2020 Outlook for the Technology Industry

2019 showed that us that everything is changing constantly in the modern era, especially when it comes to innovation. The past year saw many disruptive technologies emerge, especially when it comes to the IT industry, that made numerous media headlines all over the world.
To name but a few of these technologies we have Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and the headline favorite, 5G .

Below we will touch upon some of the technology movements that are sure to bring significant growth and innovation in 2020 and perhaps set the trend for the next decade to come.

5G.

In 2019, 5G network began rolling out all over the world. Offering vastly superior speeds and much more reliable connections for smartphones and other devices, 5G seems to be the next generation technology when it comes to internet connectivity.

5G will change the experience of video. With a 5G phone on a 5G network connection1, you’ll be able to have a crystal-clear HD video chat with a friend on the other side of the world. And, you’ll even be able to add multiple participants to the video chat and maintain that lag-free connection.

5G will change the experience of sports and music as well. Never again will you have to be stuck in the back of the crowd when seeing your favorite team or band play. With 5G, broadcasters will be able to stream games and concerts from multiple angles, so when you’re connected to 5G networks on your mobile device, you can switch camera angles with a swipe, and enjoy the footage from any perspective you like. It’s an all-new, interactive version of live entertainment.

Cloud.

In 2019, it became banal to say we are headed into a multi-cloud world as enterprises started routinely deploying workloads across multiple Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers.

But as applications become even more portable, compute cycles easier to procure in real time, data integration platforms streamline connectivity, and vendors form cross-platform alliances, that multi-cloud trend might start looking more like an omni-cloud one in the near future.

As a general rule, the largest enterprises may soon be customers of all the hyperscalers and some niche providers to boot, allowing them to take advantage of increasingly differentiated services, specific deals and avoid lock-in.

Although valid concerns about cloud security and compliance still exist, they have diminished significantly in recent years, especially in terms of public cloud services. Today, public providers offer greatly improved security and regulatory compliance services to clients. In fact, most experts in the technology advocate that the cloud is overwhelmingly more secure than most on-premise systems.

Cloud computing offers a host of advantages including reduced costs, subscription payment models, increased application performance, and greatly improved flexibility and scalability to quickly and cost-effectively adapt to evolving business and technical requirements.

Blockchain.

Real adoption of this innovative technology has materialized in banking, finance, law enforcement, energy, insurance, real estate, supply chain management, and practically every other business sector.

Many industry leaders have pooled into consortia — technology-specific, such as R3 and the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance; or business specific, such as the Hyperledger, Bankchain, TradeLens, and MediLedger. The goal for such co-opetition is to bring standards that lifts all boats, such as a Blockchain in Transport Alliance for supply chain management, or a Blockchain Law Consortium for the legal industry.

Like most new technologies, innovators and leaders in blockchain are not limited to major corporations and governments. The innovative bleeding edge often comes from small countries or nations with developing economies. Singapore, Malta, and Estonia have been leading the curve in international regulations, the Blockchain of Things, and digital identity. Development and investment continue to pour into impactful blockchain projects for real estate, agribusiness, and free expression in Latin America, South America, and Africa.

And while many blockchain creators and business leaders have been millennials and young Gen Xers, Gen Z is already filling the ranks of the startup heads and developers that are building platforms and coding the smart contracts behind DLT initiatives.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become integral to practically every segment of the technology industry. It’s having an impact on applications, development tools, computing platforms, database management systems, middleware, management and monitoring tools—almost everything in IT. AI is even being used to improve AI.

One of the biggest reasons why employing AI will be so critical this year is that doing so will likely be unavoidable. AI is being built into security tools and services of all kinds, so it’s time to change our thinking around AI’s role in enterprise security. Where it was once an exotic option, it is quickly becoming a mainstream necessity.

As trends in Machine Learning shift from testing and isolated use cases to gaining widespread adoption, the algorithms will continue to improve. By the very nature of Machine Learning, the more data that the algorithms have access to, the more they will continue to adjust. The applications in the real world will provide better testing potential than what could occur in a technology lab or research center.

Along with the industry-level experience, applications of Machine Learning will also rise and fall as businesses learn where they can benefit most. Again, not every business will succeed in implementing Machine Learning. As with any emerging technology, there are pros and cons, and it will take time and trial and error to adjust.

Conversations about the ethics of Artificial Intelligence have already begun and will continue. The power of Machine Learning can bring unintended consequences such as data discrimination. Thankfully, awareness and acknowledgment of these issues can lead to beneficial solutions, even turning the tables and being used as a force for good. Another hot topic in the tech world is data privacy. The newest trends in Machine Learning have led to improvements in targeted marketing, but some aren’t convinced that this personalization is worth the targeted results since users must sacrifice a bit of their privacy. As the adoption of Machine Learning continues to increase, so will the conversations regarding implementation and use.