What's next for tech in 2019?

Spiceworks' senior technology analyst reveals his tech predictions for 2019.

This is a contributed article by Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks


Technology changes at such a rate that a year or two can make a world of difference. Often, developments are so significant, they change the landscape greatly, or make last year's ‘hottest tech' look downright outdated. For example, we've seen cryptocurrencies go from crest to crash and virtual reality expectations fizzle. We've also watched former tech darlings like Snapchat fall.

The question as to which technologies will flourish or falter in 2019 is a tough one to crack, but IT professionals — who work on the front lines of business tech - think the coming year will be a promising one. As the year draws to a close, let's turn our attention to which trends will be at the forefront next year for many businesses around the globe.

Blockchain adoption rates will double in large enterprises

For the past few years, blockchain has felt mostly like a buzzword. It's an interesting concept in theory, but something that felt miles away from actual implementation. However, in 2018, real-life applications of blockchain took hold in several sectors, from manufacturing to media to finance. And business usage of blockchain can be expected to grow even more next year.

Recent research into tech adoption across North America and Europe found that by the end of 2019, blockchain usage in large enterprises will almost double to 48%, and by the end of 2020, 56% of large enterprises expect to use blockchain-enabled tech in one form or another. With the likes of Mastercard and BP all looking to implement blockchain solutions, and cloud providers like Microsoft and Amazon making it easier for any organization to use the technology, it looks like 2019 could be the year we see the technology being commercialized in a meaningful way.


Regulation will encourage innovation

Spiceworks' 2019 State of Future of Workplace Tech report shows that in comparison to their North American counterparts, companies in Europe plan to adopt emerging technologies (such as hyper-converged infrastructure, containers, server-less computing, and edge computing) at a much faster rate. This is likely a result of GDPR, which has forced organizations to take a hard look at their (potentially outdated) IT infrastructure in their efforts to become compliant, which is a positive step forward.

So while the introduction of GDPR was a headache for many organizations — resulting in some companies to pull out of Europe entirely and others to block European visitors to their websites — the increased focus on information technology looks like it could benefit European businesses going forward.

For example, California recently passed a privacy act that's scheduled to come into effect in 2020. So perhaps soon, regulation will encourage organizations in other regions to look at new ways to innovate and modernize as well.


Gigabit Wi-Fi networking will reach mass adoption

Anyone who's connected to a sluggish Wi-Fi network in a crowded cafe knows that wireless networking technology — especially older iterations — can leave much to be desired. Recently, newer gigabit-capable versions of Wi-Fi such as the 802.11ac and 802.11ax standards (recently dubbed Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6) have been developed to meet increasing data needs.

Offering more reliable connectivity, gigabit Wi-Fi technologies can also support a greater number of concurrent devices and allow for higher data throughput rates. By the end of 2019, nearly half of businesses will use gigabit in the workplace, and we can expect 61% of organizations to make the switch by the end of 2020.


The tech job market will be favorable

Looking beyond emerging tech trends, 2019 is also shaping up to be a good time to look for a job in the tech industry. Next year, many organizations will look to bolster IT departments. The 2019 State of IT Careers report shows approximately 30% of employers plan to grow their IT departments in 2019.

With one in four IT pros also planning to look for a new job next year, there should be a good deal of movement in the tech job market. And often, changing jobs is an opportunity for workers to seek higher salaries, and better opportunities for professional growth.


2019 will be a year to remember

Even though the future is often hard to predict, IT professionals in the know think the next 12 months should be promising for the global tech industry. According to them, 2019 is going to be a year where new technologies such as gigabit Wi-Fi reach mass adoption, and emerging technologies like blockchain make inroads in large organizations.

At the same time, companies in Europe will focus on IT and new technology more than their peers in North America. This happy side effect of regulation in Europe, in addition to a healthy worldwide job market in the IT industry will make for an exciting year in tech.