6 digital transformation trends for 2019

Business transformation will pick up speed in 2019 as enterprises make critical decisions about their digital strategy. Our six digital trends will guide those decisions.

1. Enterprises go after digital business moonshots

In 2019, more enterprises will make bet-the-company commitments to digital business. It’s a new kind of corporate race as companies adopt these moonshot goals. Expect to see a range of innovation: new business models, new technologies and even entire new businesses built from digital.

Enterprises will have to beat back resistance from those following hybrid traditional-digital strategies and internally competing business unit strategies — and unify the entire business around a common digital program. Concentrate your talent, funding, operating model and executive attention on this program. Having a unified digital strategy between the business and IT is the only way to unload the technical debt that is holding companies back from exploring moonshot digital initiatives.

2. Enterprises adopt next-generation IoT platforms

As enterprises map their physical world to an intelligence-rich one, smart “things” will become a driving force. Enterprises will start to implement next-generation platforms in 2019 that can analyze large quantities of industry-specific data streaming in from the internet of things (IoT) and use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to find novel correlations between data previously thought to be independent.

For example, precision medicine integrates data from new sources (such as WiFi-connected heart monitors, fitness watches, location data or the human genome) with traditional sources (such as blood chemistry or dietary information). Working with these multiple data inputs and their correlations will result in more precise diagnoses and treatment plans.

3.  Action at the edge disrupts the cloud

In 2019 more apps and data will move to the edge, requiring enterprises to manage apps and data differently via what we call “the Matrix,” the pervasive, intelligent information services that go beyond cloud.

Data “gravity” becomes a primary design principle for multi-latency systems. Because data’s context is frequently local, the ability to maximize data’s value depends on local reaction time. Data gravity means data accumulates locally; the analytics needed to react move toward the data. This brings us back to the Matrix, which puts that intelligent interaction — and us — ever closer to the data.

Hence the shifts toward event-driven applications and serverless architectures that allow very small applications to run in lightweight environments as close as the device in your pocket, on your wrist, retrofitted to your desk or outside your house on a pylon. And yes, 5G wireless will change the data accumulation patterns in disruptive ways.

4.  Enterprises enter an age of Information Enlightenment

As enterprises shift to intelligent operations, they are challenged by increasing data arrival volume (digital trend 3) and data analytic complexity (digital trend 2).  The shift to intelligent operations means reacting faster becomes a competitive imperative.  Data value does decay quickly over time;  the value may be highest right when the data is created but much lower only seconds or minutes later.

So, in 2019, translating broad and deep information into actions will become a core competency. In this age of Information Enlightenment, companies will understand their information ecosystems better and know what to do to make better, faster, data-driven decisions. ML tools will be key for training systems and speeding response times. Enterprises will realize it’s sometimes better to take action based on a strong probability of being right (e.g., 70 percent) than hold out for being perfect (100 percent). That means paying attention to how ML rules are built.

5.  Enterprises redesign customer experiences amid stronger data privacy rules

In 2019, protecting customers’ personal data will force companies to rethink their digital strategy as the full effects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set in. Failure to comply with GDPR will thwart an enterprise’s ability to conduct business globally. Innovative companies will see this digital trend as an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty.

Enterprises must have a clear strategy for managing customer data and processes. They will have to consider changes across their data landscape, especially in marketing databases, demand generation systems and customer relationship management systems.

Enterprises will also need to reimagine their information ecosystems with partners and suppliers, creating privacy-centric information ecosystems built on analytics and security, as they aim to deliver secure interactions and superior customer experiences.

6.  Enterprises begin closing their data centers

The enterprise data center is frequently “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In 2019 we expect to see a noticeable shift of enterprise data center workloads to multi-tenant data centers in the public cloud. Information processing is becoming a utility, and customers (and their data) are widely distributed. Public cloud providers are providing massive bandwidth and strategically-placed data centers, and enterprises are shifting to them for efficiency and to maximize their data’s value.

In effect, enterprise data centers will become virtual compartments in multi-tenant public clouds and thus will be shut down except for their mainframe workloads. Mainframe workloads will migrate to specialized data centers until they, too, eventually go away. We will see a lot of “lift and shift” in 2019, but the trend will play out over the next 3 to 5 years, as cloud migration gives way to “built for cloud” replacements.

Taking these six digital trends into account will help to ensure that the enterprise’s digital transformation journey continues to be successful.

What do you see on the horizon? Make a comment below or join the discussion using #DXCDigitalTrends19.

Learn how the digital trends will impact Asia.

Dan Hushon headshotDan Hushon, DXC Technology’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, drives innovation strategy and growth for the company’s solutions and ensures technology excellence. He is responsible for defining DXC’s long-term technology strategy and vision, and advocating for that vision with customers.


  1. Hi Dan, Great eye opener for companies engaged in a digital transformation journey. Especially within the Direct to Consumer domain, enterprise’s crown jewels (consumer data and consumer interaction) are key enablers to business growth whatever the medium used to engaged back and forth. Gaining clairvoyance around what our consumer wants with personalized and contextualy relevant offer can be only achieved with the so called Information Enlightenment. Now to get there, ones must make sure how to collect and ingest data (BigData Strategy), how to train our model wisely chosen to finally bring relevance thanks to amplified ingenuity made possible with AI, Bots (Conciergerie service), highly scalable multi tenancy architecture. Not being left behind, Blockchain and Dapps could be also great success story especially within the IIoT area where a “One Data” mindset between stakeholders help to smooth end to end cooperation.

    • Thanks Yves, you are right on! Companies must use “all” of the data available to them to reason on the multitude of dimensions that drive the operation of the firm. Interesting, using all the data forces information operations to be in a common core; with the business services around the edge, information becomes a corporate shared service, and the hyperdimensional information (massively cross linked and meta-enhanced) becomes a key target for ML/AI. That said, because of GDPR, security concerns and accessibility, the linkages between the data and the business become APIs, and the API becomes the control point for executing. As data’s value increases across a multi-participant landscape, blockchain becomes important for both transactional provenance [bookkeeping] as well as for securitization. D-Apps work on the “fast” side of multi-latency data, where certain data needs to operate near the edge, but plumbed toward the core, as data value decays much faster then a traditional decision horseshoe (all the way to the core and back).

      Really appreciate your comments, and hopefully we can help develop some new vocabulary for the organization around data gravity, data dimensionality and data value decay rates that are so important as a company begins to execute at increased pace and on a substantially concentrated information basis.



  2. Thanks for sharing the article.These digital trends are really important to be known as this would be the future shaping the industry. I appreciate the article very much.

  3. Great article Dan! Most IT heads today have no clue about what’s going on in their data centers. Once the server and storage assets are switched on, all kinds of software from different users are quickly used to fill it up. There is practically no control over this process. Hybrid data centers provide even more complexities. It is imperative to look into system flows, and links in real time, which change-management databases cannot achieve.


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