10 Digital Trends Your Company Needs to Lead or Explore in 2019

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What are the digital trends that are going to drive the agenda in 2019? Business Optimizer gazes into our crystal ball to bring you the insights you need to plan your 2019 digitalization agenda.

#1. Leverage learning

Many organizations are now well on their way on their digitalization journey. This gives organizations who are lagging behind an opportunity to learn from what those leading organizations have learned. Exploit local trade groups, forums and other networking opportunities from across sectors to access learnings and leapfrog those competitors ahead of you.

#2. Reach out with hackathons

Hackathons – whether organized internally, through media or exhibition partners, education partners, or Government initiatives like the UK’s Digital Catapult – are a great way to explore the possibilities and benefits of digital innovation. For larger organizations which are traditionally slow to “turn around the tanker” these small-scale forays into innovation can be a great way to explore potential and boost interest in the digitalization agenda.

#3. 5G

Most commentators have been trailing the potential of 5G for several years now, but 2019 could well be the year its impact finally starts to be felt. Once the technology launches it will help to drive innovations in IoT and the IIoT – offering greater potential to connect people and devices, even in remote and difficult areas.

#4. Location services

Beacon technology is already being successfully leveraged in retail environments and even some telehealth applications in the USA. While it does raise questions about privacy and the use of data, we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential of these technologies.

#5. Omnichannel marketing

Creating a more seamless and consistent experience across every touchpoint through which the customer interacts with your organization is another topic we’ve been talking about for a long time and yet few organizations have successfully cracked. However, corporate leadership is now focusing on this strategy as a key priority because the potential returns are so great: omnichannel marketing is less about platform or contact point and all about the customer experience.

#6. Greater opportunities for collaboration

When organizations began to dip their toes in the digital agenda waters, many initiatives took the form of small, agile projects inside particular departments designed to test the returns. Joining up these silos of innovation across the business now presents new challenges and opportunities – and will require greater collaboration to achieve. Collaboration shouldn’t only be happening internally – digitalization offers up new opportunities to work with suppliers and customers through every level of the supply chain too.

#7. Develop skills

Lack of appropriately skilled workers is a drag on many organization’s capacities to fully realize the opportunities of digitalization. Upskilling workers isn’t only a boost to your digitalization agenda; investing in your people can help with retention and engagement.

#8. Continued data improvements

Data is the basis of all digital strategies. GDPR focused everyone’s attention on their data policies and strategies in 2018 – and this has focused minds on the risks and potential opportunities of data. It has also focused the minds of consumers on their rights and this presents organizations which demonstrate they take their responsibilities over their customers’ data seriously with an opportunity to secure a new source of competitive advantage. Rigorous data management, defensible deletion, and improved information security will continue into 2019 and, at the same time, organizations will seek to leverage the data they hold and transform it into actionable insights.

#9. Artificial Intelligence

While we remain some way off true AI, narrow AI applications continue to have important roles to play – whether in continued enhancements to NLP in chatbots and other customer service tools or in terms of leveraging the data organizations hold.

#10. Augmented Reality

While VR has gained some traction with predictive modeling and visualization in industry, the potential of AR offers more immediate advantages for customer-facing organizations. The possibilities to transform billboards into points of sale, or labeling into interactive advertising through our mobile phones are already being explored by larger brands. The biggest news in AR in 2019 is, without a doubt, going to be Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
It might be setting the bar high, but it will help to boost consumer’s wider interest in AR experiences. Brands who aren’t experimenting in this area will be missing out on trick.

Do your digital priorities match with your plans for 2019? Whatever your personal priorities, one thing is for certain: the digitalization agenda continues apace.