These are the key technology themes we will be watching closely during 2019:
1. #Techlash - tech builds a conscience
By 2020, it is forecast that 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every individual on the
planet. Managing data properly must be a top priority for companies in 2019. If they do not have
robust procedures in place to ensure that data is managed, stored and utilised appropriately, they
will run the risk of being caught in the #techlash epidemic.
2. #5G – the race has begun
5G will open up significant opportunities across industries by increasing reliability, saving time,
money and dramatically enhancing the final user experience. Three key reliability improvements
over 4G will be a 1,000 times speed increase, improved latency and high precision connectivity due
to the ultra-high frequencies. IDC predicts more than 30 billion devices will be connected to networks globally by 2020.
3. #Voicetech – Is it ‘hear’?
In 2019, the combination of improved contextual knowledge and increased listening points will lead
to an increase in awareness of digital assistants. As more value can be derived from each interaction
we expect to see significant growth in voice assistant adoption. comScore data predicts that 50% of
all searches will be made via voice tech by 2020.
4. #Digitalhealth – Dr. Dr. I feel like…?
In 2019, healthcare providers will increasingly explore partnerships with wearables solutions to
leverage their partner’s expertise and collaborate to improve patient experience and outcomes. The
digital health market is expected to reach $206bn by 2020 partly driven by AI providing new
opportunities in healthcare.
5. #Smartcities - survival of the smartest
In 2019 we expect to see more Governments implementing the infrastructure for smart city
technology. The use of AI, IoT and 5G will address urban problems by increasing operational
efficiency, improving public services such as transport, waste, energy and therefore improving the
quality of life of their citizens.
6. #AutonomousThings – a mind of their own
In 2019, we expect to see a significant increase in the number of autonomous things deployed,
which will lead to new interactions between consumers and technology. Governments will need to
be wary of stifling innovation by implementing regulatory hurdles while balancing this decision with
policies that mitigate risks that autonomous objects will inherently create.
7. #Economicslowdown – is the winter coming?
The 3 and 5-year US Treasury yield curve has inverted for the first time since 2005, China’s economy
is signalling a slowdown, partly exacerbated by the US-China trade war, and Central Banks are
tightening monetary policy, ending an era of economic stimulus. We expect 2019 to be the year
global economies slow, as we near the end of the longest bull market in history.
8. #Liquiditysqueeze – will there be a tech crunch?
The slowing economic outlook will likely impact investors’ willingness to part with funds in 2019.
Start-ups without sufficient runway to reach 2020 must factor in the changing economic landscape
when raising funds in 2019; valuations will likely be squeezed, round sizes will likely decrease, and a larger proportion of funding will be directed toward later-stage businesses that are already commercially de-risked.