2018 is coming to an end, a year where we have seen many technologies burst onto the scene; some of them have definitively become a part of our lives, whereas others have reached the end of the line and we have bid them adieu.
Nevertheless, come this time of the year, the million-dollar question is: what does 2019 have in store for the IT industry? Which technologies will win us over in the coming months?
Of course, we do not have a magic ball to see the future with but we can still draw some patterns from the main technological fields and intuit where the future of technology lies – at least in 2019.
Multi-cloud, hybrid cloud
Many business models have gone cloud in recent years. The cloud has become the best environment for developing digital products.
A greater degree of maturity in the adoption of cloud solutions by Spanish companies has been observed in 2018. Trends such as native cloud developments and the implementation of multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategies will continue to become consolidated throughout the next year.
What are its advantages? Choosing among different cloud providers is an important business decision. Selecting just one solution is usually enough for start-ups but not for experienced firms.
A multi-cloud approach can help to tap into the wide range of services offered by different providers. Likewise, companies that devise a hybrid strategy gain significant advantages.
Creating a private cloud by modernizing their IT ecosystem and combining it with one or several public clouds allows them to have the best of both worlds: they obtain all the flexibility of the cloud whilst complying with highly stringent regulatory frameworks, they store their data locally and they keep paying off their investment in infrastructure.
Chatbots and human-computer interaction (HCI)
Lately we have seen how chatbots have become a reality. Their rise has given us an idea of the capacity for interaction between humans and machines. We are referring to augmented reality and virtual reality and the possibilities they afford.
But why can 2019 be their year? The rate at with which artificial intelligence software is improving and the rise of Silicon Valley technologies (such as those from Google, Facebook and other digital giants) is making them grow and develop at the speed of light.
There is no question that their interaction with human beings will be increasingly greater and they will be ever more present in our daily lives. Companies in other industries are not unaware of this radical change in the interaction with users and some of them, such as JustEat, Burger King, Mahou or Destinia, already provide different experiences.
In order to shorten the time to market and minimize human error, organizations are beginning to understand how important it is to bring into their ecosystem the tools that will enable them to automate the coding, deployment and execution of their applications.
But this is not only about tools and automation. DevOps culture is reaching the necessary state of maturity for organizations to start adopting it in their work models. A culture that is based on small multidisciplinary teams focused on adding value to the business through the product.
The term blockchain is starting to be understood as what it is: a technology that goes way beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Many different actors are beginning to see the advantages this technology offers and to embody them in all kinds of use cases.
Both companies and public administrations are directing their products toward the end consumer, so guaranteeing the transparency of and trust in their data throughout this process is a differentiating factor.
Blockchain has gone from being a buzzword to one of the tools with which a new way for consumers to interact with both companies and organizations and among themselves is to be built.
In just a few years we will look back and will not be able to think about banking without blockchain and we will hardly remember what it was to have to look for an old receipt to claim a warranty for a past purchase or repair because having an unchanging record with all that information (and a lot more) will seem more than obvious.
2019 is looking to be a key year when we will start to enjoy what was promised.
Big Data in the cloud
Big data is not something new. Most companies have invested a lot of money in the past few years to deploy big data technology and build large data lakes in which to keep their data and put them to good use.
However, the latest movements in the market point to the future of big data being in the cloud. Large cloud technology manufacturers are providing on-demand services, which allows the time to market to be shortened and large amounts of resources to be available for a limited time, and paying only for those resources that are actually used.
We live in a world where we want to move daily life into the digital world to offer users experiences that are totally different and have never seen before. This creates a variety of new challenges that are thrilling in terms of both scalability and security.
This is leading to an increased introduction of IoT platforms which, together with big data and AI solutions, are an ideal solution for creating innovative services.
This technology is moving so fast that it is hard to know right now what it will evolve into in the medium term. Nevertheless, some of the trends are rather evident: there is no question that the IoT will pave the way for new business models and foster new relations with customers. Thanks to this, companies will be able to offer their users a much more innovative and meaningful experience. 2019 will undoubtedly bring further developments in this technological field.
ML in the cloud
Machine learning is changing the way software is developed. The new intelligent algorithms are capable of learning from the data, extracting value therefrom and solving problems which have been very complex up until now.
Up to now, the complexity of tackling a machine learning project was high, but cloud technology manufacturers are providing solutions that simplify the process of training and productivization of machine learning models. This will make it possible for many companies to have access to this technology, and 2019 will be the year of the machine learning boom.
Quantum computing is the ‘next big thing’. The first quantum computers that are ready to be put to use in production have appeared in the past few months.
This technology, which is based on the use of qbits instead of bits, will put a calculation power unknown till now at our disposal.
Thus far, the physical problems that are intrinsic to this technology had confined it to the academic and R&D spheres, but it seems that this barrier is starting to crumble and that in the next few years we will start to hear a lot about quantum computing and its applications.