Looking Forward to Tech in 2019

Happy first Monday of the new year from us at Aspect Consulting, Inc! Keeping with the spirit, we’ve compiled a list of the top tech trends, issues, and things to watch from around the web. With this list, we will provide you with an overview of the tech landscape in 2019, so you and your business and adjust, react, and plan accordingly.

 The EDUCause Top 10 IT Issues:

Every year, EDUCause releases a list of what they think will be their top 10 IT issues facing the education industry. This year the themes of the top issues were: creating a data-enabled institution, funding challenges, and IT as an institutional leader and change agent. As such the Top 10 IT issues fit into and helped accomplish these three themes. The list is as follows:

  1. Information Security Strategy: Developing a risk-based security strategy that effectively detects, responds to, and prevents security threats and challenges.
  2. Student Success: Serving as a trusted partner with other campus units to drive and achieve student success initiatives.
  3. Privacy: Safeguarding institutional constituents’ privacy rights and maintaining accountability for protecting all types of restricted data.
  4.  Student-Centered Institution: Understanding and advancing technology’s role in optimizing the student experience (from applicants to alumni).
  5.  Digital Integrations: Ensuring system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, security, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms.
  6. Data-Enabled Institution: Taking a service-based approach to data and analytics to reskill, retool, and reshape a culture to be adept at data-enabled decision-making.
  7. Sustainable Funding: Developing funding models that can maintain quality and accommodate both new needs and the growing use of IT services in an era of increasing budget constraints.
  8.  Data Management and Governance: Implementing effective institutional data governance practices and organizational structures.
  9.  Integrative CIO: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as an integral strategic partner of institutional leadership in achieving institutional missions.
  10. Higher Education Affordability: Aligning IT’s priorities and resources with institutional priorities and resources to achieve a sustainable future.

 Gartner’s Top 10 & the Digital Mesh

Gartner based their top 10 on the entwining of people, devices, content and services – a concept they’re calling “The Intelligent Digital Mesh”. The Intelligent Digital Mesh is based on AI’s prevalence in technology and society, the blending of virtual and real worlds to create an environment that is enhanced and connected between the real and virtual worlds, and how these connections are between a set of people, businesses, devices and servers to create content. The list is as follows:

  1. Autonomous Things – Cars, drones, AI, oh my! Today’s automation goes beyond the traditional rigidity of the past, and as AI increases, expect a shift from independent AI to much more interconnected automated networks.
  2. Augmented Analytics – Referring to augmented intelligence, or how AI can enhance human intelligence instead of replacing it, augmented analytics will become a key aspect of data management, business management, and other aspects of data usage and sharing. 
  3. AI-Driven Development – Similarly to the previous two, but the focus on how AI will become an integral part of the development process.
  4. Digital Twins – Currently used by some manufacturers to monitor and track real-world assets and operations, Gartner believes we’ll be able to link the digital twin, or a digital representation of real-world items or people, to smart cities and other intitatives.
  5. Empowered Edge – Advancing edge technologies and devices and merging them with the cloud, communication devices, and storage.
  6. Immersive Experience – Focuses on the emergence of virtual and augmented reality programs and their practical applications, like in the case of clients working from home, telecommuting, or offsite consulting.
  7. Blockchain – Taking a deeper look at blockchain and taking the steps to reduce the problems with its implementation. 
  8. Smart Spaces – Where humans and technology systems interact in connected, intelligent environments.
  9. Digital Ethics and Privacy – understanding the boundaries of AI, and how to build and maintain the trust of your customers and employees, as well as providing security networks to protect their data and privacy.
  10. Quantum Computing – A change from linear computing to computing all the data, all at once. This will be huge in areas like chemistry or material science. 

Breakthroughs & Things to Watch

With all this change in technology comes change in policy. Some of the biggest issues facing 2019 are those of data and consumer protections and privacy, especially in response to recent hacks and the scandals facing Facebook and other social media platforms. As a new House enters Congress, it’s likely that we’ll begin to see a push for legislation that stresses corporation transparency, regarding who uses said data and how it is used. An issue we’ll definitely be revisiting is net neutrality, and the resolution to several legal challenges against the FCC from 2018. Another issue we’ll see hit mainstream media is artificial intelligence – with controversy facing public figures like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the popularity of shows like Black Mirror, it’ll be interesting to see how breakthroughs in AI are presented and received by the public.

This article is just a quick overview of the changes we expect in 2019, and throughout the year we’ll be delving into some of these issues in more depth in order to keep you and your business on track of what’s going on in the industry.