Top digital transformation trends for 2019

The last 10 years have seen massive technology growth that has irrevocably changed the way people consume content and communicate with each other. The decade has brought near-mass adoption of cloud technologies and the expectation of instant access to enormous data, whether it is your office documents, movies over Netflix or streamed music. Mobile and social media have not only changed the number of communication channels but also how people talk; short-hand text, emoji, photo and video are all accepted means.

What digital transformations will the next 10 years bring? Will they disrupt business, much like how the cloud, mobile and increased social media use did? Likely, there will be many surprises as we roar through the 2020s, but there are several new ideas poised to shake up and improve how business works.

Here are three areas where we predict innovation and business will soon intersect.

An Even Faster Network: Welcome to 5G

At a fundamental level, almost all of the technology will be related in one way or another to connectivity. Cloud service demand for storage, SaaS platforms and computing will continue to grow. New collaboration tools will further transform business communication. These recent technologies are all network-driven. Advances in these areas will require faster connections.

5G - the fifth generation of mobile networks and wireless systems - will take root and become the standard for broader bandwidth. As speedier connectivity becomes more widely available, developers will be able to push applications and platforms to higher levels.

AI will Distill Massive Amounts of Data

The future of business computing will leverage artificial intelligence and machine language capabilities. Never fear, the robots are not taking over. Instead, savvy and visionary managers will use AI as a tool to distill information and deliver what people need, when they need it.

From predictive algorithms to the ability of intelligent systems to explain decisions, AI will become trusted. We already see a wave of change. Natural language processing ability has significantly improved and is fueling analytics.

For AI to work efficiently for businesses, it must collect and analyze a lot of data. With increased connectivity, higher bandwidth and widespread use of the "internet of things" (IoT), there will be plenty of fuel for AI interoperation.

Creating Secure Transparency with Blockchain

The use of blockchain technologies for non-financial transactions has already begun. Container shipping is taking small steps toward using blockchain technology to digitize supply chains. In 2017, industry leader Maersk Line teamed with IBM to launch the first industry-wide supply chain solution on blockchain.

Regulations such as Europe's GDPR have brought the need for increased consumer protection to the forefront. Some experts predict that blockchain will make a significant impact on how businesses ensure digital privacy and ensure individuals are in control of how much of their personal information is visible.

With blockchain, individuals are in control of how much of their personal information is visible.

Conclusion: Managing Technology Change

Technology will continue to take the business world into an uncharted destination in 2019, but beware of the problems inherent in adopting these changes. According to Forbes, a staggering 54 percent of IT projects fail because of poor management decisions.

All too often, innovative projects are broadly labeled "IT" and relegated to the IT department, regardless of the actual function and benefits of the project. But, for any change to resonate within an organization, it must come from the top-down. If a project lacks C-level executive buy-in and support, and broad acceptance from key department leaders, the project will be met with employee resistance and leadership questions.