As we near the end of 2018, our product manager, Vicky Glynn reflects on key tech trends and how they will influence Brightsolid in the new year.

I love the feeling at the end of a year. I am lucky to be able to have a really, relaxed and sociable holiday season and the opportunity to spend time with family and friends will ensure the best possible ending to 2018. I am excited about the prospect of a new year to come with the promise of new beginnings and a renewed enthusiasm.

This year has been pivotal in tech developments, and I believe that next year will be an exciting year where a lot of technical promise comes to fruition.

A trend I will be keeping my eye on is automation and I am hopeful that 2019 is the year where we truly recognise that automation may not be a threat to employees but be a liberator of our unique humanity. As Clara Shih puts it:

“Rather than wringing our hands about robots taking over the world, smart organizations will embrace strategic automation use cases. Strategic decisions will be based on how the technology will free up time to do the types of tasks that humans are uniquely positioned to perform”

For me, when dealing with complex challenges in a work environment, people still have the most significant impact.  Whether it’s how we work individually, how we work together within our organisations or how we work with our customer and partners, our interactions with people are those that have the potential to be life changing. As someone who has historically been a bit of a Sisyphus at work, assuming that simply putting more hours in will lead to more accomplishment, I am relishing the challenging of thinking smarter, of working out what truly impacts, and making sure I am not doing things that can be done smarter by automation.

At a recent Gartner event a speaker talked about organisations needing more than ever to concentrate on service orientation, operational excellence and customer intimacy. I think ever increasing automation will also drive true customer intimacy as a key differentiator…. remarkable moments where this can happen is something we all need to focus on and I am looking forward to the challenging discussions we will have about technology improvements and their real impact on customers.

Also, this year I have been fascinated by developments in AI, Blockchain and Edge computing and while no expert, the little I do know, points to huge changes in how we work. Marc FischerDogtown Media LLC talks about tech convergence,

We’re about to witness the biggest shift in tech in a generation. The buzzword-loaded, hyped areas of AI, machine learning, blockchain and AR are all impressive in their own right but were previously siloed. Convergence between these technologies will unlock an incredible amount of value for business as they become integrated into standard processes, leading to unprecedented productivity gains.

This year several people have made some profound impressions on me: For example, I have been influenced by a colleague, who while in public is somewhat of a loud-mouthed, sweary showman but yet also has the ability in a one-to-one setting to make you feel truly heard.  He, among others, has made me think true communication is a uniquely human skill and I feel like our ability to listen and hear each other is something that cannot be automated. I think that technology convergence is going to be joined by a convergence in how we work together. There is already a growing talk of tribes in organisations and I can see through industry groups like ‘Host in Scotland’ an enthusiasm for working together and leveraging each other’s’ strengths. We have unique ability with our regional data centres, excellent communications partners and the possibilities that cloud brings to provide truly converged solutions that will make hybrid cloud working a reality for our customers. I am looking forward to making that more and more a reality for our customers. I am especially looking forward to new people joining Brightsolid and listening to their fresh ideas and insight as well as insights from our partners and customers next year.

Amid all the potential change I am also looking forward to things that will stay the same next year. “Cloud” will remain a ‘cloudy’ term meaning different things for different organisations. Customers will want to do things smarter, quicker, better, cheaper and we’ll be challenged everyday to deliver that. Return on investment and measurable success will be the cornerstones on which customers rely on. We’ll have to continue to be credible in our marketplace and ensure that we keep our customers connected and secure.