Technology develops at a pace almost as rapid as the world around us. At the beginning of 2020, who could have predicted that organisations across the world would be pushed to go fully remote, increasing the prevalence of video calls, virtual coffee mornings and the success of your day depending on an unreliable home internet connection.
As we are nearly halfway through this strange and unprecedented year, technology trends are already changing and adapting. New technologies appear every single day, and CTOs, Directors of Engineering and tech thought leaders want to stay ahead of the latest trends.
That’s why we asked tech experts for their tech trend predictions for 2020 and beyond. Here’s what they said:
1. Robotics to take centre stage
Robotics has seen tremendous development in the past few years.
According to research by Adobe Digital Insights, people are increasingly seeing robots as tools to help with their work rather than ones that take away their jobs.
2020 will possibly see robotics taking centre stage in tech.
This has to do with a few developments:
- Industrial robots are more accessible and affordable than ever.
- Robots are moving to the forefront and are being used for customer interactions.
- Swedbank is using the AI-powered Nuance Nina for addressing customer queries.
- Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) came up with better surgical results than its human counterpart.
- Be it Amazon’s delivery drones or the burger-flipping ‘Flippy’, robots are gaining visibility.
- Soft Robots have tremendous real-world applications owing to their manoeuvrability and accuracy.
Robotics has made some tremendous strides with players such as Boston Dynamics, Miso Robotics, and the University of California San Diego coming up with exciting developments.
2. 5G to boost team productivity
“Future Today Institute confirms that geopolitical tensions notwithstanding, the business cases for investing in 5G are becoming clearer across several industries. 5G will reshape our economies by changing transportation, education, medicine, entertainment, etc. It will invoke new organizations and applications we haven't yet envisioned.”
- Victor Lavrentyev, CIO at Orangesoft
Conspiracy theories aside, the increasing prevalence of 5G is set to change the landscape of the tech world. According to Qualcomm, 5G is predicted to create 22 million new jobs and contribute $12.3 trillion of economic benefit worldwide by 2035. The UK, while off to a slow start with 5G adoption, is catching up, and still in the first wave of countries adopting the new networking technology.
But how does this impact the tech industry directly?
There are a number of key benefits there can be for businesses:
- Remote work improvements - with many businesses looking to remain remote for the most part of 2020, and even adopting permanent remote working strategies, the introduction of 5G will be a welcome change. 5G promises faster data deployment, meaning remote workers don’t have to worry about being slowed down by unreliable local networks.
- IoT- IoT remains a trending topic in the tech industry. Smart home, security systems and more are taking centre stage in the consumer world. The high-speed data processing capabilities of 5G means that businesses can analyse the huge volumes of data produced by IoT at rapid speed. That means businesses will have increased capacity to accommodate for IoT.
- Network related tasks - the fast speed of 5G networks will mean that sharing large amounts of data to the clouds will become quicker. That means that there will be less waiting time for huge uploads and the ease of sharing will improve. All in all, this will be fantastic to boost productivity, especially in the fast-paced tech industry.
3. Shift to low-code and no-code platforms for increasingly complex app development
In large organisations, business units such as procurement, legal, and finance were created to allow specialised, expert teams to focus on performing specific functions, with IT operating as the technology enabler. In 2020 we will see a shift to enable internal teams as close to the business units, or even teams inside the business units themselves, to build the internal solutions for optimal visibility and closed-loop iteration.
With traditional development methods, this is practically impossible, so enterprises are going to become increasingly more interested in no-code and low-code tools. These tools are also in a different place than their distant relatives of even 5 years ago which only allowed for simple and inflexible application development.
This way of developing is now reaching a professional tool level that will shift the dependence on resources closer to the people who own the business process understanding within enterprises.
4. The AI obsession to continue
“AI has been making significant headway to take its place as one of the top innovation trends. According to the PwC report, AI products will contribute to over $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.”
- Victor Lavrentyev, CIO at Orangesoft
AI is the buzzword every tech leader is used to discussing. And it’s being increasingly adopted by businesses across the globe as they wake up to its tangible business benefits. But what does 2020 hold for AI?
- Refining business processes - repetitive, daily tasks undertaken in offices and home working setups across the world will soon be made a lot faster to execute with the help of QA. Activities like form filling out, report generating and more will soon be undertaken by machines. Ernst & Young, for example, use an NLP tool to review contracts, meaning their team can focus their efforts on more pressing tasks.
- Augmenting AI with humans - there is one thing that can’t be automated (right now) - human creativity. But that doesn’t mean AI and humans have to work as separate entities. In fact, there are many ways that tools can be built to make the best out of human skills and fast processing AI capabilities. What’s more, in 2020, there will be increasing focus on employees needing AI training in order to make the most out of new tools.
- Cybersecurity and AI - AI can protect us from attacks on our data, systems and personal information. This means that businesses can be better protected against attacks, as AI works fast to recognise potential security breaches early, before valuable data is compromised.
Looking at the future
Especially in the current climate, having the budget and capacity to jump on new trends can seem like a pipe dream. But every tech leader, CTO or Director of Engineering knows that being mindful of the industry landscape is key to not getting left behind.
Incorporating these new trends and changes into your roadmap for 2020 and beyond is extremely important. To recap the top trends are experts reported were:
- Robotics to take centre stage
- 5G to boost team productivity
- Shift to low-code and no-code platforms for increasingly complex app development
- The AI obsession to continue