Top B2B Technology Trends 2019
From cybersecurity to the Internet of Things (IoT), organisations are adopting technology to adapt to change in their industries more than ever before. Adoption of new technology enables organisations to innovate at a faster rate, improve their offering to their customers and maximise their overall customer experience strategy. In this article, we explore six emerging B2B tech trends that leading organisations have been incorporating into their business strategies.
With the increasing popularity of Amazon Echo, Alexa, Google Home and other connected devices, it’s easy to see that an increasing number of consumers are relying on the Internet of Things (IoT) for daily assistance much like mobile phones. Gartner predicts the number of connected things in use will hit 14.2 billion in 2019, and grow to 25 billion by 2021. But the greatest increase in connected devices will be among businesses, especially healthcare, manufacturing and industrial industries. One example is Ruppiner Kliniken a hospital in Germany, which has partnered with Microsoft to help people with heart problems live longer. Cardiologists need patient data, such as ECG readings and blood pressure measurements, over long periods of time to give people the best care. 37 organisations got together to build an IoT device which uses a fitness band and tiny sensors to capture this data. This device, once launched, could not only save lives but also lower healthcare costs and provide medical care in remote and underdeveloped places.
Augmented analytics, also known as a next-generation data and analytics paradigm, uses machine learning to automate data preparation and share insights based on the uncovered information. As Rick Duckworth outlines, Augmented analytics will enable expert business leaders and data scientists to focus on complex problems and lead to new business models that rely on increased data collection leveraging analytics to provide richer information. In the future, users will spend less time reviewing data and more time acting on insights learned, as opposed to the manual process taking place today.
Data Management and Automated Workflows
Did you know that all that technology we use daily generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day? It’s expected to only increase the speed at which data is generated with the launch of 5G. The sheer volume of potential data that businesses will need to manage moving forward is accelerating at a rapid rate. Implementing processes and automated workflows using technologies, such as an enterprise registry management system, Microsoft Flow, or streaming engines like AWS Kinesis and Google Data Flow will see increased adoption in 2019 to mitigate the risks of managing ever-growing data storage challenges and enabling organisations to rapidly and automatically respond to events. Even for businesses that aren’t processing extremely large data sets, these tools provide new ways to gain insights from the flow of data occurring within any size organisation.
Artificial Intelligence Becomes More Human
AI has been a buzzing topic for the last few years, but only recently has seen a broader adoption rate. As AI continues to improve, chatbots and other computer systems are increasingly able to respond to customers and predict their needs as well as or better than humans. Google’s introduction of Duplex AI software allows a virtual assistant to sound lifelike with verbal ticks like “uh” and “um,” making it indiscernible from a real human.
It’s now estimated that 70% of enterprises are implementing an AI strategy, and business leaders are making it a top priority to enhance customer experiences and leverage data to make better business decisions. AI will impact many industries by mining data to determine patterns, promote machine learning and predict user behaviours. Leveraging your own data to enable better customer experience should be on your radar for the year ahead. Even if you’re not leveraging AI in your business, you will be soon interacting with them for simple tasks, like booking appointments, and knowing whether you’re dealing with a real person or a bot can make the difference in how your staff spend their time productively.
Data security ranks as one of the highest in demand areas for skills within organisations and continues to have great potential for growth. Many organisations are struggling to find qualified IT security specialists to mitigate the risks of data breaches and cyber attacks. Even though the number of self-reported cyber attacks against small and mid-sized businesses has remained steady, statistics show it is not yet a key business priority for many organisations.
With the introduction of new rules, including GDPR, the onus is now on businesses to understand how they manage their data and report when a breach occurs. The threat of a data breach is continuing to get higher and organisations need to have a cybersecurity strategy to mitigate risk and prevent cyber attacks. As cybercriminals become more advanced, business owners will need to find effective security solutions yet 65% of them confess they don’t have a dedicated employee or vendor in place to monitor their systems. More organisations will look to further invest in cybersecurity professionals as more applications are migrated to the cloud with sensitive data that will need to be secured.
Shadow IT and Beyond the Cloud
Remote work is rising within organisations, which increases the need for devices and applications that are needed to keep them connected to enterprises and colleagues. Achieving connectivity in the cloud has been a top goal for organisations recently but has proved to be a slow and steady migration for many businesses. An important part of a company’s technology plan must include a cloud strategy that manages their migration and improves efficiencies with enhanced security measures. As the demands for communication and connectivity increase, IT departments are failing to keep up and are perceived as being too slow or too restrictive in the roll out of new tools. This leads to teams looking for their own solutions. This Shadow IT can include unauthorized applications, software and devices that are used for business purposes without the knowledge and management from IT departments. Some of these applications and tools can be effective for improving connectivity, but many have unknown security risks. As more applications flood the market in 2019, IT teams will need to be more aware and create policies and protocols to address the problems associated with remote working and cloud connectivity, while at the same time enabling and adopting new tools to increase productivity so that their organisations can work effectively and securely.
In a recent CIO survey, 69 % of respondents identified process automation and transformation as a key focus for their organisation’s business strategy. How can we anticipate and adapt to a future that remains uncertain? Many technology-driven initiatives that we come across in our everyday lives today have the main goal of improving how we live. It is an exciting time of growth and we look forward to seeing how technology will continue to help organisations thrive and stay ahead of the competition.