Happy New Year!
I hope you got all the new technology you were hoping for this past holiday season! Once again, voice assistants had a big year. In addition to a record number of voice assistants sold, Amazon reported that voice shopping tripled this holiday season. I have to agree with this trend… for that reoccurring staple, I found myself voice ordering through my AI assistant this past year as well. It really is frictionless. One of the things that was different this year was that it wasn’t just the voice assistants. It was also the smart home items like smart plugs and video doorbells that were breaking records. This means that people are now using those smart assistants for more than just music and weather.
What does this mean for your company? I hope you see it as affirmation that this tidal wave of technology will wash over us unless we ride it like a surfer. We must catch the biggest waves and let them carry us into the digital future or risk being washed up.
Here are some of the emerging technology trends for 2019. It’s important to stay abreast of consumer trends since they tend to lead the industry trends as the mass adoption of technology by consumers pulls businesses to adapt.
Voice isn’t just for home assistants. More and more businesses are voice enabling their mobile apps. This is the quickest way to ride the voice wave in many industries since the functionality already exists in the app.
Machine learning is taking off: improving fraud detection in financial services, reading images in medicine, learning transportation patterns and optimizing logistics. There are many use cases already in full deployment. This is true in the consumer sector as well as seen in AlphaGo, automatic face tagging on social media and even smart photo search services on your phone.
I think IoT will grow significantly in combination with voice and AI – just like it did with consumers this holiday season. This area also includes wearables like the Fitbit or Apple Watch for the consumer, and sensors like those used in the Amazon Go store in retail.
For the consumer, look no further than IFTT or shortcuts on iOS. Across industries, the RPA (robotic process automation) crowd is connecting large monolithic systems to automate rote work that has been previously done manually. Growth for intelligent robotic automation is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40% through 2023, according to Market Research Future.
Some of the most interesting developments are when these solutions start to merge. The Apple watch (IoT) now detects falls (machine learning) and will talk to you (voice) and reach out for help if it thinks you need it. We see similar combination effects in industry as RPA solutions tap into machine learning to make decisions.
To survive in this tidal wave of tech, we need to be fast. Fast to adapt, fast to implement, and fast to evolve. We’ve had agile teams for years, but as our solutions scale, we also need to scale our agile approach with frameworks like SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). Enterprise Agile is the “how” of emerging technology solutions.
So remember, those gadgets you got as presents aren’t just fun toys to automate your home. They are storytellers of how your industry will evolve in the coming wave of emerging technology.