Last year was exciting in the enterprise technology space. Blockchains were given serious attention, and many companies launched exploratory projects to test potential applications. Self-driving vehicles continued to dominate the headlines, with Tesla’s Semi cargo truck project generating a lot of attention. Automation technologies drove the fears and hopes of IT workers and chief information officers, both with robotics and software automation being key points of focus.
These trends will continue over the next few years, but I would like to look at four technology-based trends that are likely to have the most impact on CIO hiring and technical training requirements for businesses of all size throughout the rest of 2019.
The hype around 5G gathered pace throughout 2018, but it’s in 2019 that we will see the first widely available 5G networks and 5G-capable consumer devices. 5G promises faster bandwidths, lower latencies, and reduced power requirements. The advent of 5G will, of course, impact the recruitment market for mobile network professionals, but it will also accelerate hiring across a broad range of related fields. Mobile developers, embedded software developers and networking engineers with Internet of Things expertise, and those with practical knowledge of augmented and virtual reality will be in demand in 2019 and for the next few years as businesses seek to take advantage of superior mobile broadband capabilities.
Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that employs algorithms such as artificial neural networks, which can learn without direct human intervention. Deep learning is behind many of the AI advances we’ve seen in recent years, from improved machine vision to better-than-human Go players.
CIOs and engineers with deep learning expertise will be in demand throughout 2019 as businesses seek to apply deep learning techniques to business processes. I also expect to see greater demand for deep learning expertise from startups and established businesses looking to bring products based on deep learning techniques to market, including products that make it easier for CIOs without deep learning expertise to take advantage of the technology.
2018 was a dreadful year for enterprise security and data privacy. Massive data leaks occurred regularly. Marriott’s exposure of the private data of half a billion guests was the low-point of a year in which cybersecurity came under scrutiny from the media and the government. With the introduction of the GDPR and greater public awareness of the impact of lax security, I expect businesses of all sizes to get serious about security, hiring C-Suite executives to take responsibility for security policy and investing in security training for managers and front-line staff.
Municipal broadband had a positive year in 2018. Towns and cities in several states across the U.S. opted to build and manage broadband infrastructure systems, rather than relying on services from established industry giants. Cities and towns such as Fort Collins, Colorado; Bristol, New Hampshire; and Aurora, Colorado opted to take control of their digital futures. With favorable legislation at the state level, I expect to see increasing numbers of towns and cities embarking on municipal broadband projects, increasing demand for CIOs and technical professionals with the expertise to build and manage local broadband networks.
This is the year in which many of the most exciting technologies of the last half-decade will crest the hype wave and find extensive application throughout industry. It is going to be an interesting year for executive recruitment and technical training.
Dean Madison is the president of TD Madison & Associates. The company is founded on the principle of providing a more predictable approach for evaluating the culture, strategic fit and qualifications of potential candidates for key senior level positions within the cybersecurity and telecom industries. Follow them on Twitter @TD_Madison.