A Glimpse into the Future: 2019 Global IT Trends

2018.12.04

We are already approaching the end of the year 2018.


This year has been a meaningful time during which Korean companies fiercely competed to adopt “Digital Transformation (DT)” sooner than others, across all industries including manufacturing, distribution, logistics, media, and finance. 


The concept of new digital technologies to realize DT, such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality(VR) are now not that foreign to the general public either. 
DT is expected to be the hottest topic in the IT industry in 2019 as well.


Experts of “Gartner,” a global IT consulting firm, and “Forbes,” an American business magazine, recently presented the IT trends for 2019. According to their presentation, next year the trends will not be completely new technologies or future concepts, but the fusion, merger, and upgrading of technologies already leading digital innovation today. 


Here are the IT keywords that we should pay particularly attention to!


1. Immersive Experience

  

 
Gartner announced the “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019” in October and forecasts that “immersive experience” using AR, VR, and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies would draw much attention next year. MR, AR, and VR technologies are already drawing much attention as technologies that can realize a further evolved virtual world by merging them with mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT), and supplementing their weaknesses and visual limitations. Gartner said these technologies and “conversational platforms” will change the way, in which people perceive and interact with the digital world, and provide new user experiences. It further forecasts that 70% of all companies worldwide would test such “immersive technologies” for consumer and corporate use by 2022 and that 25% among them would start actually producing goods with these technologies integrated.

 


▲  Screen of “AR Place Lab” of CJ OliveNetworks for viewing goods in advance

 

CJ OliveNetworks is already accelerating its AR and VR research to realize immersive experience through its “DT Convergence Research Institute.” In addition to “AR Place Lab,” a mobile application that enables virtually viewing goods in advance as though they were placed in a real space before their purchase, we have showcased AR technology that enables shopping inside a “virtual shop” built at desired places. Furthermore, we developed augmented VR service so that people working in diverse fields, such as pharmaceuticals and food, can get technical training without having to personally go to work sites. The time when we will freely move between the vivid virtual world and the real world as part of our daily lives may be closer than expected.


2. Smart Space

 

 

Gartner forecasts that the various factors of “smart space” will provide further immersive, interactive, and automated experiences to its users. Gartner defines a smart space as a “physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated, and intelligent ecosystems.” Smart cities, smart homes, and smart factories are examples. Gartner explains that we have reached the stage of providing smart space in a firmer format than before as technology is penetrating deeper in our daily lives.  


The “Smart Store” space, where one can comfortably enjoy a new shopping experience soon after entering a store, can be experienced through CJ OliveNetworks’ various IT solutions.


“One Order,” a next-generation store management IT solution, provides smart services for all processes from store visit to goods pick-up. Once a consumer places an order using a tablet PC and kiosk placed on a table, the staff immediately checks the orders with a smart watch and can speedily respond to calls from the kitchen. We plan to expand the scope of the service in the future to “voice ordering service” for the simple listing of complex orders with voice only technology.

 


▲ CJ OliveNetworks will showcase a new “voice ordering service”

 

We also have introduced “IoT Display Shelf” for providing detailed information in real time on a screen of the goods that consumers picked up. And we provide “Electronic Shelf Label (ESL),” a new concept labeling solution that replaces paper labels, in the stores of CJ Group’s subsidiaries across every consumer touchpoint.


3. Upgrading of Chatbot

 

 

Meanwhile, CEO Daniel Newman of BroadSuite Media Group, in his article titled “Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2019” published in the American business magazine “Forbes,” forecasts that the development of chatbot technology would particularly go from “good” to “great.”


Newman focused on “natural language processing (NLP)” applied to a chatbot. NLP is a technology used to transform language used in daily life by people into data that a computer can process. Much upgrading is required here for people and AI to naturally converse. According to the article, about 40% of large enterprises will introduce the technology by the end of 2019 to replace various face-to-face services. At the same time, existing staff are expected to be retrained for further enhanced workforce management efficiency. 

 


▲ CJ OliveNetworks developed the “CJ Applicants Helper” chatbot solution

 

If you have applied for a job at CJ Group and submitted documents for open recruitment during the second half of this year, you are probably already familiar with CJ’s chatbot service. The “CJ Applicants Helper” personally answered various questions posed by open recruitment applicants around-the-clock. The service has created a buzz in the industry as it is the first such service in the business provided using AI chatbot technology.


4. Connected Clouds


Newman said that “Hybrid Cloud” and “Multi Cloud” would become the general trends in the cloud industry in 2019. Hybrid Cloud is cloud using “Public Cloud” and “Private Cloud” together and “Multi Cloud” refers to the use of numerous public cloud companies. 

 

 * What is the difference between “Public Cloud” and “Private Cloud”?


Public Cloud means using servers rented from cloud servicing companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Private Cloud, on the other hand, refers to a company directly building its infrastructure and servicing cloud internally, such as a group’s subsidiaries.


With the rapid development of IT, a cloud containing IT data must operate all the more seamless, secure, and streamlined. That is why Hybrid Cloud, wherein the Public and Private Clouds’ advantages are merged, or Multi Cloud, that enables breaking up data to various servicing companies, are drawing much attention. 

 


▲ The Scenery of CJ Internet Data Center (IDC) in Songdo

 
CJ OliveNetworks is also using Hybrid Cloud to speedily support the infrastructure and efficiently manage the IT systems inside the CJ Group. For important data in need of strict security, we use Private Cloud, while we use Public Cloud for simple systems with relatively fewer security concerns. We also use CJ IDC in Songdo as a key foothold of DT to carry out various tasks for the “digitalization” of the group, such as fusing new digital technologies and innovating platforms.


5. Next-generation Smart Devices


▲ AR glasses of Vuzix, a manufacturer of smart glasses (image source: Wikimedia commons)

 

At the “Information Communications Technology (ICT) Industry Outlook Conference 2019,” hosted by the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT earlier this month, time was prepared to go over next year’s ICT trends. Among them, “smart glasses” based on AR technology and other next-generation smart devices are forecast to bring about major innovations to the ICT industry. Using smart glasses enables users to get diverse information in real time through images projected on the lens that some predict they will replace some of the features of smartphones. Already, Apple, Google, and other global IT companies are known to be aggressively developing smart glasses technology.    


DT Convergence Research Institute of CJ OliveNetworks, which is leading research on next-generation technologies, has applied for two patents for smart glasses in the middle of this year. It has additionally applied for a total of five patents this year just in the field of new DT technologies, including AI and robots, thereby proving its research and development (R&D) competency capable of leading digital innovation. 


“The Intelligent, Digital, and Digital Mesh, which have increasingly been in the public eye for the last 2-3 years, will continue as key trends. Also, companies are expected to accelerate structural innovation of business through DT, and consumers will get to further personally experience new IT technologies next year,” said Director Kim Eung-do of the DT Convergence Research Institute on the 2019 IT trends.


“Just as AI expanded from the ‘AI First’ strategy mentioned by Google in 2017 into the ‘AI for Everywhere’ strategy in 2018, more consumers will get to use AI in various places. To be more specific, if 2018 was the year of the spread of chatbots and voice speakers, 2019 will be the year of Vision AI, such key services that smart camera performs goods search and AI does image analysis and search,” he continued. 

 

AR/VR, a key digital technology fusing AR and VR, will be applied to various industries other than games, thanks to the support of the mobile AR platforms of Google and Apple, as well as the launching of low-cost VR equipment and 5G networks. This technology is highly likely to reach a tipping point, but we need to observe the market situation with caution.  


In addition, the cases of AI, IoT, blockchain, and other key DT technologies being applied to smart spaces, smart factories, and digital twin, while mutually fusing and building a digital ecosystem, are likely to grow.


Can you now imagine what amazing developments and changes will take place in the IT industry in 2019?

 
Let us look forward to CJ OliveNetworks’ new IT solutions as it further upgrades customers’ lifestyles with various IT solutions next year as well! (The end)   

 

[Reference]
- Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 / Gartner, October 15, 2018
- Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2019 / Forbes, September 11, 2018