2019 Trends to Watch

February 6, 2019

To continue to disrupt the status quo and stay ahead of the game, companies must go after new technologies and possibilities to stay competitive.  ACP has identified five trends that can help organizations do just that in 2019.

Trend #1: Cybersecurity and the Growing Need for Better Authentication Methods
Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is becoming more common, but still lacks the ability to secure data because it is often misused. Text messages, emails, and phone calls are convenient for 2FA but are unfortunately easy to hack, making enterprise data vulnerable.  There has been a rise in companies working to improve risk assessment tests and employee training while increasing the adoption of “Zero Trust” approaches. Zero Trust approaches imply the storage of data in separate ‘boxes’ within the cloud, each requiring a separate authentication.

Trend #2: Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and Machine Learning – Game Changers for Decades to Come

Moving forward, companies will react more quickly and efficiently to data breaches.  One way to do that is through artificial intelligence and machine learning.  AI-driven processing of data favors more efficient business processes and better overall results. The broader AI market, including AI, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), and robotic process automation, is expected to exceed $191 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 37%, according to Simplilearn article, “Top AI and Machine Learning Trends for 2019”, written by Stuart Rauch. The healthcare industry is already seeing a tremendous change in efficiency and accuracy thanks to AI. For example, AI is now being used to read radiology images — just one of the ways medical professionals are using the technology.  AI’s intelligent algorithms can reduce cognitive burdens for physicians while ensuring patients receive the best care in a timely manner. That said, we are in the infant stages of discovering all the ways to best use and apply AI; there is still much room for improvement.

Trend #3: Electronic Payments
Electronic payments continue to play a large role in business-to-business payments and accounts payable automation.  The use of check payments is diminishing, especially for small and medium-sized business buyers. Card and automated clearing house payments reduce fraud risk and offer suppliers faster payments.  This ecosystem continues to thrive on the tailwinds of e-invoicing, e-procurement, and accounts receivable application software.

Trend #4: Low Code/No Code Applications
Low code platforms enable non-technical employees the ability to customize a given software solution to near-exact specifications. This allows for quicker sales cycles for the low code provider and more tailored solutions to the end customer. Low code applications also dramatically reduce the time needed to train employees and release new iterations of a given solution.  Financing for this market took off in 2018 and is expected to reach more than $27 billion by 2022, representing a 44% CAGR since 2017. Examples include Siemens, which acquired Mendix in August 2018 for roughly $750 million, and Goldman/KKR which invested around $360 million in OutSystems in July 2018.

Trend #5: Increase in Unicorn IPOs 
An expected increase in Unicorn IPOs in 2019 – those worth more than $1 billion – will determine how company founders view taking on growth capital as opposed to other alternatives. Large companies such as Uber are set to go public, which will impact how people in the mid-market think about raising capital. Many private companies that have attained scale and proven their business models are poised to pursue public offerings in order to continue funding growth initiatives.