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Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019

What is the future of digital transformation? Autonomous things, multi-cloud, augmented analytics, the growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence are but a few of the most important trends for digital transformation in 2019.

Top trends for digital transformation can become a compass for C-level executives, who are responsible for digital transformation in their organizations. Let's use this compass to sail through the digital ocean in the right direction.

1. Autonomous things

Drones, robots, or warehousing machines – they all use some AI to render different services for humans. Companies like Samsung, Microsoft, or Uber are using Knightscope K5 robots for securing large outdoor spaces. These are outdoor machines which run 24/7 on its own, including autonomously recharging themselves without any human intervention. It's a good time to start exploring the possibilities that AI-driven autonomous things can offer to your organization.

2. The growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence

We produce and collect so many data these days, that it's impossible to process them efficiently without AI and machine learning. Many reports dealing with digital transformation have showed that there are now more than 4 billion people around the world using the Internet. This means that last year, we have created around 90% of the world’s data. It’s estimated that we are effectively using only 1% of it. AI and machine learning will help to increase this meagre figure in 2019.

What's more, according to the Forrester report, AI will spark a real marketing renaissance. The deeper processing of data and AI-powered marketing will help to understand human behavior and emotions. This will lead to a better, “hyper-personalized” real-time marketing campaigns.

3. Better chatbots

Just a few years ago, having a conversation with a machine was very frustrating. The experience has recently improved, but it’s still far from a conversation with a human. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, chatbots will improve significantly in 2019, which may convince more companies to use them. It's very important from a business point of view, because it's much cheaper to have hundreds of simultaneous customer center conversations than hiring hundreds of people.

4. Multi-cloud

The cloud technology is critical in allowing companies to gather and process data. They’ll be able to do that even more efficiently and securely in 2019 thanks to multi-cloud, which is a strategy where a company uses two or more cloud computing platforms to perform various tasks and not depend on a single cloud provider. This improves security and data accessibility and simplifies using cloud services.   

Up to 80 percent of enterprises already use multi-cloud, but in 2019 companies will go even deeper.

"For 2019, organizations will increasingly look to what I call digital transformation target platforms to provide a primary cloud vendor that has a business and technical blueprint to considerably accelerate digital change, along with multi-cloud management tools to deal with the rest", wrote Dion Hinchcliffe for ZDNet.

5. GDPR, digital ethics and privacy

Governments are increasingly planning regulations that companies must comply with. Consumers are more and more aware of the vulnerability of sharing their personal information, so companies will have to build trust with their customers to survive. It's time customers started to look at companies’ hands and check whether they truly care about protecting their data or not. The year 2019 will be the time to talk about ethics and trust in organizations and time to really take care about privacy to ensure customers view them as trustworthy.

6. AR before VR

While virtual reality (VR) is mainly used in gaming and highly specialized applications, augmented reality (AR) will be one of the most interesting trends in a digital transformation in 2019. AR is already popular, but next year, it is bound to flourish. Companies like Apple are investing in AR today, even though the app that would attract customers to buy AR hardware hasn't arrived yet. AR, together with VR and MR (mixed reality) will lead to new immersive experience.

7. Augmented Analytics

Augmented analytics is another trend in digital transformation to look at in 2019. We are at a stage where it's nearly impossible for data scientists to process all that data and explore all possibilities. Businesses may be missing some crucial insights. This is where citizen data scientists come into play. Their role is to analyze and create data and business models for a company with the help of big data tools and technologies. They use automated algorithms to explore more hypotheses, identify data sets and search for patterns in the data, producing more opportunities for businesses to draw conclusions from their data. According to the Gartner report, "Through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than professional data scientists."

8. Time for CEOs to take the lead

A recent Randstad study found that 95% of companies "believe new and different types of leadership are going to be required to effectively address changes in organizational structures and operating models due to digitalization".

In the past years, digital transformation was often relegated to IT, HR, or marketing departments, while it should have been the initiative of the company’s top tiers. The year 2019 will be the time for CEOs to make their hands dirty – they will begin taking responsibility for digital transformation in their companies.

9. Simplifying Blockchain

Blockchain is ten years old, but it's still too complicated for ordinary people to understand it and use it. Not enough people are getting benefits from the opportunities blockchain has to offer.

In 2019, this will slowly start to change. A lot of developers and researchers will put effort into realizing the potential of blockchain and increasing the mass adoption of the technology. Giants like IBM are already using the blockchain’s potential for applications beyond cryptocurrency.

What's more, the role of blockchain in the internet of things (IoT) will increase. According to the IDC report, 20% of all IoT deployments will have basic levels of blockchain services enabled by 2019.  

10.  Digital Twins

Digital twins are digital representations of real-world objects. They are built on the concept that virtual asset models coexist and are connected to real assets. Some companies are already using digital twins. They help to check real-world assets and predict different outcomes based on variable data, which leads to savings in maintenance.

In 2019, more companies should show interest and invest in this technology. The Gartner report "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019" predicts:

"By 2020, we estimate there will be more than 20 billion connected sensors and endpoints, and digital twins will exist for potentially billions of things. Benefits will include asset optimization, competitive differentiation and improved user experience in nearly all industries. By 2021, half of the large industrial companies will use digital twins, resulting in those organizations gaining a 10% improvement in effectiveness."

The Wrap Up

Some of the digital transformation trends will start in 2019. Others have already started, they will develop even more in the coming year. Altogether, they will continue to change how we do business in every industry, including enterprise mobile app development. If you want to stay on top of the changes check out more articles on our blog and send us a message. We will help you to start a digital transformation in line with the trends in your company.

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