2018 Predictions, Pt. 2: Tele-Healthcare, Remote-Control Cars with Bedside Manners, and the Journey to Mars


Wellness starts at home, say the experts. If you agree, would you enroll in a tele-health program or remote monitoring from your healthcare provider? If so, what precautions will you need to take to protect your private health data?

Should you experience a health emergency while driving, will your car have remote-control capability to guide you — and the car — to safety? Intrigued by space travel? You’re not alone, so buckle up!

These are some of the far-out predictions for 2018 from the experts who appeared on SAP Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions, Part 2, Presented by SAP. The second installment of a five-part series, the show aired live December 13, 2017.

Host Bonnie D. Graham asked 15 leading experts, academics, and business influencers what they see in their crystal ball for 2018. Each person was given just two minutes to share their predictions for what the next year holds for their industry, business, the world, and technology.

What the Experts Foresee for 2018

1. In 2018, organizations will take a digital-first approach. We will stop rolling out capabilities of any type without thinking “digital first.” The workforce and organizations are ready. The technology is there. Additionally, organizations will focus on creating a better workforce experience to match their efforts to enhance the customer experience. There will also be a real emphasis on digital skills.

– Jason Averbook, Co-founder and CEO, Leapgen

2. Financial Planning and Analyses (FP&A) teams will continue to focus on optimizing business performance and strategic activities and will continue to spend less time on low-value, no-value finance activities. The advances in technologies over the last 20 years are going to continue to improve and permit us to be efficient at acquiring, converting, and leveraging data to make better, faster financial decisions to permit organizations to thrive. Those that embrace change are going to be the ones to succeed.

– Brian T. Kalish, Principal and Founder, Kalish Consulting

3. Three major trends will drive the chemicals industry in 2018: 1.) Accelerated globalization means shifting supply centers and demand centers; 2.) The circular economy is growing as raw materials become scarcer and regulatory requirements increase exponentially; and 3.) Digital technologies – including Internet of Things, blockchain, and machine learning – are driving an unprecedented wave of innovation.

– Stefan Guertzgen, Senior Director for Industry Solution Marketing Chemicals, SAP

4. In aerospace, the commercial airplane industry will see cool, new products and innovations. We’ll see the first legitimate applications of large-scale autonomous air taxis and hypersonic aircraft. In space, the journey to Mars is closer than we think. 2018 will re-ignite our imaginations around space travel. We will see the race to set new world records in innovation and production of 3D printed parts.

– Torsten Welte, Global Vice President and Head of Aerospace & Defense, SAP

5. We’re beginning to enter the space-race/energy time on climate change. 2018 is the year we’re going to bend the curve on climate change and see significant changes. Primary actors include government and cities. There is a lot of innovation economy in this area from startups and bigger companies like Tesla. The price of renewables is going to continue to fall, while demand is rising.

– Brenda J. Cooper, science fiction writer, futurist, and CIO, City of Kirkland, Washington State

6. We’re going to see a significant refocus on cultural aspects of organizations, specifically how company culture and its practices support the needs and well-being of the organization. Companies are realizing that if they don’t have the culture and the practices to support a healthy, productive environment for their workers, they’re not going reach their goals.

– Yvette Cameron, Senior Vice President Strategy, SAP SuccessFactors

7. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, and blockchain will enable new business models and create new markets driven by startups and agile corporates that can embrace this trend and understand the potential value propositions that can come out of it.

– Luisa Silva, Global Director of Go-to-Market and Market Enablement, SAP Startup Focus

8. In healthcare, 2018 will be the year of realization. Congress will realize that healthcare reform is not centered on healthcare payment reform. Ultimately, the realization will be that reform has to take place on the delivery-of-care side; hence, virtual care, tele-health, remote monitoring. Making the home a center of care, instead of the brick-and-mortar facilities, will be a big effort in 2018.

– Tom Foley, Global Health Solutions Strategy Manager, LenovoHealth

9. Remote-control vehicles are coming – and sooner than we think. In 2018, remote operations of trucks and vehicles will move forward and spread beyond semi-trailers to personal vehicles. Some cars with level-three autonomy capability, like the Tesla and Audi A8, now have on-board assistance for remote support and emergency roadside service. Imagine the ability for the remote support to assume control of the car in emergency situations and safely direct the car to the side of the road.

– Heather Ashton, Research Manager, IDC Manufacturing Insights

10. The Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes effective in May 2018. Businesses are just beginning to wake up to the reality that most of them are going to have to revamp their personal data security systems, processing, and storage. It’s going to be a year of unrest for human resources and businesses with connections to the European Union.

– Barbara Ocain, Global Strategic Advisor, SAP SuccessFactors

11. It’s inevitable that video will be everywhere in the workplace in 2018. Consumer technology behavior is a leading indicator for enterprise technology behavior. Every month recently there’s been a new staggering statistic related to consumer adoption of online video. We’ll see a continued increase in the use of video to promote products, to create features with high-end video, but also in areas where video has been under-utilized, like personalized video sales pitches, video for job postings, video for customer success outreach, and executive internal video messaging.

– Matt Singer, CEO, Videolicious

12. The value of the Bitcoin will drop by 50 percent from January 1 to December 31, 2018.

– Kenny Hawk, serial entrepreneur and CEO, Mojio

13. The big thing that will hit us in Europe and every company selling into the European Union is certainly the GDPR. The fact is data has grown up. We’re not able to spread around people’s details like confetti. Companies are going to have to prove that the people have actually opted in. We are actually deleting our full email list because we cannot prove the opt-ins. This will change sales from a push to pull model.

– Tim Hughes, Co-founder, Digital Leadership Associates

14. We’re going to see a much more aggressive adoption of information technology and big data in the office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). 2018 will lay the foundation for where we will most likely be in 2023-2025, when we’re going to be dealing with voice and intelligent digital assistants. For example, you might ask, “Alexa, what’s the margin today on sales in the northeast quadrant?” You’ll get an answer from an intelligent assistant that is reading tens of millions of records.

– Jeff Hattendorf, COO and Co-founder, Macrospect

15. The biggest story in 2018 will be cyber-security. We are growing exponentially in software, technology, and connected devices, but we are not growing our security systems in the same fashion. We desperately need to get those protocols and security measures in place. When we think about the launching of IPv6 and all these new connected devices that are coming out, there are new potential threats for cybercrime.

 – Laz Uriza, Senior Solution Principal, SAP Extended Supply Chain Center of Excellence

You can hear the full show at
SAP Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions, Part 2

SAP Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions Special Upcoming Shows

For dozens of other insightful predictions that can impact you and your business in 2018 and beyond, listen to all five episodes of SAP’s Game-Changers Radio 2018 Predictions Special. In case you missed it, you can listen to a recording of Part 1 of the series.

Part 3 will air live on Wednesday, January 3 at 11am EST/ 8am PST at http://spr.ly/SAPRadio. Additional shows in the series will air on January 10 and 17. You can listen to the shows live here.

The experts’ predictions have been edited and condensed for this space.