The 2019 predictions season is upon us – yes, already

predictions 2019
Image credit: beats1 /

Where does the time go, you (well, we) ask more and more often as the years click by. And stuff begins to happen earlier every year. Already Christmas cards (variations are available) are in the stores. And already the predictions have started for 2019.

In September.

One such missive from Forbes leads the way (if ‘leads’ is the word).

The predictions start with 5G, of course. What is interesting though, amongst the “5G transformative blah blah, 5G enabler yadda yadda” detritus is that, according to the Man from Forbes, 2019 will be the year when 5G goes from fixed 5G to mobile (which is to say, proper) 5G.

Wait, what? Do you see much 5G around at the moment, fixed or otherwise? And yes, initial efforts in 5G will be – as we have said – glorified WiMax, but wow, we don’t have much left of 2018 to see any 5G-like creatures.

Anyway, Forbes’ top ten predictions take us on a fairly predictable journey, but with a twist in the tail.

AI based chatbots will go from annoying to useful. Hmm, they might, one day, but in the next 18 months – puleeze!

We touch on cloud on our journey and – no surprises here – it will just get better and become more widespread. We sweep past AR (not VR), toy with data analytics, machine learning, the effect of GDPR and several other buzzwords before we choke on blockchain.

Speaking of which! Blockchain, says the Man from Forbes, is a bit of a mess. And he is probably right. Here is what he says:

It’s too complicated for lay people to use right now, and there’s no standard way to use it because we all want to use it different. The only way to get mass blockchain adoption is to create a plug-and-play version that all of us can use and understand.

The one thing that is not in doubt are his predictions about digital transformation. His prediction is that 2019 will be the year when companies realize that digital transformation (by which he means actual, serious transformation and not token, PR fuelled efforts) will finally become a large part of the CEO’s portfolio.

We know – without any sort of research, study or survey – that the CEO must be the person to completely transform a business. And every business must transform.

At the recent Huawei OTF event in Munich the difference between digitizing stuff and digitalizing stuff was made very apparent.

Digitizing stuff is simply automating processes. Digitalizing stuff involves everything – processes, systems, culture and people.

It is not enough for a CEO to look ‘windswept, interesting and up with the times’ and appoint a chief digital officer. All that really means is that the chief digital officer has a large and powerful barrier in the form of a chief establishment officer chief executive officer.

It looks as if either the CEO is obsessed by digitalizing his company, or his company needs a new CEO.

And this should not just be in 2019 but basically from now on (and we are late to the party if we are not already thinking like this).

We can safely predict that there will be more predictions in the next month or so, and we can also predict that they will look quite like the Man from Forbes, who got in first – like really early.

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