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Five Questions to Ask the Tech Industry in 2019

It’s hard to make accurate predictions in an industry that evolves so rapidly. Doesn't mean I won't try...

Consider the world we currently live in and imagine that only a decade ago AI was the work of science-fiction and social media was still in its infancy. Try explaining blockchain as an emerging trend back then. Try explaining it today for that matter.

With this in mind, I decided to put a spin on the usual “five trends” article that does the rounds this time of year and turn it back on you guys... Catch the right insight and you might just turn an idea into a unicorn.

Who should lead?

It’s a question being asked throughout the industry - whether CEOs will take the reins from more founders next year and what that might look like.

Will they be forced out, will they continue in a different role or will they Jerry Yang themselves out of the job?

Those with the vision do not always have the people skills and organisational experience to grow that idea into a reality.

Sophie Theen from 11FS explored this in more detail in a recent eBook we put together, along with nine other predictions from leaders in tech (check it out, it’s good!).

  • Should change start at the top?

Is automation friend or foe?

Our attitudes towards machine learning and automation are already starting to change.

There’s a global skills gulf in the STEM sectors that’s not closing anytime soon. That’s because the people with the skills just don’t currently exist to meet the rapid change in demand.

America has over 600,000 unfilled vacancies in specialist security roles. Machine learning and AI isn’t competing with people for their jobs, it’s partnering to combat evolving threats that our current resource simply can’t.

That said, I’m from the North East and fully appreciate the importance of having safeguards in place for those that will lose their jobs and can’t retrain or transfer their skills.

  • Is AI and machine learning the only short-term solution to bridge the skills gap?

Is your talent moving?

If the message hasn’t already sunk in, then businesses haven’t been listening. If you want to hold on to talent and optimise them, you have to offer them more than a high salary.

Businesses have to invest in their people and L&D from the beginning. It’s more than a value-add or afterthought, it’s an absolute necessity at the hiring gate for startups through to multi-nationals.

  • Will you prioritise L&D in 2019?

How do you return trust?

Misuse of data by tech companies and social media giants have compromised the trust of a lot of businesses.

From the bed sheets being pulled back on Ashley Madison to our Facebook habits being sold to help elect Trump.

Has GDPR done anything to mend fences, or have we already got so much permission fatigue that we’d blindly agree to almost anything?

In 2019, I imagine we’ll see a rise in user-led regulation and social media giants taking more responsibility for their influence and the level of use.

  • How would you return trust to the larger tech companies and those handling our data?

My closing question is an open-ended one… if you had the chance to ask one thing about the landscape of tech in 2019, what would that be?

Each week I sit down with a new leader, innovator or aficionado in tech to discuss how the world of tomorrow is changing. Head over to to join the conversation with those shaping the future of the industry.

From these discussions, we’ve cherry-picked ten of the best predictions for 2019 and gift wrapped them for you as a free takeaway. You can find it here >>

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