But, much like the folding phones, roll-up televisions and vegan meat on display at the recent CES trade show, there are plenty of innovations with more profile than impact – augmented reality.
Instead, we have reviewed the host of predictions made in the first half of January and selected the trends and developments with a real chance of influencing your business in the coming months.
The greatest issue of the last few years isn’t going away. 2018 not only ushered in the implementation of GDPR, but also saw several high-profile data breaches with subsequent fines of several millions of dollars pending. The way businesses manage their (and their customers’) data will be under greater scrutiny than ever. In the first instance, it’s about protecting data – with many companies expected to open cyber security departments or outsource security expertise. However, it’s also about the way that data is managed and used – balancing the priorities of data ethics and data value management.
AI into BI
Big Data is no longer an unknown quantity, but harnessing its potential demands expert capability in data science. Machine learning will change this, opening possibilities with augmented analytics. With automated algorithms exploring data, we’ll see a greater capacity to generate insight from the vast amounts of data available. Gartner predicts that this will help identify hidden patterns in data and help remove human biases from our analytics.
The Cloud and the Edge
On one hand, cloud computing is still growing – with the greater connectivity and accessibility allowing for the growth of centralised, cloud-based applications and infrastructure. However, we’ll also see more computing power move in the other direction – out to the edge of the network, with more data stored, processed and displayed locally. While that’s partly about making the internet of things more viable and useful, this ‘empowered edge’ will also transform the way networks function, from industrial machinery to business communication tools.
As it sounds, a digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical asset, whether a place, system or a person. While the concept is not new, all the pieces are in place to make it possible – the internet of things, AI, machine learning and connectivity. This offers new possibilities for remote surgery, mass manufacturing and even automotive design, but it’s also a clear route to greater workforce automation across a wide range of industries and tasks.