At the rate of which technology has been advancing, it’s no surprise that various trends come and go. As a result, the subsequent rise (and fall) of numerous tech startups is just as ubiquitous. However, considering the potential that prevalent technologies at any given point of time present, tech enthusiasts big and small want to establish their own foothold – despite the risks along the way.
So what’s in store for startup aficionados in 2019? With advancements happening extensively that influence other market sectors and disrupt their status quo, here are 6 trends that are bound to be most impactful next year.
Remote work policies
While not exactly a techy aspect and more of a lifestyle choice, the importance (and rise) or remote workmanship shouldn’t be ignored by those aspiring to initiate their own startup. Technology aside, the demand for flexible work opportunities have drastically increased, with more individuals now focused towards working from anywhere, anytime, at their own pace and convenience.
Before founders focus on which trend they wish to embrace, understanding today’s employee demand of flexible working opportunities can make all the difference in whether a startup succeeds or not – as employees are the most valuable asset in any organisation.
A large number of tech companies, including boutique startups have already jumped into the bandwagon of providing their employees the liberty of working remotely. With the aim of understanding the needs of their workforce, companies have already begun to see a rise in both employee productivity and retention.
As mentioned before, employees are the most valuable asset to any organisation, no doubt. Likewise, the ability for startups to empathize with the needs of their team members can immensely contribute to their own success – especially in a competitive environment where countless startups bloom and wither away into oblivion.
An indispensable part of our daily lifestyles, smartphones make our worlds a more convenient and accessible place to be in. Thanks to disruptive innovation, numerous services are now available at the tap of a screen. Easy and affordable, users are now all the more inclined to obtain what they want through on-demand services – be it a taxi or a movie for two.
While hailing a taxi or watching a movie (either at the cinema or within the comfortable confines of your own device) are facilitated through today’s smartphone apps, several other industries are yet to offer the same experience – for which a huge potential still lies.
With gaps still existing in other market sectors for arranging their products or services on an on-demand basis, startup founders have quite the advantage to not just make it possible – but pioneer the same and disrupt all over again.
This is also one of the main reasons why mobile development in Sri Lanka has soared during the recent years; more than servicing the IT outsourcing sector, founders are more inclined to address the needs of local consumers and become trendsetters for a niche within the Sri Lankan market.
With AI being all the rage as of late, there’s no way it can be ignored by the aspiring entrepreneur. Still relatively in its infancy, AI has nonetheless made its way into numerous applications – from voice-based search to intuitive reporting. Considering the long way it has to go, it’s safe to ascertain that there is much to gain here for those looking to acquire their own name in the tech industry.
Mimicking the logic and agility of the human way of thinking, AI has much to offer both for the avid consumer and discerning businessperson. The trend can thrive in any platform, be it an app or enterprise software, which makes it versatile enough to be applied practically anywhere.
What’s more, AI can be combined with one or more of the other prevalent trends to create a hybrid system; a flight booking engine which can predict the price fluctuations for you based on market research, seasons and a host of other factors, for example. No matter what you choose to develop as an entrepreneur, there’s a significant chance that AI will be a part of it, owing to its increasingly mainstream nature.
Internet of Things
From kitchen appliances to sensors, a multitude of devices can now be controlled at the flick of a smartphone. But one of the biggest boons brought on by IoT is the collection of unique data, which (once again) through complex AI and machine learning can be used to acquire insights. With more devices getting connected by the day, there’s no doubt that IoT is a prominent trend – and one that is here to stay.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
Both AR and VR have made their most notable appearances in the gaming industry, but both technologies have proved to be just as resourceful on an enterprise level too. For example, think flight simulation systems that have helped train pilots, in the case of VR. On a more recent note, AR has facilitated users’ demands to know what’s in a surrounding area simply by scanning the area with a smartphone camera and GPS.
Just like AI, applications for AR and VR aren’t as widespread; which means it’s good news for tech entrepreneurs who are willing to satisfy a growing consumer demand by introducing an all-new way of seeking it.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
What was once known as a fad has now grown to be one of the most intriguing financial systems today. Within the span of a decade, the value of one bitcoin has surmounted to over $17,000 from a measly $1, when it was first introduced. Add to that the fact that Russia created its very own bitcoin currency, the Cryptoruble, which was authorized by President Vladimir Putin last year.
It’s no surprise that more people are starting to trade the bitcoin owing to its rise in value, but that’s not the only reason why the trend is gaining momentum. IoT devices can be used to mine bitcoin – which gives startup founders who are looking for potential concepts, to merge both these trends together.
Considering the rate at which numerous trends develop, there’s no shortage of new and upcoming concepts in the tech industry that startup founders cannot take advantage of. For example, Sri Lanka is yet to embrace the remote working system, and as other technologies develop, today’s tech entrepreneurs will have much to anticipate as 2019 rolls by.