Top tech trends for 2019

The world of technology has always been a fast moving one and the pace of change is showing no signs of slowing down. But what developments can we expect to see in 2019?

According to a recent survey [0] the trends most important to businesses this year are things that are already here. The top four are seen as privacy and security, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain. Nothing really new there, but it’s how these technologies are used and developed that will shape the industry.

AI – this time it’s personal

Artificial intelligence is still one of the big trends and many of us now make use of it in our day-to-day lives thanks to digital assistants and other devices. But there is still considerable potential for the expansion of AI into new areas. Businesses need to start viewing the technology as a means to an end rather than simply as a cool new development that they have to try. By identifying commercial challenges and using AI to solve them, IT professionals can make more effective use of the technology.

Consultants PWC [1] suggest that one of the big AI challenges for 2019 is to more effectively monetise the technology. This is likely to come through a shift towards ‘hyper-personalisation’, making it possible to offer products and services aimed at very small groups or even individuals.

We should also see AI technology begin to converge with others, primarily Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things devices. This will see a push towards edge computing in order to make it easier to cope with the volumes of data generated and to deliver responses to sensor information more quickly. Improvements in communication, primarily 5G, will also make it easier to communicate with edge devices which will help to drive deployment.

Another major driver for AI in many businesses is in the preparation of data. Highly skilled analysts spend far too much of their time preparing information, if AI can take on this burden then analysts are freed for more productive and fulfilling tasks. This also paves the way for what Gartner calls ‘citizen data science’ [2] allowing those outside the data science field to gain valuable insights from information.

Gartner also sees AI playing an increasing part in the development process. The use of automated testing tools can speed up time to market for applications. Moreover, AI also has the potential to develop models that can be used to automatically generate apps to solve specific problems.

Data and trust

Big data isn’t new, but the increase in the numbers of smart devices and sensors means that we are generating data in larger quantities than ever before. Of course, there’s great potential in all of this data for improving healthcare, streamlining business processes, even improving the environment.

But there are risks too. We’ve already seen the controversy surrounding the use of data in political campaigning. Data in the wrong hands, or used in unethical ways, could represent a threat to financial markets, to democracies, even to people’s ability to trust what they see and read. The Chinese Xinhua news agency is already using surprisingly lifelike digital news readers [3] so expect to see the lines between reality and the virtual world becoming increasingly blurred.

People are rightly becoming more concerned about how their data is being collected and used by the organisations they deal with. This will drive a move towards ‘digital ethics’ which will go beyond privacy to encompass organisations’ wider position on building trust.

Security and privacy

If 2018 was the year of the data breach, then could 2019 be the year in which companies get their act together and ensure that their systems are properly protected? There has been a great deal of talk over the last year about the potential of blockchain to improve security, although we’ve seen very few real-world applications so far.

One area that looks promising is the use of blockchain in creating software-defined networks. This would ensure that only verified transactions can occur between devices, making it much harder for networks to be compromised both by outsiders or by internal malicious activity.

The introduction of GDPR in 2018 saw many minds focussed on data privacy. As similar legislation rolls out elsewhere, notably in the United States, businesses will continue to look seriously at what data they store and how to protect it.

We have yet to see any major fines levied under GDPR. That’s something it seems likely will come in 2019 and when it does, it should serve to focus the management teams of businesses concerning their security and privacy positions.


Most enterprises have been moving towards the cloud for some years and the adoption rate shows no signs of slowing. However, there are still concerns surrounding governance and security [4]. This is likely to encourage many businesses to review their cloud strategies. Moves to hybrid and even private clouds could see 2019 reflect a slowdown in public cloud use as concerns over protecting data mount. Moreover, the cloud is by no means not a universal answer; it’s likely that some legacy systems will always remain in-house.

Wider trends

One of the things we will definitely see in 2019 is the 5G rollout. The technology is already being trialled by the major service providers and services are expected to launch in 16 cities later this year. This should coincide with the first 5G capable phones going on sale. 5G is set to offer mobile users faster internet speeds and greater bandwidth. Some have even speculated that it may mark the beginning of the end for public Wi-Fi.

We hesitate to mention the B-word, but Brexit will undoubtedly have some influence on the industry in the coming year. It may at the very least mean a greater emphasis on home-grown talent. The UK is currently ranked in the top 10 for cybersecurity capabilities [5] and retaining that position means being able to recruit the best talent.

Whatever technology brings, it’s people that are the key to making it work. The industry-leading team here at Clifford Associates can help you find the senior talent you need to meet the digital challenges ahead.



Don't just take our word for it

  • Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    "As a fast-growing start up, we need great people with a tough set of skills to find. They need to be hungry, experienced and fit the culture of a business that is always adapting and growing. Finding these people using Linkedin and other job boards is tough, time-consuming and rarely bears fruit. Ross has always been able to uncover gems for us, and we are benefiting greatly from his skills at CONCURED. Ross has a rare ability to really understand the business, the culture and the people that will nail the role. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and he is the only recruiter we deal with"      
    - Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
  • Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. RC&A were quick to understand our needs, they only delivered high-quality people for interview, and succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, part of RetailMeNot
    Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, part of RetailMeNot
    Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, part of RetailMeNot
  • Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude

© Ross Clifford Associates. Website by Outlines Design.