How Relevant was 2019 in Tech? Very.

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    Now that 2019 is coming to a close, you can count on the inevitability of three things happening:

    1. You will tell someone that you can’t believe how fast 2019 flew by.
    2. You won’t be able to get past the homepage of your favorite news or entertainment website without seeing a “Top Something of 2019”
    3. You will make a New Year’s resolution.

    I thought I’d do you a favor and give you suggestions to fulfill all three inevitabilities:

    What Flew By in 2019?

    Time moves fast, yet technology just might be outpacing it. In 2019, the worlds of business, technology, and information changed rapidly. In the tech business, SalesForce, wanting to integrate BI capabilities into its CRM platform, paid a whopping $14.6B (yes, “billion”) for Tableau just after Google acquired Looker for $2.6B. At the same time, as we celebrated the 50th summer since the first moon landing, we were prompted to remember that, of the many technologies we use today, many of them had their genesis in the space program. 2019 also marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle for Normandy. Moore’s Law—the prediction that the speed and capability of technology will double every two years—is in fact playing out. The very innovations that allowed the allies to win WW II and that enabled NASA to land on the moon have made it possible for my smartphone to have more computing power now than the Apollo program ever did.

    The Top (Information and Tech) Events of 2019

    I chose three events of the year for you to refer to, events that reflect our growing need for relevant, instantly-accessible data and that serve our need to recall and collect data about what is important when it’s important.

    1. 5G – 5G mobile communication began to emerge in 2019. Promising speeds of10Gbps (compared to 4G’s 100Mbps), the new 5G networks will allow for real-time transfer of information from any device to any device, anywhere. I guess I’m gonna need a new phone.
    2. WeWalk – This one is super cool. The WeWALK—a smart cane that detects objects above chest level and pairs with apps like Google Maps—came to market. The device uses real-time information from GPS and the cane’s haptic feedback to help the 250 million visually impaired and blind people worldwide navigate a digital world without having to juggle a smartphone.
    3. DNA data storage – The rate of data produced every year is virtually incomprehensible. By 2025, the world will generate over 160 zettabytes of data—that’s one billion terabytes. In 2019, the world saw its first DNA data storage—which will open the door to a completely new level of mass data and information storage with almost instant recall. Because of DNA’s dense and stable nature, we will soon be able to store data 1000 times longer and with much greater density. How dense, you ask? You could format and store every movie ever made, in HD, on a DNA storage device, the size of a sugar cube, and it would remain stable for 10,000 years. That dense.

    Making Information Resolutions

    Now that we’re down to the last item, your New Year’s resolution here is one that you should consider for yourself. Make 2020 the “Year of Making Information.”  Promise to make information in 2020 relevant, actionable, and available to everyone in your organization. How to do this? Begin by using the cloud not to just store data but to manage and leverage it. Use a cloud-based tool to connect and federate all of your data into a single data warehouse. Create a plan to develop actionable KPIs and publish their performance with a Business Intelligence tool. Share your company’s successes in 2019 and identify where you plan to outdo them in 2020. Communicate with your employees, partners, and customers where you have been, where you are going, and how fast you will get there.

    Make 2020 the year of empowering your organization to glean actionable, meaningful insights into your KPIs, in real-time and on-demand. Now that’s a valuable resolution.