Digital Transformation continues to wreak havoc on the enterprise business landscape, and 2019 will be no exception. In fact, despite record-setting enterprise IT spend in 2018 (over $400b at a nearly 10% growth rate), enterprise IT growth in 2019 is showing no signs of slowing down, with a projected growth rate of 8.3% and an estimated investment of $439b, driving the bulk of worldwide IT spending.
The major drivers behind this growth are twofold: first, enterprise businesses are finally recognizing the potential that technology, and the businesses processes and efficiencies it underpins, possesses as a strategic differentiator. Secondly, as enterprise businesses implement more connected technology tools, collect more sophisticated data, and become more involved with customer information, the need to secure that technology becomes more critical.
So what are the greatest opportunities for enterprise businesses investing in technology in 2019? And where should forward-thinking enterprises be looking to invest more? The list for highest-value enterprise IT investments or emerging technologies might not look that much different from previous years—but what matters is how these technologies are poised to evolve and take a huge leap forward in the coming year, transforming your business along with it.
The Internet of Things
We’re calling it now—2019 will be the Year of the Things. Connected devices are already transforming our daily lives, and now they’re ready to revolutionize the enterprise. Consider this: by next year, there will be 9.1 billion IoT devices connected across the enterprise sector, accounting for 39 percent of active IoT Devices, and global spending on enterprise IoT products and services will reach $255 billion.
What do 9.1 billion connected devices in enterprise mean for your business? For companies that are leveraging the technology correctly, everything. For example, when Harley Davidson shifted operations at their custom bike manufacturing plant to a ‘smart factory,’ they were able to reduce operating costs by $200m while simultaneously shortening the production cycle from 21 days to a mere six hours. If a custom motorcycle can be ordered, inventoried, manufactured, and ready to ship within six hours thanks to internet-enabled devices, what opportunity exists for your business?
The Cloud Gets Connected
The majority of the $439b figure cited above isn’t from enterprise businesses buying new server farms or investing in co-location data centers—they’re from investments in SaaS. 2018 was the year the cloud grew up—and 2019 is the year it takes over. Initial concerns over data ownership and security are melting away as the cloud continues to evolve and enterprises continue to realize the flexibility and cost efficacy it allows. It’s estimated that over 60% of enterprise businesses will operate primarily via SaaS before the end of 2019, with Microsoft leading the charge as the cloud vendor of choice at 35%.
SaaS isn’t the only sector that will see growth, though it will certainly lead the charge. PaaS (Platform as a Service) is expected to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms in 2019, and the global IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) market is predicted to reach $72.4 billion by 2020, providing plenty of opportunity for enterprise businesses that wish to leverage the flexibility and scalability of cloud apps, platforms, or services.
Not only are cloud solutions a critical component of a cost reduction strategy, but they’re also essential when it comes to keeping pace with rapidly shifting market conditions and evolving competition. In IDG’s 2018 Cloud Computing Survey, 76% of enterprise respondents stated that improving the speed of IT service delivery was the top business goal driving cloud computing investment, while 65% responded that it gave them greater flexibility in responding to changing market conditions.
The rate of change isn’t slowing over the next few years—is your enterprise keeping pace?
Cybersecurity Becomes Priority Number One
Enterprises are moving more data than ever to the cloud and outfitting their factories, inventory, and supply chain with internet-connected sensors—and that doesn’t come without some risk. In fact, 36% of enterprise IT generalists identify information security as the thing that causes them to lose the most sleep.
It’s not just paranoia, either—the global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021. Malicious actors are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly common, either for the purposes of organized crime or state-sponsored attacks
2019 is the year your organization needs to tighten the reins on data security, from the platforms you partner with through to the end user. Smart enterprises will unify their cloud deployments, implement strict security evaluation for new cloud solutions, and limit internal departments from ‘going rogue’ and sending data to self-managed tools. They’ll also take steps to limit risk from end users, including implementing rigorous mobile device management and multi-factor authentication.
A growing number of outside risks coupled with a greater wealth of data being captured and stored seems like a perfect storm for a data breach—but with the right cloud partner and a thoughtful approach to data security, you’ll be able to avoid it.
AI Gets Less Artificial and More Intelligent
When you think of AI in the year 2019, what do you imagine? Autonomous robots roaming the streets? Skynet? Something out of The Matrix? The reality is far less terrifying and can yield tremendous results for your business—as long as you know what to expect.
In the coming year, AI will evolve on a number of fronts—powering autonomous devices, applying natural language processing to data and analytics, simplifying reporting, and even assisting with application development.
With AI capabilities set to broaden and expand as machines grow smarter, it’s up to your business to cut through the hype and determine viable use cases in your enterprise. Autonomous devices and automation may mean automating entire factories or white-collar workflows. Natural language processing could translate into customer-facing chatbots, sentiment monitoring, analytics processing and internal reporting. AI will touch each of the previous three trends mentioned above, by assisting with threat detection, leveraging cloud databases to provide actionable insights, and creating self-managed devices that increase efficiency while limiting cost. Maybe The Matrix isn’t so far away after all…
These predictions for the coming year may seem like more of the same, but enterprise adoption in these four disciplines is really only getting started. Discover how these technology trends can make an impact on your business and separate yourself from the competition. Set up a call with the digital transformation team at OnActuate and find a way to lead the pack!