Technology trends come and go. Some last for a long time; others fizzle quickly. Consider some major IT events from 20 years ago (compiled by Computer Hope):
- Google incorporated.
- The first MP3 player was introduced.
- Apple debuted the iMac.
- VMware and PayPal were founded.
- AOL bought Netscape.
- Lycos acquired Angelfire.
If you don’t remember Lycos or Angelfire, our point has been made: Tech trends can be fickle. The next big thing might be forgotten in a couple of years, and trends that seem pedestrian today can become the norm tomorrow.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled five of our favorite technology trends that Los Angeles businesses should pay attention to in the coming year. Time will tell if we are still talking about these trends in 2019 … or 2038!
As far as Los Angeles technology trends go, cybersecurity seems never-ending, and with good reason—as soon as tech experts get a handle on the latest threats, the bad guys come up with new tactics even more insidious than the previous ones. Consider phishing attacks and how sophisticated they have become in recent years. Email users get messages that convincingly look like they are coming from reputable senders but are instead trying to trick the recipient into clicking a link and providing sensitive information. For an employee used to ordering online, that fake Amazon email is awfully easy to open and respond to. Being proactive with cybersecurity measures must be a continual goal, because you never know what new threats are lurking around the corner.
The incorporation of artificial intelligence into people’s everyday lives—not to mention Los Angeles businesses’ day-to-day business operations—is a tech trend that shows no signs of slowing down. As well as continuously improving its capabilities, AI is proliferating into more technologies. From apps to hardware, more tech is becoming “smart,” and this expansion inevitably is making its way to non-tech businesses that just a few years ago would have never dreamed about letting AI take over some of their processes. This can be an exciting step for these companies, but it also requires them to step up their IT game to handle the added computing requirements.
Voice-activated computing (e.g., Alexa and Siri) and conversational bots have gone from beyond the novelty stage to an important component of everyday life (the recent Super Bowl commercial from Amazon demonstrated how ingrained Alexa has become in the vernacular). People conversing in their normal voice with helpful technology—whether over the phone or through their devices—is becoming an expectation and offers opportunities for L.A. businesses to more efficiently connect with their customers.
Most businesses are familiar with the concept of cloud computing: Data is inputted locally and stored and processed far away (then returned as needed). Edge computing takes that concept and brings it a little closer to home: The data generated (and the amount of data produced by simple computing continues to increase) does leave the user’s device but is processed relatively nearby—at the edge of the network, so to speak. Compute functions, therefore, are performed locally even though they are stored offsite, thus needing less time to occur. The concept of edge computing is relatively recent but is an important tech trend that Los Angeles businesses should keep an eye on.
L.A. Biz has identified SoCal as an emerging tech hub—an attractive option for IT experts who can’t afford Silicon Valley. This trend bodes well for Los Angeles businesses that need help with their IT infrastructures. That said, outsourcing remains a smart option for small and midsize businesses looking to improve their tech profiles and save money. As technology evolves, the cost for hiring enough top-flight IT employees will continue to grow; alternately, the technology itself is becoming too complex for a non-IT person to attempt to handle in-house. Outsourcing solves both problems by delivering the expertise you need to manage your systems, but at an affordable price. This trend shows no signs of slowing down—with the result being scores of satisfied businesses that can focus on their core mission rather than wrangling their technology.
What tech trends do you feel will deliver a major impact to Los Angeles businesses in the coming year?