Welcome to 2020: a new decade for technology. Since the World Wide Web was invented just over three decades ago, the human experience has changed dramatically, with each decade marking even greater removal from the lives we once knew. As we move into a new decade, it seems likely that tech will continue its ever-accelerating trajectory, shaping our lives in ways currently beyond our conception. But let’s start small. Here are some of the key tech trends that could influence 2020.
The spectre of predictions past still hits the top of the list While blockchain may not have realised its potential in previous years, developments over the last year – such as greater regulation to collaboration and increased use cases – should see the arrival of practical blockchain.
Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger, which tracks assets and transactions chronologically and between participants. It can be used to trace assets, protect exchanges with encryption and cryptographic signatures, and to trade in a digital, decentralised environment; freeing up sectors like energy and fine art.
While blockchain has historically been too immature for enterprise use, greater testing and small-scope projects are making blockchain both more scalable and practical. 2020 may finally be the year that blockchain delivers on its promises.
For more on blockchain’s future, read our article ‘The Blockchain Build-Up’ in our new free-to-download whitepaper 'A Brighter Future', focusing on tech and tech talent trends.
More than simply an extension of 4G, 5G’s speed, low latency, and advanced connectivity will transform the way we live and work in 2020. 5G has the power to boost innovation and quick decision-making, as communications are delivered in real-time with unprecedented scalability. Innovation will lead to new use cases, resulting in further progress and the potential rise of super cities.
While many network providers have already adopted this next-generation technology, infrastructure investment will be essential to maximise potential. 5G has a smaller coverage area than 4G and will require denser networks with more cellular towers to work well. This is especially important in rural areas that may not have the right coverage. 2020 will therefore see the government, network providers, and businesses continue to invest in 5G and experiment with use cases.
Senior Consultant in Network and Security, Andrew Harrison, also shared his views on how this technology could shape our future in his blog, '5G: the future of infrastructure' late last year.
In 2020, we will begin to see the rise of hyper automation: the meeting point of intelligence driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), with autonomy driven by cognitive automation, like robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent business management software (iBPMS).
In combination, hyperautomation tools can be used to discover, analyse, design, monitor, measure, and improve processes in real-time without human interference. The inevitable product is a more precise, intuitive, and AI-driven way to decision making and the more widespread use of digital twins.
Digital twins act as a digital counterpart of a real-life physical entity or asset which can be used to develop, operate, and maintain the real article. Using a digital twin and hyperautomation, companies can monitor performance, predict conditions, recommend, and trigger actions to improve the output of the physical twin. For companies that embrace hyperautomation, opportunities for continuous improvement will make staying ahead that bit easier.
This year, multi-cloud environments will become more commonplace. As computing has evolved, businesses now have different options for structuring their environment – in public or private clouds, on-premise or, more recently, on the edge. But connecting these different environments can be complicated. For enterprises looking to harness the power and low latency of 5G with the scalability of cloud-based environments, this is a complication worth solving.
5G could unlock new potential in the cloud – from improving communication with IoT devices on the edge, to faster cloud-based services and increased automation. As a result, businesses will be driven to adopt more open-source technology as a way of standardising software development, deployment and management. Open-source technology is cloud-agnostic and can act as a common infrastructure to run applications or services from different cloud environments. It also has the added benefits of faster innovation, agility, and efficiency. This will lead to greater cloud adoption overall, as well as more conscious cloud buying, as enterprises invest in multi-cloud environments.
Another evergreen buzzword, data will continue to act as the currency of the modern world in 2020. In the last decade, AI and deep learning have enabled businesses to interpret and manage large quantities of data. Now, both the advent of low latency 5G and the ever-expanding network of IoT will create new ways of gathering, slicing, connecting, and acting on data sets.
Data is a numbers game. Deep learning’s enhanced processing power means that the more data the system is fed, the more sophisticated the algorithm. And for as long as data means competitive advantage – and it does – businesses will need to gather, store, and analyse as much data as possible. This may involve drawing on more data points in IoT, using synthetic data to validate models or gathering external, unstructured data.
To cope with this influx of data, in 2020 there will be greater demand for ETL (extract, transform, load) tools, which blend and standardise data from different sources (e.g. application usage) for analysis.
But managing all of this data can be challenging and can lead to data loss, service disruption, and compliance issues where proper precautions are not taken. And with government-mandated data privacy policies such as GDPR, handling large volumes of data is a risk-reward scenario for many companies.
So, that’s our top five. It’s worth noting that none of these tech trends act in isolation. In fact, one of the biggest tech areas affected in 2020 will be cybersecurity, not necessarily because of the market itself, but rather because fast-evolving areas such as hyperautomation and edge computing will have a knock-on effect. And of course, these aren’t the only tech trends changing how we do business. Last year, we published a whitepaper 'A Brighter Future' featuring five key tech trends in 2019 – but many of them (like blockchain) are here to stay! Download your free copy today.
Are you looking to stay ahead of 2020’s tech trends by getting the right people in place now? Get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find the right fit for your business and your 2020 vision. We’re all vertical experts at Onezeero, so we can also give you advice on the latest trends shaping your market and how you can get ready for the future.
Here's to 2020 and everything it will bring!