This year brought artificial intelligence into the mainstream, showed big data in a bad light and called upon blockchain to provide a solution to all of our problems – but what does the future hold for technology?

Ahead of the new year, Rocket Software, a company with plenty of knowledge in analytics, networks, data, storage and enterprise technology, offers its technology predictions for 2019.

Blockchain will streamline business

This year, blockchain has been hailed as the solution to Brexit, Russian election meddling, counterfeiting and falling revenue in the music industry.

However, if the price of a Bitcoin is any indication, a year on since prices peaked at around $19,000, the blockchain hype is finally starting to die down.

Yet, while blockchain might not revolutionise everything as many previously predicted, businesses will start to see its full potential in 2019, with the technology helping to streamline transactional, ordering, invoicing, payment and stocking processes, particularly for those operating in business-to-business marketing.

Legacy systems to get an update

Rocket Software predicts that New Year will welcome in that age-old saying: out with the old and in with the new.

Many businesses still rely on outdated legacy systems, held together by heavy spending on mainframe maintenance. However, in 2019, they will begin to realise that that money could be better spent on modernising legacy systems and implementing new technologies.

Next year won’t be the end of legacy systems, but it will be the start of true legacy innovation.

Open source will open doors to collaborative working

Collaborative working, joint projects between two or more organisations, will become increasingly common in 2019, with the launch of open-source frameworks bridging the divide between modern applications and aged mainframe systems.

Opening up these platforms will place less importance on its limitations, and more focus on what it can help to accomplish.

Likewise, according to Rocket Software, increasing accessibility will allow developers to work on unfamiliar platforms using familiar languages such as Python, PHP, Java and Git, which could provide an opportunity for the tech industry to overcome skills gaps.

IoT will solve commuter chaos

Everything from our watches to our kettles is now connected to the internet and the range of connected products available will only continue to increase in the coming year.

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According to Guy Tweedale, Rocket Software’s regional Vice President, the number of connected devices will surpass 35 billion by 2025.

“We expect the number of connected devices to surpass 35 billion in the next six years.

“With the increasingly popularity of smart devices, especially in areas like transportation, the figure might even be fighter.”

However, the Internet of Things (IoT) won’t just make it easier to boil the kettle.

Combined with the introduction of powerful 5G networks, infrastructure such as traffic lights will soon become ‘smart’ devices, making informed decisions on when to change in order to ease congestion and avoid accidents.

Quantum computing moves towards mainstream use

Quantum computers, which are capable of solving problems too big for a standard computer by taking advantage of subatomic particles, won’t be the next big thing in business, and certainly not in 2019.

However, IBM’s work on scalable quantum systems, which it hopes will eventually make the technology available to businesses and scientists, is slowly but surely changing that.

This is expected to be one of the most revolutionary technologies to date, helping to process and analyse data in less time. According to Rocket Software, this could eventually be used to save lives, for example by forecasting natural disasters and allowing quicker responses.