Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Buffing Up The Crystal Ball

I've had several people ask me lately what I predict in terms of hot tech trends for 2019.  I'm not much for predictions - if you want to hear the universe laugh, share your future plan.  But, just for fun, I pulled the crystal ball out of the closet, buffed it up and took a look.  I also scattered some tea leaves on a table top and read them.  And, just to lock things in, I put all my garbage for the week into a plastic trash bag and whirled it over my head in the front yard at midnight while I screamed like a chicken, seeking a vision.  None of that stuff worked, although that last thing did provide me with a vision of policemen called out by a neighbor.  But I'll still take my chances and throw what I believe are tech trends that will heat up in 2019 in the enterprise software space.

Artificial Intelligence.  We've been seeing some primitive applications of AI cropping up already; chatbots come immediately to mind (a big deal where I work - Oracle - right now).  But I think a shift in the way we approach AI will start to have some impact this year.  We'll start to see a change from decision trees and algorithms attempting to calculate results in favor of more applications for the deep learning approach.  We certainly have enough data on common use cases to make deep learning feasible.

Quantum Computing.  Another old theme that will take on new life in 2019.  To some extent, it goes hand-in-hand with the growth in AI deep learning.  It takes improvement in orders of magnitude for both processing capacity and processing speed in order to support that kind of thing.  If you haven't already, you'll soon start to hear about qubits:  leveraging properties of atoms and nuclei to facilitate them working together as computer processors and memory.  Makes traditional silicon components look like a hammer and chisel.  This one is not that far off:  several tech companies already have projects going with functional quantum computing.  One application:  remote traditional processors feeding a quantum computer for trend analysis on a huge scale.  Takes the idea of Big Data to a whole new level, doesn't it?

Trust.  Wait, how can trust be a tech trend?  It's definitely happen already - more and more end users are opting to pick the honest broker, even when the products or services that honest broker provides are priced much higher than the low bidder.  A former Oracle employee, Patrick Lencoini (you've probably heard of him as the author of "The Five Disfunctions Of A Team"), wrote a book in 2010 on trust that was years ahead to its time:  "Getting Naked:  A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty".  While the fable is really focused on the consulting field, I'm hearing more and more tech service providers using his terms and concepts.  Sometimes even word for word.  The concept of trust will permeate the enterprise software industry in 2019, ranging from client relationships to the way we build and provide products and services to the way we interview potential hires.  I don't have any business relationship with Mr. Lencoini... heck, I don't even know him (but I am a big fan)... but you may want to add his book to your 2019 reading list.

So there you have it:  my picks for hot tech trends in enterprise software in 2019.  You may have different ideas, or maybe even a crystal ball that works.  Share in the comments.  We'll take a look back at the end of 2019 and giggle about our prognostications together!

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