Every year, IT experts share a list of predictions regarding the tech trends enterprises should consider as part of their development and innovation planning process.

2020 brings along many transformative technologies set to drastically improve the way we perform in the workspace. While some already exist and are commonly used (such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, which have been trending for the past 5 years), others are exciting novelties.

In this article, we are going to focus on significant technology trends that are relevant for a wide array of businesses by addressing a recurrent problem or offering a new perspective to solve it in a different, innovative manner. We hope that the information gathered from multiple relevant sources will help you gain a better understanding of where your business stands in the constantly-evolving digital landscape.

1. 5G is already here!

5G networks are already spreading across the world, and at this point, everybody is associating the concept with faster internet speeds, increased traffic and seamless tech integrations – but these are just a few of the fantastic benefits that should make you consider investing in 5G. This article, published by World Economic Forum, offers an in-depth perspective on the topic. To spark your interest, here are a few highlights: 5G can replace the need for cables by operating on the cloud, it will provide better capacity than 4G (dramatically improving internet speed and response time), and it can help reduce global emissions by 15% by 2020.

2. IoT will gain more popularity in the business ecosystem

Once perceived as a niche technology, IoT is now integrated into both our personal and professional lives – taking into account that there are more connected devices than people on the planet. Moreover, nearly all the companies that have invested in the internet of things have already seen a return on their investment, while almost three-quarters agree that digital transformation is impossible without it. We highly recommend reading thorough this study to know what to expect in 2020 from this trend in particular.

3. Augmented Reality takes center stage

Modern problems require modern solutions – and modern businesses require modern touchpoints with their potential clients. AR opens a whole new world of possibilities, having the potential to take B2C interaction to the next level, incorporating gamification elements and leveraging the “try-before-buy” trend. The predicted stats numbers are staggering: more than 1 billion people are expected to use augmented reality products in 2020.

4. But what about Virtual Reality?

After years of latent hype, 2019 was an excellent year for both AR and VR. According to Forbes, the primary industry that will benefit from this game-changing technology is retail: “Full-immersion VR works great for telling a brand story or conveying a lifestyle, or for bringing a purely digital experience to life. But ultimately, retailers sell physical goods, and it’s going to be the digital augmentation of that physical environment and the products in that environment that will have the real payoff for the retail industry.” The VR market is expected to reach 98.4 million sales by 2023, generating an installed base of 168 million units.

5. The hype around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning doesn’t fade away

After a decade of development, 2020 is expected to be an even more productive year for the AI and Machine Learning industry. As this extensive MIT research shows, 9 of 10 companies representatives agree that AI represents a business development opportunity, while some of them see it as a strategic risk as well.

However, most experts seem to agree that cybersecurity is the central shining spot for AI-driven technologies, as new threats arise. Logically, while neural network architectures become better at mimicking the human mind’s performance in a more power-efficient manner, they enable hyper-automation in enterprises and increase security risks at the same time.

Moreover, according to Gartner’s research, analysts advise that security and risk experts should focus their efforts on protecting AI-powered systems, leveraging AI to increase security and anticipating nefarious use of AI by attackers.

There’s a relatively new concept related to Artificial Intelligence that’s beginning to gain a buzzword status: Autonomous Things. Gartner describes these as AI-driven objects such as robots, drones, autonomous vehicles and appliances made to automate human functions. According to the already-quoted report, there is an expected shift from stand-alone intelligent objects to a swarm of intelligent objects that work together even independently in order to increase human productivity. Now that will be interesting to watch.

6. The year of the cloud?

Migrating to cloud computing helps you lower your costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and improves your overall flexibility and performance.Gartner estimates worldwide public cloud revenue will grow to $266.4 billion in 2020, up 17 percent from $227.8 billion last year. Sixty percent of organisations will use an external provider’s cloud-managed service offering by 2022—double the percentage from 2018, according to the research firm, according to CRN. Therefore, if you need support on this side of things, our team of experts always has your back.

7. Taking personal data more seriously

2019 was the year of personalisation. 2020 is the year of personalisation, transparency and honesty. With GDPR maturing, working with experts in the field to ensure your clients’ sensitive information is 100% secure will become imperative. If you want to learn more on the topic, you can have a look at our GDPR retrospective article.

8. Hyper-automation takes a few steps further

As opposed to popular belief, hyper-automation does not imply evil robots stealing human jobs (if anything, they’re going to create more exciting jobs than take). Back to hyper-automation, Gartner defines it as “the combination of multiple machine learning (ML), packaged software and automation tools to deliver work.” Experts say that technology and humans working collaboratively is the future of (efficient) work – and the concept of hyper-automation doesn’t only refer to the tools implied, but also to all the steps of automation; CIOs must understand the range of all the mechanisms, the way they relate to one another and find smart ways to combine and coordinate them.

As competition intensifies, businesses progressively rely more on IT solutions to improve areas related to efficiency, safety and development. We hope you can apply this article to your business use case to be able to stay one step ahead of competitors in 2020.

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Ric McCorriston

Managing Director


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