Current trends in business technology in the UK

01-Jul-2019

While the world is definitely in the grips of major technology disruption, businesses are also facing a significant change in the way they work. Technology, while definitely here to stay, was not being adopted uniformly. However authoritative voices in predicting what the future holds, like the World Economic Forum, warn that adapting to tech changes is the only option that businesses have in 2019.

Data security

In his report discussing cybersecurity in the UK in 2019, Global auditing firm KPMG’s chief technology officer David Ferbrache has highlighted the importance of data security. He writes that 2018 saw unprecedented “waves of cyber-attacks against e-commerce websites” and said these were likely to persist in 2019 as organised crime target websites with poor security “to collect customer credentials and payment card details.”

He added that: “Millions of payment cards will need to be re-issued by banks as a result of these attacks, forcing them to explore alternative fraud controls.

“The mobile phone will play an even greater role in our lives as a key authenticator and payment mechanism, but we can expect organised crime to show a growing interest in compromising and intercepting such traffic, racing with the telecommunication companies to block such attacks,” Ferbrache said.

UK-based Sumup Technology use encryption to ensure security in their chip and pin machine in order to handle sensitive information appropriately. Their technology has ways to protect data with both hardware and software being built to ensure data security.

Trade and supply chain

A 2018 white paper published by the World Economic Forum further predicted that with the rise of technologies, such as the internet of things (IoT), blockchain and artificial intelligence it will become easier to do international trade. The report explains that improved processing times, electronic documents and lower costs of international transport will make it much easier to ship goods internationally.

“The single window has demonstrated the dramatic improvements that can be achieved through digitisation. However, the real potential lies in the combination and interplay of various technologies, advanced analytics for better decision-making, the IoT (internet of things)  for better supply chain visibility, and artificial intelligence for mitigating money-laundering and other risks,” the report stated. The report further stated that major developments were still needed in finance to make this easier for smaller businesses.

Marketing

One of the latest trends in marketing we are seeing at the moment is the use of AI and virtual reality, which in turn is generating immersive interactions. Some are calling this the “experience economy.”  In this way, service providers will provide their customers with personal and memorable experiences according to a report produced by them. It is predicted that technological barriers that prevented AI and VR from coming into its own will be removed during 2019 opening up possibilities for B2C and B2B marketing especially. Some marketing agencies are already employed this technology for clients in the personal protection business and a vehicle manufacturer.

Voice technology

Writing for the World Economic Forum, Robb Henzi, vice president NY, sparks & honey, Omnicom Group and Oliver Wright, managing director, strategy, consumer goods and services, Accenture has highlighted the “rise of voice technology” in 2019 as a major technology trend.

“Innovators from Fortune 500 companies, cutting edge start-ups, academic institutions and other public sector organisations are pushing the limits of voice technology through the exploration of areas including accent and language, emotions, multi-voices and context adaptation. In addition, increasing numbers of industries, from messaging and gaming companies to education-focused organisations, biometrics companies, and law enforcement, are applying for patents related to voice technology as they find ways to integrate it into their processes, remove friction and create more positive consumer outcomes,” the WEF said in a statement issued in June this year.

It is predicted that the market for voice tech-driven purchases in the United States and the UK will be valued at $40 billion by 2022, according to the WEF.

Big data is here to stay

Recently, a report involving a survey of over 200 company leaders found that more than a third of UK companies that took part had identified the need for them to have a data specialist on their team. The survey found that 34% of company decision-makers indicated that they will definitely be recruiting a specialist in data, while 45% were considering it.

This reflects the current trend for big data, which started in recent years and is well and truly here to stay in 2019. This, by consequence, means that the majority of customers are seeking specialists who can help them navigate the changing landscape caused by this big data surge. The UK, and many other countries face a dramatic skills shortage in this area, which is currently the case across many tech sectors.