In recent decades, our world has moved away from the analog and firmly into the digital realm. Technology is now incorporated into nearly every facet of our lives, both professional and personal.
Modern technology will only continue to evolve in the years ahead, and consumers often look to industry insiders to identify the next technological game-changer. For a deeper dive, we asked the experts of Forbes Technology Council to weigh in on the most important tech developments of 2019. Here are the technologies they believe have been the most impactful this year and why.
1. 5G Technology
The development of 5G technology would definitely be on my list since it opens completely new opportunities for us. Not only does it allow businesses to conduct online operations at a higher speed, but it also enables a strong and fast enough wireless connection for the successful functioning of complex solutions such as multi-access edge computing or driverless vehicles. – Daria Leshchenko, SupportYourApp Inc.
2. Privacy And PII
All the new regulations reflect a growing need to connect user controls to personally identifiable information (PII). This is a big change in IT. This shift will likely extend PII controls beyond analytical use and disclosure terms to also include use for account access. – Rich Greene, TrustID, Inc.
3. Security Analytics
Organizations have turned to security analytics and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to efficiently monitor and detect unusual use of valid credentials. These technologies have been met with jubilation because they have the ability to drive real-world operational efficiencies. Security teams are now using machine-learning-based analytics to reduce the time to investigate an incident from weeks and months to minutes. – Stephen Moore, Exabeam
4. Rich Communication Services
SMS has been so successful—but it’s just the beginning. Rich communication services (RCS) combines all of the best features of SMS, FB Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, etc. into one platform. Soon, we’ll look at SMS like gamers look at Pong. RCS is a game-changer, and the amount of information and interactivity that will be in one message will open up so many opportunities for consumers. – Jim Higgins, Solutionreach
5. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning And Natural Language Processing
AI, ML and natural language processing have had a transformative impact. Instead of waiting for specialists to analyze data and present their findings, anyone can now tap into the power of AI-driven analytics to more easily explore their data. As a result, organizations can hone in on insights they missed, understand the “why” behind their data and accelerate time to action and business impact. – Andrew Beers, Tableau Software
6. Health Monitoring
I think the big game-changer in tech this year is the use of wearable devices to assess and monitor personal health. The adoption of smartwatches, fitness trackers and other wearable medical devices has made it easy to keep a close eye on health issues, encourage healthier activities and promote general wellness. Once the healthcare industry catches up, it should be easier to stay healthy. – Chris Kirby, Retired
7. Intelligent Automation And Chatbots
Automation is proving to be a game-changer for businesses. With IT staffing shortages, intelligent automation and chatbots take care of help desk tasks, significantly reducing workload and increasing productivity. This development will be the foundation for businesses to work smarter and become self-driving powerhouses that can achieve breakthrough success. – Gabby Nizri, Ayehu Inc.
8. Serverless Computing
Serverless environments like AWS Lambda and Azure Functions allow companies to create “NoOps” environments that are automated and abstracted from the underlying infrastructure. This eliminates the need to manage servers, which reduces operational costs and allows businesses to invest the savings in developing new capabilities. IT can focus on driving business value instead of managing technology. – Michael Keithley, United Talent Agency
9. Video Object Tracking
Video object tracking is a necessary component of AI, as it enables the annotation of video content at scale to meet the needs of building effective smart applications. Without object-tracking capabilities, the cost and time required to annotate individual frames in videos would be excessively high and make AI applications that need to understand moving objects ineffective. – Alyssa Simpson Rochwerger, Figure Eight
10. Operational Analytics
The biggest development in 2019 by far is operational analytics—which means operational folks on the ground are now empowered with real-time insights into data so that they can make better day-to-day decisions. This is enabled by a new category of operational analytics tools that use the cloud to make access to data faster, simpler and more “self-service” for everyone. – Shruti Bhat, Rockset
11. Managed Reinforcement Learning
Prior to machine learning as a service (MLaaS), companies would need to invest substantial time, money and effort into researching and developing AI-enabled technologies. Today, with new offerings like reinforcement learning and AI-algorithm marketplaces, we can solve multifaceted problems through an array of cloud services to build and deploy pre-trained or customized models with relatively less risk and lower upfront costs. – Christopher Yang, Corporate Travel Management
12. Smart, Connected Products And Services
As the universe of connected products and services expands, enterprises have realized in 2019 that if their products are not “smart”—connected, data-enabled and integrated into a customer’s digital life—they risk obsolescence. Connected products are more essential, useful and fun to use. Smart products alert, control, suggest, trigger and monitor what we need when we need it. – Chris Kibarian, IFTTT