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#BizTrends2019: It's time to make honey

The buzzwords that hummed into 2018 are about to get louder as we move into 2019.

There's one thing that everyone in the technology industry can count on, that's buzzwords.

Chris Ogden is managing director at RubiBlue
Chris Ogden is managing director at RubiBlue

Terms that define trends, redefine business and refine the way we work. Buzzwords can often, as revealed by many a Gartner Trough of Disillusionment, fail to reach their full potential or really deliver on the big promises that they made. That said, there are many occasions where the buzzwords have transformed an industry or disrupted an entire business model. Over the next year, I believe that the following buzzwords are going to become the big news and kick up their potential and market presence even more...

The smart three

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning – these have been in almost every conversation for the past year. The hype is definitely high with these technologies but, over the past few months, there have been some flutters of disillusionment as organisations have realised that the boosted potential isn’t quite there yet.

However, I believe that because these technologies have been at the forefront of trend and debate, they have undergone significant work and iterations. Over the next six to 12 months, these will be the technologies that may well surprise us all with their ubiquity and innovative approaches. I think that investment into the technology from a business perspective will see growth, especially as solutions become increasingly accessible and cost-effective.


Data and analytics will deliver greater value to the business over the next year. The technologies that drive insights and information will move from hype to solid reality that allows for the development of tactical business decisions.

The disruptors

While still on the subject of AI, data, analytics and machine learning, the one big trend that I predict for 2019 will be the rise of the disruptor. The machines have already risen, now it is the time of the company and innovator that is taking these technologies into unexpected areas. I also believe that the disruption will very likely be in the form of small, targeted solutions that address niche market needs and resolve niche market challenges.

These disruptors won’t necessarily be a big bang, but rather solutions that are quick and easy to use and deliver value to the business.

The disruption wave is also not just going to be external, it is also going to be internal. I predict that the disruption of internal engagement, employee structure and business process is going to become even more apparent in 2019, especially in South Africa as older companies finally recognise the global internal shift.

The app and the widget

The modern business, regardless of size, wants to scale and pivot quickly. There has been enough research into how the lumbering behemoth entrenched in the old will inevitably be extinct in fairly short order to put fear into the heart of most savvy executives. It is this that will drive the development of apps and widgets that use technology to automate and streamline processes and the business. My view is that they will be crucial to supporting the business as it focuses on being able to face the challenges of 2019 with confidence.

The service bot

Chatbots have been pretty much talked to death. With good reason. Their potential is only just beginning to take off and their ability to streamline customer service on the frontline is priceless. The next year will see chatbots make it even easier for organisations to manage support items so that their employees can focus on lateral thinking and deeper customer engagement.

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