Happy New Year!
We may be late in sending you wishes for the brand new decade, but definitely not late in sharing some of the breakthrough technologies that will impact how we will do business in the year 2020.
In PWC annual survey, 76% of CEOs said they are worried about the speed at which technology is changing and 64% acknowledge that technologies that run their businesses will be disrupted over the next five years.
On the other hand, for IT professionals, tech-based careers will not change, they will evolve and upgrade. The processes businesses have used in the past years may not work this year. Employees are realizing that their roles will require more intrapreneurial skills and constant learning to stay in the game in 2020.
What does this mean for you? It means to keep an eye on the breakthrough technologies to equip yourself with the right information and competitive skills in the Industry 4.0. In this post, we are listing technology trends to watch out for in 2020.
In 2019, 5G, the fifth-generation wireless network was the subject of breathless speculation and is expected to dominate the headlines this year, as well. AT&T and Verizon, the two biggest American carriers have already set up their 5G networks in a small number of cities and are planning to expand the coverage areas to the entire United States.
While the full-fledged impact of 5G will be seen over the span of a few years, we can predict that 5G will redefine the way we ‘interact’ with the world. 4G gave us mobile broadband and 5G is set to connect everything and everyone. 5G technology is an enabler that will vastly expand network capacity and disrupt multiple industries. Some of the most likely candidates for early adoption will be the auto industry, the energy sector, medical devices, and commercial real estate. The faster speed and increased bandwidth will also enable robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever before, leading to disruption in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery or as many call it “Industry 4.0”.
Why should you care?
Glad you asked! As 5G technology expands its reach and permeates the real world, we will see a ripple effect of innovation for companies all over the globe. Whether you’re a startup founder or working for an established company, 5G with its high speeds, huge data capacity and low latency, will bring a faster, smoother and more reliable user experience to the masses. In 2020 5G will be transforming every point of interaction with our clients and customers.
Artificial Intelligence as a service, or AIaaS, has been getting plenty of media attention in the past few years but it isn’t just hype. AI is affecting the way we live, work and do business today.
Companies have already started exploring automation and using AI models to improve their business processes, from more predictive algorithms to optimising the entire customer experience. This year, organizations will become more aligned with working on AI-centered processes.
While mentioning AI capabilities will help with many business operations, it is still an expensive proposition for small businesses. That’s why currently the most common application is in a “‘AI-as-a-service’ model (AIaaS). The technology allows companies to feed their data into existing platforms and pay for the insights that algorithms can generate.
In 2020, expect to see an increased number of providers building tailored AI-based applications fueling the overall wider adoption of AI for concrete and specialized tasks.
Why should you care?
The biggest fear AI technology brings to mind is “it’ll take my job” and this is why you should care. With the emergence of the AI-as-a-service model, more and more companies need talent that understands machine learning technology and its intricate nuances. The truth is, AI will replace some automated or heavy labor jobs, but it will also create more demand for specialized and knowledge based work like anything in STEM or human resources. Businesses continuously look for innovative ways to digitize processes and cut costs. Training teams to understand and embrace AI in 2020 will ensure that companies leverage the advancements and benefit their staff while increasing competitive advantage.
Extended reality is an all-in-one term that refers to virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and multiple other emerging technologies that create immersive digital experiences. In previous years, we have seen a glimpse of what these immersive technologies can do for the entertainment and infotainment industries. Oculus Rift and Vive headsets have reached our homes and interactive games like PokemonGo have gained popularity. However, the most enthusiastic adoption of XR must be Instagram’s update that gave us all “selfies with bunny ears” with the help of XR camera filters.
In 2020, these technologies are expected to go beyond that and enter our workspaces. Businesses are now ready to explore innovative possibilities to use extended realities for training and simulation as well as offering exciting ways to interact with customers. Imagine downloading a fully untethered holographic computer from the App store using your VR headset.
Why should you care?
Forbes calls extended reality a hot topic of 2020 and The Visual Capitalist estimates that XR will grow to be a $209 billion business over the next four years. These numbers tell us that companies are betting big on immersive technologies demand for XR content developers and software engineers will continue to grow.
Internet of Things - IoT
The most talked-about (and spoken to) technology for the past few years has been the Internet of Things (IoT) where physical objects — devices, vehicles and appliances gained software components, became “smart” and able to communicate with us. The estimated number of IoT devices in use reached a whooping 8.4 billion in 2017 and is expected to cross 30 billion devices by the end of the year 2020.
We have already crossed the initial stages of IoT where many devices are now being built with WiFi connectivity. In 2020, we are now moving toward the use of IoT for businesses by using all IoT models including Sensors, Networks (Communications), Analytics (Cloud), and Applications, with different degrees of impact. Many believe IoT ushering in the 4th Industrial revolution.
In the business world, IoT can enable efficiency and more informed decision making. From predictive maintenance of equipment to improved customer service, the future use-cases of IoT and its benefits are matchless.
Why should you care?
As consumers, we have accepted IoT devices as ubiquitous and demand for “smart” objects has created a strong incentive for developers and IT professionals to take up IoT jobs.
Tho shortage of talent is a good sign for startup founders looking to fill this gap through innovative solutions and to IT professionals who are looking to enter into IoT programming.
Some of the highlighted skills needed for IoT-based career in 2020 will include IoT security, data analytics, cloud computing knowledge and an understanding of embedded systems.
Luckily we've got teams for all of our mentioned trends, including cloud computing experts.
Engineers as specialized and talented as they come.
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If there is one thing we got in 2019 it was heated debates over cryptocurrencies and blockchain infrastructure. We saw many journalists arguing that the technology is overhyped and perhaps not as disruptive as Satoshi evangelists have been claiming. However, a vote of confidence has been cast by FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard who have all recently invested in blockchain development projects. The rest of the industry is likely to follow suit and bridge the adoption gap by provisioning their own private trustless systems which is why startups, VCs and IT professionals should all keep an eye on blockchain’s evolution in 2020. .
The biggest expected headline is the launch of Facebook's own blockchain-based crypto currency Libra, which will create a multitude of opportunities for innovation and collaboration.
Another trend coming on strong in 2020 is similar to what we’re seeing with service based AI, (AIaaS) except here it is Blockchain as-a-service, also BaaS.
This trend will allow companies to transfer their legal, financial and verification needs onto on the blockchain by providing the network as a digital product service. These blockchain network based products may be smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps), or servers for a complete blockchain-based infrastructure.
Why should you care?
Blockchain is a relatively new technology and many experts in this field are self-taught. Gifted developers who can write and program smart contracts still a rare and coveted species in the industry.
As this technology paves its way into mainstream adoption, the industry demand for talent with blockchain architecture skills and development experience, will soar.
With demand for blockchain provisioning climbing, companies should focus on training their teams to develop and manage decentralized networks. Because this year promises spectacular growth of the decentralized ecosystem.