Looking back, we can see the value these emerging innovations offered, but in the moment, their promise seemed less clear. It is, therefore, remarkable how quickly organizations across sectors and regions navigated through the so what and into the now what for these trends and went on to successfully traverse the new digital landscape. This journey from uncertainty to digital transformation informs our latest offering, Tech Trends 2019: Beyond the digital frontier. A persistent theme of every Tech Trends report has been the increasing, often mind-bending velocity of change. A decade ago many companies could achieve competitive advantage by embracing innovations and trends that were already underway. Today, this kind of reactive approach is no longer enough. To stay ahead of the game, companies must work methodically to sense new innovations and possibilities, make sense of their ambitions for tomorrow, and find the confidence to boldly go beyond the digital frontier. So here's to the next decade of opportunity, whatever it may be. Along the way, embrace that queasy feeling of uncertainty.
Over the past decade, the marketing profession has moved from art to science, with a foundation of new technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT), and with a level of personalization and real-time communication only dreamed of in the past. Consumers are continuously connected through mobile devices and have complete control over the organizations they interact with and purchase from. Their expectations are elevated -- and the opportunity for banks and credit unions that master the new technology has never been greater. Management's expectations are elevating as well. Rather than asking to see the newest TV commercial or hear the next radio commercial, financial institution leaders will increasingly say, "Show me the money" as it relates to the impact of marketing initiatives.
There has been no shortage of promises recently about how deeply the application of machine-driven artificial intelligence is expected to change our society in the next decade. Microsoft announced its ambition to conquer cancer using natural language processing to analyze research papers in close to real time. Google--now a self-proclaimed AI-first company--will make computers sound just like humans by applying machine learning to a vast corpus of human voice samples. Facebook is using AI to analyze satellite footage to locate all human life and fulfill its promise to bring the internet to the world's entire population. And the list goes on.