7 Predictions For Digital Transformation In 2019

Prophecies From Top Thought Leaders

Steven Lerner

This is the time of year when enterprises are looking at upcoming trends and determining what the future holds for IT. To save you some time, Enterprise Mobility Exchange reached out to some of the leading experts in digital transformation who are using their crystal balls (err...or fact-based research) to predict the biggest changes in the sector for the next year. Here are 7 predictions to watch out for in 2019:

1. Chatbots Could Be A Game Changer

“Organizations are looking to continue to enhance and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that transforms their industry. However, they must balance cost and innovation. A good example is enriching an organization’s chatbots from good to great. The more interactive and natural the ecosystems of chatbots are, the more potential cost savings for that organization. It also increases an organization’s ability to offer services that do not require human interaction. Chatbots leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP). If NLP can be improved where chatbots better understand the thousands of different languages around the world, analyze, and respond to human speech in a natural way, it will be a game changer.” — Rizwan Jan, vice president and chief information officer at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

2. Always Connected PCs Gain More Acceptance

“2019 will also be the year that the Always Connected PC starts to get some traction. Early versions with Qualcomm 835 chips and Windows S were less-than-stellar performers, except for battery life, nor did they run all the apps many users wanted and needed. The next gen chips and full Windows should change that. Of course, this market could be still-born if the network operators price the connectivity out of the reach of many people, but I don’t think that will happen this time around (unlike a few years ago with cellular modems in general purpose laptops).” — Jack Gold, president and principal analyst with J. Gold Associates.

3. More Digital Workspaces For Gig Economy Workers

“Employees in the gig economy workforce still need access to corporate applications and data. Businesses have an opportunity to embrace the gig economy by providing them with a digital workspace. ESG research shows that 56% of organizations have adopted a digital workspace strategy or plan to do so in the next six months. Digital workspaces simplify end-user access by taking an identity-centric approach to managing, delivering, and securing resources that can be accessed from untrusted devices and public networks, and ultimately aide in supporting the gig economy.” — Mark Bower, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

4. More Device Consolidation

“ESG research has showed for years that end users carry more than three devices, but IT is sometimes unable to protect corporate apps and data on multiple devices. Parallel devices have become more powerful and have the potential to become a traditional PC replacement. Traditional desktops are at risk as businesses look to provide a single digital workspace experience. Expect to see:
• An increased usage of cloud hosted desktops, such as DaaS
• The Windows desktop challenged more than ever
• Single device usage scenarios.” — Mark Bower, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

5. Curtailed Blockchain Expectations

“A number of criminal arrests and prosecutions will put a damper on blockchain and crypto generally. Most companies in the space will throw in the towel, leaving a small number of 'post-blockchain' survivors.” — Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx.

6. Additive Manufacturing For Serial Production Will Start To See Scale In 2019

“3D printing, as it is more generally known, will not be relegated to desktop prototyping. Instead, these technologies — more broadly referred to as “additive manufacturing” in the industrial context — will be used to make physical goods that are more precise and personal based on their design. These kinds of hardware innovations will ultimately drive software innovation. Right now, we have a digital twin of a lot of products, but we do not have a digital thread of the product lifecycle.” – Ryan Martin, principal analyst at ABI Research.

7. Workspaces Transform With Mobile Solution Components

“I see the workspace solutions that have emerged from vendors such as Amazon, Citrix, MobileIron, and VMware becoming foundational end user computing solution components. Workspace solutions can become much more than just a place to securely gain access to your business applications — a well-integrated workspace solution has the potential to transform the way we collaborate, access applications, and get our work done. The fact that these solutions can run on any modern OS, can enhance application security, are app-agnostic (some can accommodate access legacy Windows applications through virtualization), and (once analytic elements are properly integrated) offer a means of compiling important telemetry data (mostly associated with mobile usage) are the reason these solutions should gain traction. In addition, they provide organizations with the ability to gain end-to-end visibility and control of their increasingly disparate endpoints. Going forward, embedded analytics will play a more pronounced role as well — workspace solution can help users triage recurring tasks that are come into their inboxes through automation, and even help prepare for meetings by presenting users with related documents. These capabilities, along with the ability to seamlessly provision (and de-provision) applications with granular security policies can be extremely valuable and transformational as they can go a long way in improving end users experiences.” — Eric Klein, director of enterprise mobility and connected devices at VDC Research.