Top Five for 2019 and Beyond

Each year brings with it new opportunities to leverage technology in pioneering ways. However, it is critical to understand how technology is evolving today—and will continue to advance in the future—in order to implement the right systems and procedures. To help, these five predictions give insight into how the IT (information technology) space is advancing with new, emerging technologies such as the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, and more. This will help guide construction businesses through 2019 and beyond.

… five predictions give insight into how the IT (information technology) space is advancing with new technologies …

The Year for IoT


Be strategic about transformation. Forrester,, Cambridge, Mass., forecasts that 2019 will be the year that transformation goes pragmatic. In the year ahead, there will be important foundational challenges to address including organizational readiness, technical debt, data governance, and aging brands. At the same time, it predicts 85% of firms will implement or plan to implement IoT solutions. Still, while predictions for digital transformation are optimistic, it suggests often the board, CEO, and CFO are skeptical, wondering how it will happen. Thus, companies will need to move from wide-reaching enterprise efforts to a more pragmatic and strategic portfolio of digital investments, with the plan of making incremental and necessary changes to operations.

Need More “Wizards” for AI


Watch out for AI. Each year, Gartner,, Stamford, Conn., provides its top 10 predictions for the year ahead. Two of its predictions this year could impact the construction market. First, it predicts that 80% of AI projects will be run by “wizards” whose talents won’t scale widely in the organization through 2020. To sum up, while AI has been used on a number of projects in recent years, change is still outpacing the productions of AI professionals. Talent is needed both on the data engineering side, and on the operation/research side of businesses. Once this is filled, AI has the potential to take off. Secondly, cyberbulling will be a growing trend, with 25% of organizations requiring employees to sign an affidavit to avoid cyberbulling by 2023, but 70% of these initiatives will fail. Thus, employers will need to strengthen employee behavioral guidelines.

Data Drives Business


Data creates new revenue. IDC,, Framingham, Mass., suggests that by 2020 80% of enterprises will produce data management and monetization capabilities, which will generate new sources of revenue for business. The key question CIOs need to address is how data will create business value for an organization. This will be critical to success in 2019 and beyond. Further, IDC predicts that 35% of workers will start working with bots and other forms of AI, which will require company leaders to redesign operational processes. As this new and emerging technology becomes more heavily used in the market, construction companies will need to determine how to rework processes and procedures in order to ensure a successful digital transformation.

Burgeoning Blockchain


When will blockchain emerge in industries outside of finance and insurance? Perhaps soon, as it offers good use cases for industries with inherent challenges in the supply chain. ABI Research,, Oyster Bay, N.Y., indicates blockchain will have more than $10.6 billion in software and services for all combined global markets by 2023. Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions are made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency and it is being leveraged to solve complex problems around transparency, efficiency, and cost. Successful use cases will drive efforts in blockchain to addresses barriers and risks in new sectors as well. While the use of blockchain in the construction industry is still in the very early days, this will be one area to watch closely in the years ahead, as it could impact how work is done.

The Next-Gen Mobile Device


With a fall in tablets and smartphones sales, will we see the rise of smartwatches in the enterprise? Strategy Analytics,, Boston, Mass., indicates that shipment growth for tablets may not be achievable, as the tablet market fell 10% in the third quarter of 2018. At the same time, global smartphone shipments dropped 8% in the same quarter. Conversely, global smartwatch shipments grew 67% to 10 million units in the same timeframe. While much of this growth is still on the consumer side of the equation, the same trend occurred back when tablets were first introduced, with consumers snapping up most of the marketshare in that area, and the enterprise following after. Perhaps this is a similar trend to watch, as wearable devices could provide a number of benefits on the construction jobsite when it comes to both project safety and efficiency.