Are you being distracted from your primary objectives by advances in technology that you can’t actually leverage in your business? It’s all too easy to find yourself chasing the latest new tech, many of which will not mature enough to be valuable to your business for several years. Determining the top priorities for technology leaders can be a challenge as you’re working with reduced budgets and tight staffing models. Here are a few of the topics that experts recommend should be on your list for the second half of 2019 — and beyond.

Tech Execs Are Building Their Soft Skills

You might be surprised to learn that many technology executives are not focused on which new shiny object they should consider. Instead, they are looking at ways to build a superstar team that will be able to shift and learn the skills needed for any new paradigm for the business. 

According to New York City IT Support professional, Adam Mahoney of Network Outsource, “When you have the right people on the bus — and then ensure that they are in the right seats — you’re one step closer to success in any type of leadership role.”

More time is being spent on evaluating the fit of staff members for the organization, simply because it’s too difficult to continually hire for the specific skill sets that you may or may not use in the future. 

Keith Marchiano, Director of IT for Kyocera Intelligence in Baltimore shares, “finding a flexible individual who is able to contribute in a meaningful way, and then providing them with appropriate challenges and team-building opportunities, is a top consideration for technology leaders.”

The Science Behind Big Data and Analytics

The next revolution in technology is not likely to be in faster computers or bigger online storage locations. Instead, data scientists and analysts will be leading the day. Teasing out the details that can be uncovered in the mass quantities of data can provide everything from process improvement to more effective marketing and enhanced customer journey mapping. Augmented analytics create an interactive view that technology and business leaders alike can relate to, making the billions of data points actionable in a way that simply hasn’t been possible in the past. More software platforms are integrating real-time analytics or API connections to affordable yet extremely powerful analytics platforms such as Microsoft’s PowerBI. These platforms are predicated on the power of visualizations, with bright and colorful graphics replacing the endless spreadsheets of the past.

Creating an Immersive Experience for Customers

Stuart Crawford, CEO of IT Services Marketing agency, Ulistic who works with Marchiano and Mahoney states, “It’s no longer enough to simply have a website where you can sell your products and services. Today’s consumers expect to be able to fully interact with your products in a meaningful way.” 

For retailers, this could mean creating a 3D model of the product that can be appropriately sized into a room, or clothing that can be virtually “tried on” with nothing more than an interactive mirror. These immersive experiences provide customers with the added comfort level they would have gained from going to a physical store, touching and feeling products. Instead, they can get a similar experience from their mobile device which can help reduce the friction towards purchasing.

The Rise of Autonomous “Things”

From the newest Cadillac car that is considered nearly autonomous to robots that can read license plates and report a crime, autonomous “things” are on the rise. Gartner experts recommend that this type of tech will drive significant disruption in the next few years for all types of businesses. There are very few verticals that will not be affected by this type of innovation. “The future will be characterized by smart devices delivering increasingly insightful digital services everywhere,” said David Cearley, Gartner Distinguished Vice President Analyst, at Gartner 2018 Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida. “We call this the intelligent digital mesh.”

Are your priorities in order for 2019 and beyond, or are you still trying to clean up from past projects? Whether you’re ready to dive right in on your first autonomous bot or are still trying to untangle your data, what’s certain is that you’ll find this type of tech in your future.