In 2018, the growth of artificial intelligence and technologies such as speech recognition, natural language processing and driverless cars continued to emerge more and more onto public domain, with AI algorithms becoming ever more powerful.Cloud computing is growing rapidly with many new services being developed and offered by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platforms. This is only a fraction of the activity the technology industry has experienced in 2018, hence this blog looks forward to trends in hot software technologies you can expect in 2019.
On the 15th March 2016 AlphaGo, a computer program developed by Google DeepMind, defeated the 18-time world champion at Go, an ancient Chinese board game widely considered to be the most complex board game ever played by humans. This marked an important landmark for Artificial Intelligence, however the milestone event also had an effect of awakening businesses and those in industry to the potential of AI and Machine Learning technologies to improve on tasks hitherto thought better done by humans. Since at least the beginning of this decade, the realisation of AI potential has been following an exponential trend, with 2019 looking to be the most exciting year to date. One application of Machine Learning and AI technology that promises to play a rapidly increasing role in 2019 is Speech Recognition. In 2018, we saw Amazon’s Alexa become a sensation with consumers as automation of tasks such as playing music and booking appointments were made trivial through the power of speech. It is predicted that over 66 million Americans will be using speech technology in 2019, a fact which is subsequently backed up by the heavy investment seen by big players such as Sony and LG in the technology.
Another aspect of Machine Learning that will have currently unimaginable impact in 2019 is our ability to predict using the larger and larger data sets that we now have at our disposal. From Amazon’s ability to predict its users’ needs and desires to the US military using ML algorithms to predict when vehicles will require maintenance and repair, it is clear that AI is revolutionising business efficiency and performance.
In the 80’s, relational models were created for use in databases with the objective of optimizing storage space, which was a data centre’s most expensive variable at the time. They normalized data and used relationships to minimise duplication of data. However, in 2019 storage costs have fallen dramatically, which has ignited a subsequent paradigm shift in database technology. Where SQL was once used to manage relationable, NoSQL databases are now being implemented that put less emphasis and pressure on the need for minimal duplication of data, as we can now afford to compromise on storage in order to scale hugely. Denormalised NoSQL databases have the advantage of being able to be queried using applications such as OLTP at scal, which allows for queries that would be incredibly difficult and complex to implement in SQLto be implemented quickly with less processing power.
This is definitely not the death of relational databases but more and more cloud databases, with their ease of deployment and maintenance are replacing traditional enterprise databases such as Oracle and SQL Server.
Another trend which will grow in 2019, is the larger migration to serverless cloud technology. Serverless cloud computing offers a simpler and more cost-effective alternative to traditonal cloud computing in that code is not deployed to a machine, or virtual machine of software container. AWS, Azure and Google are driving application development in the cloud towards serverless microservice deployments where enterprise applications are split into small cooperating services on the cloud. This improves greatly on the enterprise monolith application (one application with a database) which is difficult to scale and to develop in a fast and agile manner. Due to a culmination of the integration of these technologis, in 2019 flexible cloud-based technology will continue to boost operations by reducimg time to market and total cost of ownership for organisations. According to Deloitte (2018) 60% enterprises are expected to move their IT systems to the cloud by 2019 as part of digital transformation, with many software companies also integrated AI capabilities into cloud-based enterprise software and bringing them into the mass market.
Therefore, the growth in new and innovative technologies proves to be exciting this year. This yeilds not only greater business operational and creative potential, but the commerical possibilities ring and changes to societal norms will be continually manipulated.
- Deloitte (2018). 2019 Technology Industry Outlook: Cloud platforms can provide a gateway to powerful AI tools that fuel agility and innovation. Online available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/technology-industry-outlook.html
- Blomstrom, D. (2018). Forbes: 10 tech and industry 2019 predictions that you will read everywhere.Online available at: (https://www.forbes.com/sites/duenablomstrom1/2018/12/17/10-tech-and-industry-2019-predictions-that-you-will-read-everywhere/#3970e9c31996)
- Panetta, K. (2018). Gartner: Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019. Online available at: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2019/