December 18, 2018 by Siobhan Climer
Technology is always changing.
The very mantra that makes the technology industry so interesting also drives investors, strategists, business leaders, and general tech enthusiasts bonkers.
- Should we move to the cloud or stay on-premise?
- How do we recruit in a remote worker environment?
- What is blockchain and how can we use it to build our business and security posture?
- Do data science teams outperform machine learning algorithms in compiling and reporting on business intelligence?
- Which music streaming service do I invest in: Spotify? Google Play Music? Apple Music? Napster?! CDs?!
As we start a new year, it’s worth taking note of the new technology trends on the horizon. Whether it’s choosing a music streaming service or making a business decision, the constancy of change in the tech industry makes it essential to evaluate and reevaluate periodically. And another orbit round the sun provides such an opportunity.
Explore the technologies expected to make a stir in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence Growth
Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t one technology. Augmented reality, connected home devices, IoT platforms, and the machine learning intelligence behind these platforms, tools, and applications all falls under AI. 2018 offered a window into the future and what new technology trends in AI and machine learning might impact business in 2019. The big tech giants are all investing in AI today; Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Apple have each jumpstarted AI-based projects around AI-enabled chips, IoT, and DevOps.
AI-enabled chips from companies like Intel and Qualcomm will optimize for vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition. These chips will increase the speed by which AI can execute programs, enabling improved workload management and predictive analytics.
What’s more? AI will converge with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT) at the edge computing layer. This will likely drive enterprises to adopt AI to perform predictive maintenance and analysis. Data scientists and developers will be able to utilize improved neural network models using Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) to increase AI adoption.
Mentioned briefly above, edge computing is likely to continue dominating tech conversations. Top analyses on industry trends by Gartner and Forbes cite edge computing or “empowered edge”, facilitated by the growth of microservices and containerization. Edge computing moves some of the computational needs away from the centralized point to the logical geographic nodes “at the edge” of the network. Edge computing increases the performance of applications and relieves increased bandwidth requirements from the core network.
To learn more about edge computing, read our recent blog post on the subject.
Neural networks provide the backbone for machine learning and AI. These models replicate human learning and use backpropagation to correct for identified errors – or, more succinctly, – learn. Neural networks use deep learning by extracting information from a multilayer network to build recognition of complex patterns. The different layers extract different high-level feature information, compiling the information from each layer to learn and improve performance.
These networks can do almost anything and are vital to AI advances. Currently, a limiting factor in their development is training time, but companies like Google and researchers at universities like Cornell and Stanford are actively seeking to decrease these times. Most of the new technology trends observed by the industry’s best will rely on developments in neural networking to succeed.
HR And Talent Shifts: Virtual Workers, The End Of 9-5, And Flex Work
Human resources and talent? That’s not a new technology trend!
Au contraire, mon ami!
Technology is powering workforce shifts in every industry. Workforce optimization platforms using AI and machine learning assist managers in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and call centers to make moment-to-moment talent decisions. Collaboration tools like WebEx and Skype for Business enable workers to collaborate from across the globe – or simply on the road – and that means big changes for the expectations around work.
While the U.S. lags significantly behind other countries in adopting flexible work policies (a recent survey found only 6% of people in the UK work the traditional 9am-5pm hours), change is on the horizon. Millennials are often cited as driving this change, though older populations are also recognizing the benefits to work-life balance offered by flex work. New technology trends in AI and collaboration will enable this transition. Nearly 90% of HR professionals predict the rise of flexible work policies in their organizations, and technology is the driver.
Data Centers: Self-Powered And Self-Cooling
US researchers published a paper at the end of last year citing rising global emissions tied to data centers; in fact, researchers predict that the data center will consume 20% of the world’s electricity by 2025. This is one of the reasons Aruba S.p.A launched its “zero-impact data center” in late 2017. Using a hydroelectric plant, solar panels, and ground water, the Global Cloud Data Center (IT3), located outside of Milan, Italy, is billed as the world’s first self-powered data center. But it isn’t the last.
A new town located near Bergen, Norway is using a local data center to supply heat to the 600,000 square meter business park, likely positioning the town of Lyseparken as the world’s first energy-positive locale. Other companies are using liquid cooling, and even outer space, to reduce the energy uptake and carbon output of the data center. In fact, the recent successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy suggests that perhaps data centers may move from land, to ocean, to the final frontier. Will 2019 be the year?
Security: Blockchain, Cloud Computing, And Cyberwarfare
Phishing and crypto-mining top the list of cyber attack methods. According to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations report, 92% of malware is delivered by email. Still.
At a recent Information Security event in downtown Chicago, Leo Taddeo, CISO and former FBI Special Agent of Cyber/Special Ops, talked about the risks of cyberwarfare between nation states. To business owners, it may seem the actions of nation states are a far away worry. In fact, cyberwarfare between nations often targets the businesses and industries on which the victim nation relies. Hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and many other industries are at risk of a cyber attack, whether it’s an amateur, an expert, or a nation.
Technology advances in cloud computing and blockchain will likely dominate security posture conversations in 2019. Though these aren’t new technology trends – blockchain and the cloud led conversations throughout 2018 – how businesses utilize these tech tools for their operational security will likely transition dramatically.
Keep Up With New Technology Trends In 2019 And Beyond
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About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.