine learning becoming more and more integral to business operations in the IT/ITES sector, the demand for professionals with evolved, tech-led skillsets will only increase further in 2019. Expertise in areas such as data compliance and cybersecurity will also be much sought-after, given how critical data privacy and information security have become in the global business discourse. I also foresee organisations collaborating with reputed online learning platforms such as ShineLearning.com to undertake large-scale upskilling and reskilling of their in-house talent. This skills-centric approach will benefit both the employers and the employees; while recruiters will be able to seamlessly address the growing demand for skills within their organisations, professionals can access significantly better career opportunities by upgrading their existing skillsets. With rapid technological advancement paving the way for a high-growth, high-value jobs ecosystem, we can expect continuous learning, unlearning, and relearning to become the motto of the new-age workforce”. - 
 
Hugh Thompson, CTO, Symantec
 
“The long-awaited commercial promise of AI has begun to materialize in recent years, with AI-powered systems already in use in many areas of business operations. Even as these systems helpfully automate manual tasks and enhance decision making and other human activities, they also emerge as promising attack targets, as many AI systems are home to massive amounts of data. In addition, researchers have grown increasingly concerned about the susceptibility of these systems to malicious input that can corrupt their logic and affect their operations. The fragility of some AI technologies will become a growing concern in 2019, especially following the explosion of internet-based eCommerce. 

Attackers won’t just target AI systems, they will enlist AI techniques themselves to supercharge their own criminal activities. Automated systems powered by AI could probe networks and systems searching for undiscovered vulnerabilities that could be exploited.AI could also be used to make phishing and other social engineering attacks even more sophisticated by creating extremely realistic video and audio or well-crafted emails designed to fool targeted individuals.  AI could also be used to launch realistic disinformation campaigns.  For example, imagine a fake AI-created, realistic video of a company CEO announcing a large financial loss, a major security breach, or other major news.  Widespread release of such a fake video could have a significant impact on the company before the true facts are understood.

And just as we see attack toolkits available for sale online, making it relatively easy for attackers to generate new threats, we’re certain to eventually see AI-powered attack tools that can give even petty criminals the ability to launch sophisticated targeted attacks. With such tools automating the creation of highly personalized attacks–attacks that have been labor-intensive and costly in the past–such AI-powered toolkits could make the marginal cost of crafting each additional targeted attack essentially be zero.

Srikanth Sundararajan, Partner of Ventureast

“Global trends are very clear, with the availability of more and more data, businesses will have to be data driven to enable efficiency and competitive advantage. Data alone is not enough, it is the leverage of data in a precise and smart manner that will help organizations. AI, NLP, Machine Learning are all key ingredients in enabling organizations to analyse and leverage data in smart ways. It is not only big data, but deep data because one is able to now collect data at a very granular level and piece together a unified view of the organization. A good example of this is the cross over between IOT (especially IP enabled devices) in the area of predictive maintenance. A baseline or a data twin of a particular equipment is created, refined and compared with actual field data to enable a more accurate and efficient way to provide maintenance. This is especially useful where each equipment is very costly, such as turbines, oil rig components, probes, engines, medical equipment, unmanned vehicles. Companies like Samsung, Bosch, Siemens are already making forays here.

The use of blockchain as a smart, secure, immutable data store will also gain momentum as a more mainstream activity, especially in enterprises; there has been some seminal work being done in this regard by IBM Research Labs. Deep learning as it relates to feature extraction from images will also provide immense benefits in the area of health care, environmental sciences, security etc. Advances in mobile technology, and AR/VR will also change the communication landscape and how content will be shared and consumed. BOTs as means to create efficiency, and advances in the area of RPA have already brought in efficiency gains in the area of back office automation and customer support. In short the next 5 years will be an exciting ride, with plenty of opportunities to create new companies focused on the above areas.”

Gaurav Tikoo, CMO, TRANSSION India

“The Indian smartphone industry is going through a paradigm shift and the players emerging victorious will hold the capability of serving the diversities. Diversity by way of catering to the lowest strata of first-time smartphone users, and by providing the best of experience to users who are in pursuit of entering the premium segment. The 7-15K category will deliver maximum contribution in 2019, thus making it the segment that smartphone players will place their bets on. Also, AI-enabled cameras will soon become a “must-have” feature in the mid-range and under 10K segments. Artificial Intelligence led camera features like Auto-Scene detection, beauty mode, and face unlock will witness further refinement, thus boosting their efficiency. Augmented Reality will no longer be a buzzword, and we envision these phones to deliver real-life virtual experiences on-screen and everywhere. 2019 will go beyond dual camera setup and will have multiple camera module as the key trend to look out for.”

Ankush Sachdeva, CEO, ShareChat

“Contrary to common belief that videos are the most consumed format of content, regional language internet users have been found to be using text in images format, revealed ShareChat Year End Report. While, videos in regional languages are witnessing an upswing, text behind backgrounds are the most preferred content format for creation and consumption.

“With people being able to access social media in their regional languages, user generated content is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. These would be content created by common people in towns and cities capturing real time events and happenings around them for the people around them. Advanced camera technologies and machine learning will act as catalyst that will swell up UGC which will outgrow studio content. Further, regional language usage has upped the UGC game in the market and we will soon see many content in Indian dialects spoken amongst certain communities  becoming mainstream and popular. Another shift we expect is the way e-commerce has been happening in India. In order to tap local consumers, e-commerce will become hyperlocal with small shops starting to think of online presence using social media.”