As entrepreneurs in the industry are aware, 2018 was a big year for innovation in tech. That trend is expected to continue in 2019. For entrepreneurs, this presents many opportunities — but also possible pitfalls. Yours may be the company that creates cutting-edge tech or is one of the earliest to implement it, vaulting you ahead of competitors. But not all new tech ends up catching on, so it’s important to be careful with both R&D dollars and investment in new equipment.
It’s important to anticipate upcoming trends so you can make the best budget and production plans for your company. We asked 11 members of Forbes Technology Council to share their predictions on the top tech trends for 2019 so you can get the inside scoop for the new year.
1. Increased Automation
We are going to get more tools and apps that do the work for consumers and business owners, automating lives in many ways so more mindless, time-consuming tasks can be passed off. – Jon Bradshaw, Calendar
2. A Blockchain Comeback
This year was a terrible year for blockchain, but 2019 will see new applications and possibly a breakout company or two. AI is perched on the edge of the chasm, with early adopters giving the early majority confidence. In 2019, AI will cross the chasm into the mainstream, solving real problems for people in a variety of industries, not just ads, search and self-driving cars. – Alexander Shartsis, Perfect Price
3. Better Human/AI Collaboration
We couldn’t escape AI in 2018. It’s useful in programmatic tasks, but some companies got into trouble by giving it too much decision-making power in the recruiting process. Using unstructured and potentially biased data led to biased outcomes. I think 2019 will be the year that companies focus on getting datasets consistent and teaching humans to collaborate with AI without giving it too much power. – Mohit Bhende, Karat
4. Expansion Of Connected Devices
I think there will be an explosion of connected devices that moves us forward with this smart system for living and working. All signs point to more consumer and business devices in 2019. – Chalmers Brown, Due
5. Inclusion Of Augmented Reality In Most Apps
Augmented reality has already hit the market and is available with mobile devices. Initially hitting mobile devices as games or fun activities, we will see continued growth in 2019, bringing it into practical everyday utilization. As developers become more acclimated with the technical functionality and allow their creativity to show, it will become integrated into most apps in the marketplace. – Meghann Chilcott, OrderInsite, LLC
6. Upgraded Cybersecurity Using ML And AI
Next year will be a year to remember in technology. Trends are already showing that the tech world is focusing on cybersecurity and keeping up with our adversaries by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict and protect against attacks. As these technologies learn and improve you will see a much quicker, less costly response to our adversarial attacks. – Michael Hoyt, Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.
7. Solutions To The Tech Backlash
In 2018, we saw a backlash against tech — swirling headlines around the negative influence of technology on our democratic process, society, interpersonal relationships and so on. However, there was a dearth of solutions, whether in the proposal of alternatives or the introduction of regulations or other best practices. Next year will see this: What we use, and how we use it, will differ from today. – Zvi Band, Contactually
8. Technology Convergence
We’re about to witness the biggest shift in tech in a generation. The buzzword-loaded, hyped areas of AI, machine learning, blockchain and AR are all impressive in their own right but were previously siloed. Convergence between these technologies will unlock an incredible amount of value for business as they become integrated into standard processes, leading to unprecedented productivity gains. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC