The well-known adage, “The only thing constant in life is the change”, holds particularly true for the tech industry. The pace of change in it is also much faster than any other industry, with one piece of technology replacing another, or even going obsolete, in the blink of an eye.

In a constantly-evolving landscape such as this, one technology that is going to stick for the longest time to come is data science. More so, because the amount of information being accessed online has shot up drastically in the last decade. With around 4.5 billion searches each day, and nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created each day – most of which has been created in the last two years alone – we are inching towards taming modern technologies and integrating them in business decision-making.

2018 has been a year of tremendous and rapid changes, many of which were influenced by trends around big data, and related technologies such as data science, including data artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, etc. Moreover, 2018 has been a year of overarching technological trends and transformations on an enterprise – and consumer level – which we shall see continue well into 2019, and beyond. Some of these trends are as follows:

Digital transformation with AI
From a buzzword in the tech domain that began to gain traction just a little over a year ago, digital transformation is fast becoming imperative for businesses that want to adopt and integrate new technologies into their processes. Digital transformation in key areas such as sales and marketing will offer businesses the chance to reach out to, and engage a vast audience.

Enterprises and marketers who use AI and it’s allied tools such as analytics and machine learning can leverage a number of digital channels to engage consumers in contextual and insightful interactions with the brand. As a result, they can create strong, meaningful relationships with them to create a strong base of loyal customers in the long term.

However, to unlock the real potential of digitization on an enterprise-wide level, organizations will look to AI and ML platforms to organize and contextualize data streams across various departments to ensure a seamless flow of information. When different departments such as marketing, sales, strategy, along with the top management can share and access information easily and in real time, they can make better decisions, and achieve business goals effectively.

Therefore, digital transformation, along with the adoption of AI, will be a major driver of business success in the coming year.

Internet of Things (IoT)
Robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, multiple sensors, etc. are adding to the efficiencies of organizations the world over. The advent of IoT and its adoption on an enterprise level has led to a drastic reduction in the need for physical tech infrastructure such as servers, as well as the costs involved in acquiring and maintaining technology.

IoT is a critical element of digital transformation, and a technology that integrates seamlessly into nearly everything, be it smart devices, home appliances, vehicles, etc., facilitating a flow of information from the consumer directly to the business.

Fundamentally, IoT is all about sensors that collect data from various sources and enables one to measure and analyze it in a manner like never before. These sensors collect information such as consumption patterns, location data, etc. not only form a single machine but from other connected devices as well. Within the enterprise, this offers a comprehensive and multi-dimensional picture of various business processes and their correlation to one another.

The insights gleaned from IoT sensors connected to AI and ML platforms then allow business leaders and managers to optimize their strategy and decisions to drive better outcomes. On the other hand, on a consumer level, IoT sensors power intelligent monitoring systems which can constantly check the performance of machines, scan them for maintenance issues, and collect environmental data.

This will enable device manufacturers and software developers to optimize the performance of devices and machines and upgrade them regularly to ensure highest satisfaction levels from users.

Connected devices will continue to deliver businesses across the globe billions of dollars’ worth of savings in repair, maintenance, and operation in the future. While there are currently about 15 billion IoT devices in the world, this number is expected to rise to over 30 billion by 2020, and 75 billion by 2025, indicating a massive opportunity for brands to adopt this technology both at the front and back end to augment their efficiencies.

2019 will also see the scale of disruption already from artificial intelligence and emerging digital technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) intensify, while their rate of adoption will rise swiftly. The application of AI-powered tools and their benefits in driving business success will drive the creation of vast and highly connected businesses, processes, and even industries.

— Ms. Sudeshna Datta, Executive VP and co-founder, Absolutdata.