As it gets towards the end of the year and we start to look forward, the big question in the digital world is ‘What are the digital trends in 2019?’ With 2018 seeing some big technology developments, it will be a hard one to top.
You might remember from our predictions for this year, that forward-thinking companies are fully aware that development processes and technologies such as Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT) are vital to digital innovation. Now the year has passed, it’s time to predict digital trends for 2019 and look at key developments for the year ahead…
Trend #1: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Following on from a conference in June 2015, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “AI is going to be one of the trends that is going to be the next big shift in technology”, and we agree.
At the most basic level these platforms can analyse data, in order to form a decision or set of insights which mirror human decision processes, or the automate tasks and processes. AI-enabled sales intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, give you real-time contextual information on prospects and customers, increasing the productivity and efficiency of sales teams. However, AI & Machine learning is not just for sales teams, there are many more industries benefiting from this, from manufacturing to healthcare and many more.
Organisations must understand that AI is not a plug-and-play approach, it requires integration with current systems and a strategic approach is necessary to cover planning and deployment.
Trend #2: Adoption of Internet of Things (IoT)
If you’re anything like us here at PragmatiQ Solutions, you will have more connected devices and gadgets in your home than this time last year. This demonstrates the growth IoT has seen in 2018, which it has been threatening for a number of years. Previously, adoption has never fully lived up to expectations; one of the main reasons for this is security concerns, which has potentially made some companies more hesitant.
According to Forbes, IoT is paving the way for businesses when creating new business lines; For example, companies now have opportunities to not only manufacture products, but also to offer ongoing services to monitor the performance of these products, all thanks to algorithms that provide predictive maintenance alerts as required.
Trend #3: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality has been labelled as huge part of the future for most of 2018, pinned to be the one of the greatest pieces of technology of our generation, and it is pretty cool. However with limited accessibility, it has seen a slow growth rate. Augmented Reality (AR), which although has been overshadowed by its trendier counterpart VR, has been developing in the background ready to outpace VR’s growth in 2019.
AR’s ability to be deployed on mobile phones and tablets make it easily accessible, much more accessible than VR which requires a headset for use. The secret weapon which will lead to the success of Augmented Reality are these devices which we all carry in our pockets every day, ensuring ease of use and affordability, making adoption much easier.
After the success of the Ikea AR app at the end of 2017, which enabled users to visualize furniture in their own home, this year will see a number of brands leveraging AR for their marketing campaigns, providing a personal experience to consumers. Manufacturing and Field Service is another area where this technology is being leveraged to great use and if you’re not familiar with Microsoft HoloLens and how businesses are using this, it’s well worth checking out…
Trend #4: Voice Search Marketing
According to ComScore, 50% of searches will be voice-based by 2020, and 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year. Currently, most consumers are using this technology to listen to music and add items to their shopping list, however brands are quickly catching on to the shift in the way advertising is conducted and ramping their communications up in order to ride this wave.
Understanding that these devices present an opportunity for consumers to simply buy a product by using their voice is game-changing to the way brands are able to market their products, formulating campaigns using past purchase information so these communications can be unique and tailored to these consumers.
The voice search revolution has been fuelled by the rise in smart speakers and according to Forbes, has more than tripled in the last year, with more consumers having these devices in their homes than ever. We still don’t know exactly how this revolution will develop, however we believe that this is a trend that is here to stay and you can find more information on this here.
If one thing is clear for 2019, it’s that business leaders will need their finger on the pulse to stay on top of digital trends. Technology is all around us and is continuously being used to transform businesses, however it is important to know what works for your business and what doesn’t. The next year will see plenty of exciting new developments, the ones we have listed in this article will just be paving the way for what is to come.
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