Top Digital Trend Predictions for 2019

  • 5G compatible laptops to arrive by 2019 thanks to Intel/HP/Lenovo/Dell partnership. 
  • The Benban Solar Park, the world’s largest solar park will finish construction in Egypt by late 2019. 
  • The world’s largest offshore wind farm starts is completed. 
  • NASA completes the Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management (UTM) to manaage drone traffic in our skies. 
  • James Webb Space Telescope is launched into orbit to discover liquid water on other planets 
  • Cost of solar panels, per watt, equals 1.4 US dollars 
  • England's "Crossrail" is fully built 
  • World sales of electric vehicles reaches 5,900,000 
  • Predicted global mobile web traffic equals 16 exabytes 
  • Global Internet traffic grows to 158 exabytes 

Predicted Advances for 2019:

Autonomous things 

Gartner believes that by the year 2021, 10% of new vehicles will have autonomous driving capabilities, up from 1% in 2017. Major automobile manufacturers are all predicting they will reach level four autonomous driving by 2021, said Burke. "Level four autonomy basically means the car is driving itself."(Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Augmented analytics

The prediction is that through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of expert data scientists, he noted. "We are moving towards augmented analytics where AI will assist a variety of things." (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

AI-driven development

Gartner expects that by 2022, at least 40% of new application development projects will have artificial intelligence co-developers on their teams. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Digital twin

The research firm describes the digital twin as a digital representation of a physical object. By 2021, stated Burke, half of large industrial companies will use digital twins, giving 10% improvement and effectiveness. "Digital twins are going to be a big deal." (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Empowered edge

(Storage, computing and advanced AI and analytics capabilities will expand capabilities of edge devices through 2028, reveals Gartner. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Immersive experience

Number six on Gartner's strategic technology trends list is the immersive experience. Burke stated that 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use by 2022. However, only 25% will have been deployed to production. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Blockchain

According to Gartner, blockchain will create $3.1 trillion in business value by 2030. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Privacy and ethics

By 2021, organisations that bought compliance risk and are caught lacking in privacy protection will pay 100% more in compliance costs than best-practice-adhering competitors. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Smart spaces

Gartner defines smart spaces as physical or digital environments populated by humans and enabled by technology, which are increasingly connected, intelligent and autonomous. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

10. Quantum computing

Burke told the audience that by 2023, Gartner predicts 20% of organisations will be budgeting for quantum computing projects compared to less than 1% today. (Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, ITWeb, Gartner lists top 10 tech trends for 2019)

Issues to overcome:

The internet is not mainstream

The Internet is over two decades old but is far from being mainstream. Of the 7.3 billion people in the world, 4.4 billion don’t have access to the Internet. The majority of them tend to be poor and live in rural regions that lack infrastructure and electricity. Developing nations tend to have the worst web connectivity. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Why is this important? It represents nearly half the world being left out of two decades worth of social, financial, business, education, and government improvements the internet has made available to more developed countries. The Internet’s spread into the developing world will bring emmense change with it and accelerate their economic development.  (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Plans to reach them

The infrastructure costs behind improving Internet speeds in developed regions, as well as trying to spread it to remote regions are staggering. There are a variety of new initiatives being planned and experimented with that will bridge that digital divide in cost effective ways. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Fiber optic expansion

The backbone of the Internet is composed of fiber optic cables that run across continents and beneath oceans. They are the physical links that connect our digital world, and just as they’ve done for the last two decades, their network is set to grow—but not as you’d expect. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

At this point, most of the world’s dense and relatively wealthy population centers are wired into the web, leaving very little financial incentive for continued, expensive fiber optic investment. However, to even out the economic disparity between urban and rural taxpayers/voters, politicians across the world are investing public money into new fiber optic initiatives to connect the rural poor. For example, India’s new Digital India Initiative is set to bring 600 million rural citizens from across 250,000 villages online by 2017 through publicly-funded fiber optic investment. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Wireless fiber

Just as plans for expansive fiber optic cables are implemented, a new technology (2016) called Wireless Fiberhas recently been introduced that may offer gigabit level connection speeds without the need to lay costly Internet cables. This tech essentially sends web data over high-frequency airwaves, similar to how Internet service providers provide data to your smartphone. As regulations for this tech as established, it could spell the end of future fiber optic installations, while also expanding gigabit level web access to those living in more rural regions. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Novel Wi-Fi delivery

Above ground, Wi-Fi connectivity has increasingly become an important extension of the physical Internet. Luckily for non-hipster types, public Wi-Fi access will no longer be limited to the local coffee shop. Cities across the developed world are investing in free Wi-Fi connectivity for their downtown cores, recognizing the economic benefit increased connectivity brings. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

And some of these projects are pushing the ingenuity envelope. New York, for example, partnered with Google to convert 10,000 of the city’s old phone booths into ad-supported Wi-Fi pylons. Meanwhile, startups like Veniam are testing the idea of converting the majority of cars and public transportation vehicles within a city into moving Wi-Fi hotspots. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

In addition to these creative initiatives, advances in Wi-Fi technology, such as local mesh networks and variations of the ProxyHam, that provide distributed and private web access to the masses continue. Such innovation has proven handy for those looking to fight the system from within not-so-friendly countries. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

On a related note, a related technology, Li-Fi, was recently tested with early results showing that it's 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. This tech would be yet another option to replace landline based Internet connection. And should this technology prove itself to be scaleable by 2020, then replace every mention of Wi-Fi above with Li-Fi.(David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Connectivity from the clouds

Internet delivery is now being tested in the skies. Solar powered drones, like Google’s Titanproject, may one day swarm the skies at far higher altitudes than commercial aircraft, beaming web access to remote regions below. Meanwhile, more publicized Google initiative, Project Loon, hopes to beam Internet access from carefully controlled balloons floating in the stratosphere. While not as ambitious as the following scheme, the relatively low cost of these projects could lead to faster market penetration among poorly connected regions. (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

Internet from space

When we think of the final frontier, the exploration of Mars and recent discoveries of exoplanet probably come to mind long before Internet access, however space really is the final frontier of Internet delivery. It’s already a growing facilitator of global Internet traffic thanks to satellite networks like the Iridium constellation, and a variety of private companies are looking to build their own space-based networks, which would provide truly global Internet coverage without the need for terrestrial cables.  (David Tal, Quantrumrum, Future of the Internet)

How these trends will impact your business:

Mobile Devices as a marketing platform will skyrocket

Here’s the thing about 5G: we’ve been talking about it for a while. So, what’s the big deal with 5G now? In short, we’re finally in a spot where we will start seeing 5G everywhere. If you have been following the tech community, you will have seen that there are a wide number of fixed and test deployments with companies like Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, Ericcson, Samsung and Huawei all getting into the action. We are also seeing new companies like Mimosa Networks making it possible to roll 5G out to both rural and urban locations, paving the way for bullish 5G mobile providers—i.e. ATT and Verizon—to start offering new, cooler, faster, more innovative services for mobile users. It’s an exciting time for 5G and mobile alike. (

Chatbots are going to get great

I know we’ve all had extremely frustrating chatbot experiences  But the good news is that huge steps continue to be made in the way of natural language processing and sentiment analytics—so many, in fact, that some believe NLP will shake up the entire service industry in ways we’ve never imagined. Think about all the services that could be provided without humans—fast food lines, loan processors, job recruiters! What’s more, NLP allows companies to gather insights and improve their service based on them. Some 40% of large businesseshave or will adopt it by the end of 2019—which makes it one of our top 2019 digital transformation trends. Now, I know many are alarmed by where AI and Chatbots may impact the workforce, but consider that companies are going to be up-skilling their work forces for jobs that are better suited for human interaction.  Empathy and human emotion are required to deliver great customer experiences. Bots and chat bots are exploding onto the scene, automating many functions from help on your computer screen to email marketing. Retailers are using bots to answer customer questions and guide them through their shopping process. (

Consumption-based tech services for the win

CIOs and IT executives tech budget trends trends are consumption of cloud and overall, they are interested in creating efficiency, having more flexibility with their workloads (note trend 3) and having the ability to scale up and down quickly based on the business requirements. This means, CRMs and CMSs as a Service, anything and eveyrthing as a service, will be highly desirable. With the as-a-Service industry growing, companies are becoming more sophisticated in choosing “a la carte” IT services to fit their needs. (

Unique ways to leverage data

The Deschutes Brewery, one of our clients and a Vistage member, was recently featured in Fast Company for their use of AI in beer production. Alexa-compatible devices, including the Echo Dot (Alexa) and Amazon Fire TV, were the top-selling products from any manufacturer on Amazon over the Black Friday weekend, further evidence of AI’s reach. Microsoft is moving towards enterprise-level solutions, using machine learning to provide superior analytics. Microsoft has the advantage of bundling with MS Office apps. IoT is driving business analytics. According to Gartner, there are 8.4 billion “Things” on the internet, 30% more than last year. The combination of IoT with AI and other tools, notes Gartner, will “become the next major battleground in a wide range of software and service markets” and will run in the background of many apps. Big tech companies, such as IBM, SAP and Microsoft, are investing in IoT analytics. (Marc EmmerTechnology trends affecting business in 2018 and beyond)

Competition is heating up

Google, Facebook and Amazon are facing a “techlash” around the world, facing privacy issues, censorship and controversies ranging from political ads to protection of gun runners. In Germany, Facebook is facing scrutiny on how its data is used, and the government is imposing rules on removing hate speech on social networks within 24 hours. In China, President Xi Jinping is expected to tighten controls. (Marc EmmerTechnology trends affecting business in 2018 and beyond)

Google and Microsoft are positioned to make a dent in Amazon’s huge lead in cloud computing. According to Gartner, Amazon boasts $9.8 billion in cloud computing services, four times greater than the combined services of Google and Microsoft. Edge computing is viewed as the next frontier for driving computing capabilities. (Marc EmmerTechnology trends affecting business in 2018 and beyond)

E-commerce has reached a tipping point, projected to grow 20% in 2018. Amazon Prime is putting immense pressure on the industry to offer next-day shipping or even same-day shipping. (Marc EmmerTechnology trends affecting business in 2018 and beyond)

Tags: digital marketing, media, Internet, technology, trends, blockchain, loT, virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous, apps, cyber security, augmented analytics, AI-driven development, quantum computing, wireless fiber, mobile marketing, chatbots, consumption-based Services