Digital transformation efforts are underway at the majority of companies—but most have focused on optimizing current operations, rather than creating new business models, analysts say. However,the year 2019 will see more global businesses seeking to use technology to deliver on customer needs and improve security and impact,, according to a Wednesday report from Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
Here are seven enterprise technology trends that will drive digital transformation in 2019 and beyond, the report found.
SEE: IT leader's guide to achieving digital transformation (Tech Pro Research)
1. The "Real-Time Enterprise" will begin to transform how business works
Foundational technologies like software-defined networks (SDN), 4G, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are already changing business operations. But in 2019, savvy CIOs will focus on how to completely reinvent their operations to leverage the promise of disruptive technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, automation and robotics, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and next-generation cloud services, including edge computing, the report said.
"Many of these technologies have now moved from concept to reality, and those who can best leverage the advantages they bring will increasingly be well placed to win the future," according to the report.
2. Businesses will invest for performance
Implementing a secure, strong network foundation allows businesses to create innovative platforms and solutions to move the business forward, the report noted. Finding expert partners who can help organizations deliver on their business objectives with support and professional services will be key for success.
3. Organizations will remember that the customer is king
Businesses recognize the importance of customer experience (CX), but with the rise of AI, there will be new opportunities to offer more personalized experiences, the report noted.
"The best organizations will use data to inform human engagement, remembering that it is human engagement that creates real relationships," the report said. "The technology will be leveraged to do this at speed and scale."
SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)
4. Businesses will focus on the transaction guarantee
Organizational success will be driven by how well CIOs leverage SDN, and the options it offers to deliver agility, flexibility, and scale, according to the report.
"It's now beyond application-aware networking, and instead, about focusing on the transaction guarantee, and defining policies to support the specific application, time or location needs that will make the difference," the report said.
5. Contextual privacy will come front and center
Customers and businesses are more focused on privacy now than ever, with news of massive data breaches continuing to hit headlines. In 2019, businesses will begin to see a focus on contextual privacy requirements, linked to location-based awareness, the report said. This will mark a change in how organizations approach security and keep personal data safe.
6. Automation will transform the workforce
Many workers across industries fear that AI will steal their jobs, and it will transform the way business operates and what skills the workforce needs. In 2019, businesses and education systems will need to focus on building a pool of data scientists and machine learning specialists to support the skills we need in the future, the report said.
7. Businesses will go back to the basics on security, but also focus on specifics
In the new year, organizations will strengthen security measures, the report said. "It's about understanding their risk environment, and ensuring they are doing the basics right to protect their business; practicing IT hygiene to keep infrastructure current to protect against vulnerabilities continues to be critical," the report stated.
Companies will also need more visibility into security data to make decisions on threat mitigation, the report noted.
"Our customers are seeking new approaches to gaining immediate insights into their operations and the customer - the 'Real-Time Enterprise' is definitely where they want to be, whatever the stage of their journey, and wherever they are located around the globe," George Fischer, president of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said in the report. "It's no longer about digital transformation - that's a given and is accelerating, driving the need for real-time insights. It's about how they can build and manage digital to change their business opportunity moving forward."
- How Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to transform retail and help customers buy cosmetics (free PDF) (TechRepublic cover story)
- Why CIOs must lead 2019 IT budget planning with digital transformation (ZDNet)
- Digital transformation: A CXO's guide (TechRepublic)
- What's really holding back today's CIO from digital transformation? (ZDNet)
- Why CIOs must step up to lead digital transformation efforts (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.