The 2019 Tech Trends to Watch (and Use) for Business Leaders and Tech Firms

2019 RTS Labs

If there’s one thing that is both exciting and frustrating as heck to businesses – it’s the evolution of new tech trends. Because on one hand, new technology can be a silver bullet that grows your business and even disrupts an industry. On the flip side, if you’ve invested in a trend that fails, it can be disastrous. So what do the teams at RTS Labs think are the 2019 tech trends to watch (and use) for business leaders and tech firms?

New technology emerges and old technology fades away and falls out of fashion in a constant ebb and flow – but that’s one of the things we love tracking at RTS Labs! For the most part, expect to see technologies that were exciting and new in 2018 continue to evolve more than new technologies exploding onto the scene. We’ll also see consumers demand more from companies they do business with this year. Here are the trends your business should be paying attention to (and hopping on board with) this year.

Consumer Trends

There were a lot of discussions in 2018 around security and protecting your customers and business. Between the endless data breaches and the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fiasco, consumers are becoming hyper aware of – and freaked out by – companies who collect so much data about them. This year, the conversations will shift towards how consumer data is collected and what it’s used for, in addition to how to protect it. If your company tries to collect data in a way that raises red flags for consumers, watch out.

The demand for a seamless, simple user experience will also increase this year. Consumers will expect easier payment options and will be more attuned to companies who can feed their “I want it now” mentality. If you embrace it like many of the big brands have, you’ll earn more business in 2019. That means options for faster delivery, paying without taking out your wallet, and automated but personalized marketing (think chatbots, push notifications, and automated emails based on customer segmentation).

Evolving Technologies

Last year we saw the rise of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), voice recognition and augmented reality (AR). This year, these technologies will grow and become more prevalent.

Blockchain evolved
Just because Bitcoin had a rough year doesn’t mean blockchain is a lost cause. The value of blockchain as a technology in general grew in 2018. It’s expected to continue to grow as people apply the technology to more than just cryptocurrency. One of the major trends is the use of blockchain as a service (BaaS), a cloud-based service that allows users to build their own blockchain powered products. Large accounting firms are starting to experiment with it, and Amazon and Microsoft already offer the service.

Another trend on the rise for blockchain technology is the hybrid blockchain, a mixture of both public and private blockchain solutions where some processes are kept private and some are public.

Read more about blockchain and its many use cases.

The expanded power of voice control technology
Oh, the things you can do with Alexa these days! Voice control technology continues to improve and more companies are hopping on the bandwagon. This year, we’ll see voice control beyond the smart home and into more business applications.

Does your business need to hop on the voice command trend with an Alexa application? Find out when you read about how your business can use (and your customers want) Alexa integrations.

Augmented reality
We talked about augmented reality in 2018. This year, it’s all about the “immersive experience.” Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality will be combined with additional sensory features to create experiences like no other. We’ll see these “immersive experiences” in more than just video games. Imagine exploring the bottom of the ocean in a classroom or dining in a restaurant that simulates the rain forest.

AI becomes commonplace
Artificial intelligence is no longer just a technology for big tech firms. In 2019, it will become more accessible and commonplace. AI-as-a-Service is on the horizon, and the use of AI chatbots, virtual agents (AI-powered customer service agents), and AI-powered retail recommendations like you see on Amazon.com will become more prevalent. AI is making its way into every aspect of our lives and will continue in 2019. In fact, the tech firm Gartner predicts “by 2022, 40% of new application development will involve AI co-developers.”

Edge Computing

As our need for data processing changes, the big, monolithic application architectures we’ve been using will be replaced with edge computing. In edge computing, the data is processed near the edge of your network instead of in a centralized data-processing warehouse. It’s a flexible, scalable way to provide real-time local data analysis. (This is a trend we’re particularly excited about as we work on data and business intelligence solutions with clients this year.)

[X] as a Service

Just as the platformization of software through software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms made software more approachable and accessible, so will the platformization of other emerging technologies. AI-as-a-service, blockchain-as-a-service, VR-as-a-service, AR-as-a-service, IOT-as-a-service … You get the idea. The evolution of cloud-provided services will continue this year, making emerging technologies more accessible to businesses large and small.

2019 may seem like more of the same from 2018, but for us, it’s exciting to see these technologies evolve and become more accessible! After all, technology for the sake of technology is all right – but technology that improves humans’ lives is a lot more worthwhile.

If you’ve got a technology project in mind for 2019 and want to make sure it’s a success, download our whitepaper so you don’t fall victim to the most common pitfalls.