2019’s top technology, media and telecoms trends

Leading data and analytics company, GlobalData, has revealed its top trends for 2019 across the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) industry.

The company’s latest thematic research report, ‘Tech, Media & Telecom Trends 2019’, analyses the major trends impacting companies across 15 TMT sectors. While many of these trends are specific to individual sectors, there are several broad themes as well:

• Emerging technologies will continue to cause significant disruption
Every TMT sector will experience major upheaval due to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), process automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT). In order to maintain their position, leading incumbents will have to adapt to market conditions that are changing profoundly and at pace, while also fending off challenges from innovative start-ups.

• China’s influence on the global TMT industry will grow
China’s growing influence across every segment of the technology sector is not an accident, but an intrinsic part of the country’s strategic plan. The Chinese government has made clear its desire to lead globally in AI and has also invested significantly in other emerging technologies such as 5G. At the same time, the country’s leading technology companies are emerging as major forces on the global stage, with the likes of Alibaba and Huawei expanding their international presence. Consequently, companies in all TMT sectors should be watching developments in China very closely.

• Cybersecurity will become a priority for all senior executives
The frequency of cyberattacks will continue to increase in 2019 and it is vital that senior executives across all industries have a clear understanding of both the inherent risks they face, and the potential consequences of a security breach. Organizations must embrace cybersecurity as a core component of their digital transformation efforts and partner with third parties to establish the right cybersecurity strategy.

• Political issues will present major challenges for TMT companies
The ongoing trade war between China and the US will continue to impact the sales, profits and global supply chains of businesses across the TMT industry. The ultimate outcome of the dispute is difficult to predict, with neither side willing to back down, and the resulting uncertainty will only add to the challenges facing technology companies. In Europe, the long-running saga of Brexit is still far from settled and is likely to create cost, pricing, and supply chain issues for a wide variety of firms.

• Regulation will be an issue for the tech giants, but it will not stop them growing
The world’s largest technology companies are under increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies on a wide variety of issues, including tax avoidance, data privacy, hate speech and fake news. While these industry giants are strong enough – and diversified enough – to continue growing despite greater oversight, they should not underestimate the threat that regulation poses, not least to their bottom line. Many of these regulatory initiatives are also driven by very real concerns about the ability of companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon to negatively impact society, something that the companies themselves should not be too quick to dismiss.

Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Research at GlobalData, said: “In 2019 companies should ensure they are tracking the relevant themes, as companies who invest in the right themes become success stories; those who miss the big themes end up as failures. Given that so many themes are disruptive, it is very easy to be blindsided by industry outsiders who invade your sector.”

More Media