In 2018, a wide variety of disruptive technology guided consumer expectations. The year enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in decades, fueling competition over human resources. And data-driven business strategies became the norm used by the majority of businesses. Indeed, business trends for the year were quite spectacular. At the Synapse Summit earlier this year, Bold Business asked a number of industry insiders to predict 2019’s trends. From cybersecurity and machine learning to smart, sustainable cities and connected health care, a number of bold ideas were discussed. But we’re halfway through the year now – how close were these predictions to hitting their marks?
Key Insights on Top Business Trends for 2019
Business Trends in Transportation
It was predicted that the autonomous transportation snowball will continue to gain momentum forcing cities and governments to rethink transportation systems. That’s certainly the case with autonomous trucking. Collaborative partnerships between traditionally separate industries will continue to form in an effort to accomplish these goals. The sharing economy will continue to promote new opportunities for transportation, especially in urban areas. And smart transportation systems will evolve within cities embracing data-driven strategies to enhance transit and reduce traffic. Bold businesses involved in innovative urban logistics and enhanced mobility solutions will be in a great position to thrive.
Business Trends in Digital Technology
Digital disruption was huge in 2018, and it is certain to be just as impactful in 2019. The advancing use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will invade every possible sector and industry. Data-driven commerce will be seen no longer as one of many technology trends in business but instead as a routine best practice. But with these digital business trends, emerging needs will appear in 2019. Demands for heightened cybersecurity will be among the most significant technology trends in business for 2019. Likewise, advancing abilities to utilize “big data” will greatly change some industries, such as in health care. And 3D printing and virtual storefronts interconnected with mobile devices will certainly disrupt multiple retail sectors. Bold businesses with a vision of how to best engage consumers through these technologies are bound to succeed.
Business Trends in Infrastructure
Urbanization will continue to expand placing increasing pressures on cities to transform to accommodate growing populations. It was predicted that advances in smart technologies will further permeate urban systems, and now that’s shaping where businesses can grow. Driven by AI, smart technology trends in business will spill over into demands for smart homes and cities. Areas such as waste management, traffic congestion, and water systems will be transformed. With the case of expanding cloud services and the IoT devices, the potential for data-driven infrastructure design will be tremendous. Business trends for the rest of 2019 will, therefore, see an array of new companies and collaborations in support of these changes. Therefore, a bold business will enjoy not only new markets but also opportunities to partner with urban leaders for positive infrastructure change.
Business Trends in Energy
The energy sector has seen numerous new trends in business in the last few years, and these business trends will continue. However, renewable and sustainable energy solutions will be increasingly expected—and supported—by consumers. Continued advances in battery storage and solar-enabled power can be expected. Likewise, global pressures will begin to mount for more businesses and countries to adopt alternative energy strategies. Even in the absence of government, bold businesses will progress in alternative energy offerings in 2019. In fact, we can expect increasing mergers between industries toward this end. For example, business trends are likely to see space industries become increasingly involved with the energy sector.
Business Trends in Health
It was anticipated that 2019 would bring forth major changes in health care systems and practices, and already that’s seen in how “big data” is being used for more effective treatment. Health care systems will increasingly utilize data systems to drive evidence-based practices on a larger scale. Likewise, pressures for quality outcomes tied to reimbursements will create evolving opportunities for partnerships and collaborations. At the same time, precision and personalized medicine will continue to evolve as health care business trends. And biomedical and biotechnology research and development will continue to be dominant sources of change. In terms of specific areas, neuroscience and oncology stand to see the most impressive gains this year. Technology trends in business will increasingly find their way into the health care sector. As a result, we can anticipate new bold businesses in this industry that might not have been expected.
Business Trends in Communications
Like years past, increasing needs for mobility and data access will influence major business trends in communications for 2019. As consumers increasingly demand greater options for streaming, both media and entertainment offerings will change. Mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships can be expected over the next year in the communications sector because of its dynamic nature. At the same time, the invasion of AI and ML into all sectors means increasing human-computer communications as well. This case means major business opportunities in developing “bots” for businesses to interact with customers. And of course, data-driven insights into consumer preferences will drive new technology trends in business. Such trends will likely involve greater integrated content accessible on the fly, which will be supported by cloud technologies.
Being Bold Amid Technology Trends in Business This Year
Anticipating business trends offers an important tool for developing future business strategies. And some of the predictions are certainly bearing fruit. For the rest of 2019, one thing is certain—tremendous advances in numerous sectors will occur. Undoubtedly, the boldest businesses of 2019 will be those that foresee these changes while utilizing bold leadership to guide their course.