As we close the book on 2018 and look ahead to 2019, we’re all curious about what trends might affect our businesses and our lives in the new year. And it’s hard to think of an industry more dynamic, with new trends from one moment to the next, than technology.
Still, as your managed services provider, we wanted to give you some sense of what kinds of developments we see coming down the pike in the new year. While no one has a crystal ball, our team of technology experts have some educated predictions about what we can expect in technology, from consumer devices to cybersecurity, in 2019. Our hope is that these predictions will be helpful to you in your business planning, as even developments in consumer tech might affect your customers in interesting ways. Plus, if you’re anything like us, thinking about what technology might make possible in the near future is just plain fun.
Here’s what our team has to say about what we can expect from technology in 2019.
Sean Wright, Founder & President
Continuing a trend that we’ve seen in 2018, I think we’ll see a growing awareness among businesspeople of the very real threat of data breaches and cyber attacks. I also expect that this awareness will lead administrators and managers to make employee cyber security training more of a priority. Along these same lines, I think 2019 will be the year when multi-factor authentication becomes the norm for forward-thinking businesses. Apart from cyber security concerns, I think we’ll see more business leaders, especially those running small and mid-sized companies, begin to adopt a different approach toward technology. I expect that, even now as businesses do their annual planning for 2019, many are shifting from viewing technology as a budgetary drain to viewing it as a strategic component of achieving their goals in a competitive marketplace, whether that means adopting enterprise-grade software or hardware tools, or getting serious about investing in a technology infrastructure that boosts their workforce’s productivity.
Michael Maxwell, Manager of Technical Sales, vCIO
I see technology in 2019 being more geared towards privacy and security. I see users starting to pay more attention and invest in their privacy with companies like Apple and Microsoft. “Free” services for file storage, sharing, and communication are starting to become exposed, with reports of how they have mishandled user data, and end users are becoming concerned. I also expect schools to start focusing on how to educate students on protecting their data, especially with respect to how much they share on social media.
Seth Sanders, Systems Administrator
One of the fastest growing trends I see in technology involves the major advancements that are being made in IoT (Intenet of Things) devices. These advancements have been sparked by improved artificial intelligence interfaces and machine learning, meaning we could see even smarter devices, from lightbulbs to thermostats, in the relatively near future. I’m also watching the improvements being made to cellular networks, with the advent of 5G looming on the horizon. On the cyber security side, I’m expecting improvements in network behavior monitoring methods. These will cause network intrusion detection and prevention solutions to become more readily available, useful, and popular.
Carter Glascock, Systems Administrator
2019 may spell the end of the traditional “password” era as we know it, with many businesses moving toward newer technologies, such as biometrics, to enforce both stronger security and multi-factor authentication—without negatively affecting users’ workflow. With the end of support for Windows 7 coming up in early 2020, both enterprises and consumers will be looking towards stronger hardware standards both to support the move to Windows 10 (and beyond) and to ensure that workstations achieve a higher standard of longevity and performance. The subscription-based model of software licensing, which has become a standard for mainstream line-of-business products (Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft), will expand into other software (and hardware) arenas. And with the use of iPads and other mobile consumer devices becoming more prevalent in the business environment, BYOD policies will likely become more inclusive but will also require businesses to adopt stronger management tools, such as mobile device management services or other software-driven methods of managing security, encryption, patching, and potential remote wipe capabilities. All of this will mean a greater need for updated and signed policies by both users and businesses.
Kevin Foster, Systems Administrator
In 2019, I expect to see a continuation and expansion of several trends that have been developing over the past year or so. For instance, I expect even wider adoption of smart home devices (lights, security systems, voice assistants, etc.). Technology is still advancing significantly in these areas. I also think fitness trackers, from the Fitbit to the Apple Watch, will become even more popular among a wider population. Finally, I expect to see the trend of “cord cutting” continue to grow, with more people opting for streaming services instead of typical cable television subscriptions.
Ben Long, Systems Administrator
When it comes to trends in technology that are likely to expand in 2019, the easy answer is Artificial Intelligence (AI). This was already a rapidly expanding area in 2018, but I believe we’ll see this explode even more in 2019. This could range from an increase in AI on mobile devices to cater towards the end-user experience all the way to robots that can learn to talk, walk, and, to some extent, think like us. It’s exciting to think about what is possible with AI that has never been possible before that we could see trending as soon as next year.
Jeremy McNutt, Systems Administrator, Project Manager
In 2019, I expect to see a number of developments in cybersecurity. For instance, I think multi-factor authentication will become a standard practice for businesses of all size, and single sign-on tools (OKTA, Azure Active Directory, etc.) will see broad adoption. I also think Apple’s device releases for the year will focus heavily on augmented reality (AR) features. 2019 could also be the year when content streaming outpaces cable television.