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Technology and leadership trends to watch in 2019

January 30, 2019

We’ve got the future on our mind and we know you do, too. So we gathered a handful of our Pluralsight authors and in-house experts to get their thoughts on the opportunities and pitfalls of today’s hottest technology topics, and how leaders can adapt to the changing landscape successfully. Here are the top technology and leadership trends hitting their radar this year:


Artificial intelligence

“We know that every technology that’s created to help us secure and monitor our networks is looked at by attackers from the point of view of ‘How can I get this to help me, too?’ So why would AI or machine learning be any different? I think the general apathy we see from the public toward breaches (because of how common they are now) won’t go away soon, but once we see AI and machine learning tools used to not only breach points of security but also automate the theft of identities and bank information at a wide skill, people may finally get up in arms and demand better from software vendors, government and ISPs.”

Dale Meredith, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Ethical Hacking Author


“‘Serverless’ will evolve from being a buzzword in 2019. More people will start to truly understand the benefits of letting cloud providers handle a good portion of DevOps and infrastructure for explicit processes they want to create, allowing us to focus on the actual problems we are trying to solve.”

Julie Lerman, Software Coach and Microsoft Regional Director

Data rights and privacy

“Following new privacy-related regulations like GDPR and a continued stream of revelations regarding how data is often collected and used in ways users might not reasonably expect or be comfortable with, 2019 will be the year that the general user begins to take data privacy seriously. This is a strategic opportunity for companies that focus on establishing a clean and clear relationship with their customers, and a technical opportunity to scrape the accumulated bloat of trackers and adware from the web. Like snack companies forced to find substitutes for trans fats and harmful ingredients in popular products, ad-reliant businesses will find this period challenging. However, the end result will be similarly healthier and more sustainable.”

Casey Ayers, Pluralsight Author and PMP

DevOps and automation

“DevOps and automation will continue to be a more important baseline capability in all companies, particularly those who are undergoing or completing a digital transformation. Some 85% of major enterprises are now executing DevOps practices for at least a portion of their IT business, and that percentage will only grow. The smartest IT Operations personnel will begin evolving to ‘cross-stack admins,’ expanding the portfolio of systems they can manage and automate to better provide the right tool for the right job in those DevOps environments.”

Don Jones, VP of Content Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives at Pluralsight

IoT security

“Our continued need to understand the technology we’re buying and what its function is will be the hot-button issue of IoT. Before you’re opening up an account with a company and giving them your information, you need to ask: Do they really take my security as their top priority, or is their priority selling a product? This isn’t to say there aren’t IoT companies that don’t care about security, but we need to make sure we’re asking these questions, to protect ourselves and our organizations.”

Dale Meredith, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Ethical Hacking Author

Mobile device management

“Whatever it’s called by various MDM vendors (‘zero trust,’ ‘conditional access,’ ‘contextual access’ or ‘post-perimeter security’) one of 2019's hottest trends in mobile device management is the controlling of access to applications and data based on predetermined rules about a device's state. This new state-based approach to locking down devices removes some of the risk of far-flung employees accessing data outside your office's well-controlled internal network. If you're exploring any of the "modern management" or MDM-like approaches for managing your desktops, keep an eye on this space.”

Greg Shields, Author Evangelist at Pluralsight


Business analysis

“Whereas business analysis may have at one point been considered a mere subset of project planning, organizations increasingly recognize the value that effective and continuous business analysis efforts can yield. By ensuring that any shifts in needs over time are identified and incorporated into revised plans, the value of project work can be maximized even in rapidly changing environments.”

Casey Ayers, Pluralsight Author and PMP

Hiring and recruiting

“Many companies today say they hire by culture   and fire by it, too. When it comes to building a world-class team, focusing on culture fit is a limiting prospect that can hinder your success. We see a need for a shift in the hiring process to focus on a commitment to values over simply hiring for ‘culture fit.’ Instead of trying to assess whether a candidate fits in, leaders should put their company values to work to broaden what ‘fitting in’ means.”

Aaron Skonnard, Co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight


“Organizations are feeling increased pressures from the constant changing of regulations, technology, globalization and machine notwithstanding the ever-changing demographics of the workforce they lead. In 2019, leaders need to commit to developing a deep understanding of the needs of diverse workers in order to help their teams stay productive and relevant in our environments of constant change.”

Alice Meredith, Senior HR and Business Leader and Pluralsight Author