Gary Tierney, MD HP Ireland, discusses trends for 2019

So, what is in store for 2019? It looks to be an important year for the Irish tech industry, building on the trends of 2018. Technology will continue to disrupt industries far and wide and key aspects of everyday life and business will be revolutionised, impacting the workplace, manufacturing, sustainability, and security.

One Life

Our personal and professional lives are blending into what we call ‘One Life’. Employees expect flexibility from their job and the number of people choosing to work remotely has risen significantly in recent years. Currently, it is estimated that over 216,000 Irish employees work remotely on a permanent basis, while 78 percent of Irish businesses now have some kind of a remote-working policy in place.

As more people choose to work from home, there will be a greater need for home devices to be compelling from a design perspective but have the power and functionality required to complete business tasks. Devices like laptops and home printers will need to be high-functioning enough to support business needs, while also having the capability to integrate seamlessly into the home environment.

For example, HP’s recently launched, leather-bound Spectre Folio accommodates stunning design alongside the performance of a premium laptop. With remote working likely to rival fixed office locations by 2025, we will see more devices that balance consumer design with professional productivity come to market across 2019.

Manufacturing

In terms of the manufacturing sector, it is 3D printing that poses the most exciting opportunity.

3D printing is changing everything we know about industrial production: how we conceive, design, produce, distribute and consume just about every product on earth. Generating a whole new model of industrial production, 3D printing is turning the world’s $12-trillion manufacturing industry on its head.

We are already seeing more uses for 3D printing in the automotive, transport, industrial, medical and consumer markets. It is updating manufacturing for today’s hyper-connected, digital economy – while bringing back the benefits of long-disused methods.

In 2019, 3D printing, along with analytics and virtual technology, will continue to impact industry and manufacturing by shortening production processes and supply chains.

Sustainability

While 3D printing provides a solution for businesses wanting to reduce their production timelines, it could also benefit them in terms of increasing their level of sustainability by allowing flexible, on-location and on-demand production that leads to lower emissions during the production process.

It is also becoming more common for businesses to factor sustainability into business deals, and we expect sustainability initiatives to move from being a differentiator in business tenders to becoming an expectation.

More and more businesses are also looking for efficiencies and are moving to circular, low-carbon business models. Last year alone, HP saw a 38% year-on-year increase in deals where sustainability was a requirement – and we expect that to continue growing in 2019.

Security

Unfortunately, cyberattacks in Ireland have more than doubled in the past year instances of phishing scams, ransomware, and malware attacks have exposed the vulnerabilities of ICT, elevating cyber security or lack thereof, to the national agenda.

One of the biggest threats facing Irish businesses is the security risk posed by IoT and unsecured devices. It is predicted that by the year 2020, more than 20 billion devices will be connected to the internet and every one of those devices creates a potential entry point for hackers.

As more Irish people look to work from home, expectations around end-point security for 2019 are particularly high. Unprotected printers and laptops can act as trojan horses, and with cybercrime forecast to amount to $6 trillion in 2019, it’s clear that ensuring your organisation’s ecosystem is secure will be vitally important.

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