Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of trends to watch in the technology industry, according to market analysts. Ongoing AI development means new algorithms and methods are being created to enhance efficiency and problem-solving in the fields of automobiles, consumer electronics, security, education and health care, according to the IHS Markit 2019 Trends Report.

Mobile operators are in the trial and testing phase of their 5G, or “fifth generation,” cellular technology, which promises quicker network connection speeds and lower latency than current 4G technology. Research and analysis firm IHS Markit also predicts that the business value of blockchain, the record-keeping technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, could increase from $2.5 billion in 2017 to $2 trillion in 2030.

Municipalities across the globe are pursuing smart city initiatives, including Long Beach, which has created a range of mobile applications that allow residents to contact city hall, view crime reports, register to vote or find available parking. “Smart cities are becoming universal,” Matt Gardner, CEO of the California Technology Council, told the Business Journal. “We’re starting to see an app layer [a buildup of digital applications] around things like smarter traffic management and navigation, things that would serve not only the consumer but also have really specific application in emergency services [and] utility management.”

The growth of smart cities is one facet of the expanding Internet of Things (IoT), or linked devices like mobile phones, cars, homes and household appliances. IHS places the compound annual growth rate of IoT devices at 38% from 2017 to 2022.

As this growth continues, the current model of cloud computing – with large data centers handling the bulk of information being transmitted to and from end users – won’t be enough. This is why “the edge,” which refers to data processing that is performed physically closer to the end user than cloud processing, is forecast to overtake the cloud. Compared to massive cloud data centers that may be located many miles away, edge data centers would be relatively smaller and closer to their users, IHS Markit Analyst Lucas Beran explained. In the future, numerous centers will be necessary to service the growing number of devices at speeds that users expect from 5G technology.

The tech industry should continue seeing growth in 2019, Gardner said, with data scientists, cyber security professionals and analysts in high demand. And while California is a “prime mover” in the tech sphere now, Gardner said it remains to be seen if other states can incentivize entrepreneurs to relocate. “We’re still seeing very robust investment,” Gardner said of the Golden State. “We’re seeing a lot of new areas of deployment in technology in every direction.”

Keith Kratzberg
President, Epson America, Inc.
For 2019, Epson America envisions continued growth in several key technology markets, particularly within the commercial sector. Obviously, “automation” remains a popular buzzword, and we’re witnessing firsthand the increased adoption of high-precision robots in manufacturing and assembly applications. The Epson Robots portfolio will continue to address this market demand and provide cost-effective, precise solutions to drive automation across a variety of industries.

We’re also seeing a rapid shift to on-demand digital printing in the textile industry, especially as fast fashion continues its breakneck pace. This presents a major opportunity for our high-quality, flexible, full-color direct-to-garment and dye-sublimation printers. These affordable, scalable solutions enable endless possibilities within the textile industry. In addition, inkjet technology continues to expand its footprint in the enterprise space. In 2019, Epson will widen our product portfolio, offering less expensive, more efficient and environmentally friendly printing options for medium-to-large companies.

Meanwhile, at home, consumers will benefit from advances in inkjet technology, discovering the convenience, cost savings and performance offered by high-capacity ink tank printers, such as Epson’s EcoTank line.

We’re excited by the possibilities 2019 holds and look forward to leveraging our experience, expertise and innovation to deliver technology solutions that empower our customers and further their success.

Chris Wacker
CEO, Laserfiche
In 2019, Laserfiche sees accelerated growth as more organizations embrace digital transformation. In recent years, we have seen many of our existing customers expand their use of digital tools, including business process automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. We are also seeing many new customers and prospects that have realized digital transformation is no longer a “nice to have”, but an imperative for businesses to compete in the marketplace today.

Because of this, Laserfiche is growing its workforce significantly, and expanding our campus in Long Beach. We will be hiring new talent to support all of our business units and scale our operations globally. This year, we are also expecting our conference, Empower, to be the largest yet, bringing 4,000 attendees representing more than 30 countries to the Long Beach Convention Center to network, and learn about the latest tools and trends.

This growth applies not just to Laserfiche but to the technology industry as a whole. The cloud has made it easier and faster for organizations to implement software, experiment and innovate. Additionally, technology tools are easier to use than ever before. We are now experiencing an era when anyone – regardless of their technical knowledge – can drive transformative change, boost agility and power their organization’s digital transformation journey.