Jennifer Gvozdek, Marketing Manager at Omnivex Corporation, stated that digital transformation was a hot topic in 2018 and that it is sure to continue impacting organisations in 2019. In fact, according to a Forrester Research survey, 46 per cent of executives believe that in less than five years, digital will have an impact on more than half their sales.

The World Economic Forum estimated that digital transformation has the potential to create trillions in combined value for both industry and society by 2025. There are several trends within digital transformation worth further investigation.

Digital transformation remains a key priority

A recent Randstad study found that 95 per cent of the 3000 surveyed organisations felt a new type of leadership is required to adequately address changes in organisational structures and operating models due to digitalisation. Rapid technological advances are causing companies to view this as an overall business priority, not just a technology or IT goal. To address this issue, an estimated 60 per cent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are growing their budgets for analytics, machine learning, and data science according to Forbes.

AI will power more tools

Consumers have embraced artificial intelligence through the use of virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and other devices. But with the rapid advancements of IoT devices and AI chips, artificial intelligence will be used for a lot more than finding a song or predicting the weather.

Chatbots such as Mya will help HR pre-qualify candidates for jobs and even automatically reject a candidate if you decide to pass on his or her application. In addition, these chatbots will allow companies to use virtual agents to solve customer service issues without having to pass off calls to a human.

Blockchain will continue to advance

Most of us think of blockchain as a way to create digital currency such as bitcoin, but this only scratches the surface of its capabilities. Blockchain-inspired solutions can also be used to achieve operational efficiency by automating business processes or digitising records. The applications that will be produced with blockchain technology in the near future have the potential to enhance the secure sharing of information among known entities, as well as improving opportunities for tracking and tracing physical and digital assets.

Connected clouds will continue to innovate

Connected clouds are evolving to meet the varying needs of companies, whether they want cloud-source storage, networking, security or app deployment. Public cloud providers like Amazon and Alibaba, for example, are now offering private cloud options as well. Providers are showing an increased commitment to connecting clouds so applications run seamlessly, securely, and are streamlined. Finding the right mix of workloads running in public, private and hybrid environments will be a big topic in 2019.

Smart spaces will enter every vertical

A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which multiple elements including people, processes, services, and things interact to create a more immersive, interactive and automated experience for a target set of people and industry scenarios.

This can be seen in the advent of smart cities, digital workplaces, smart homes, and connected factories. The creation of smart spaces is poised to accelerate rapidly and become an integral part of the daily life of employees, customers, consumers, community members and citizens.

Digital ethics and privacy will be top of mind

Individuals, organisations and governments are growing concerned about the use of their personal information by organisations in both the public and the private sector. Organisations must proactively address these concerns or face the inevitable backlash. This requires taking more action than just ensuring an organisation is compliant with privacy laws. Digital ethics will be a hot topic as organisations learn ways to handle privacy and information in 2019.

Augmented analytics will advance

Augmented analytics use machine learning to transform how data is developed, consumed and shared. Automated insights from augmented analytics will be embedded in enterprise applications, such as those used by HR, finance, sales, marketing, customer service and procurement, to optimise the decisions and actions of all employees and automate the process of data preparation, insight generation and insight visualisation. In many situations, this will eliminate the need for professional data scientists.

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