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THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
2020 will see a fresh class of technology trends ready to take over the digital transformation journey. We've put together the 10 major digital transformation trends that we believe will make the most impact this year.
Everything-as-service will gain an even stronger position in 2020 than it did last year, even in the most hardware-driven industries of technology. Hewlett Packard Enterprise have announced that they will offer everything in their portfolio as a service by 2022. In addition all of the om-perm providers are moving towards this particular direction.
As we continue to see a significant evolution of onsite, offsite, cloud, hybrid etc., “big IT” is expected to move on premises as a service along with data analytics and blockchain. XaaS has been building its foundations for a couple of years now, but 2020 is expected to be the year when it goes completely mainstream.
User Experience and Customer Experience
As digital transformation is strongly tied up to user and customer experience (UX/CX), this emphasis will continue to drive companies’ investments in digital transformation. From one perspective this is specifically true as companies are increasingly transitioning from developing internal competencies and improving efficiency when executing their vision.
On the other hand, improvements on connectivity (5G, WiFi6), Compute capabilities (cloud, edge, AI and machine learning), smart automation (RPA) and intuitive interfaces (conversational Aim gesture analysis, AR) will combine and make 2020 a crucial year for UX and CX across many different industries including: retail, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, etc.
Digital data privacy
Thanks in part to the numerous failures of tech companies, the establishment of EU GDPR and the growing calls to impose control on technology leader companies, we are expecting to see more companies finally getting serious about data privacy and security issues in 2020.
Many companies are likely to adopt privacy and transparency as a brand differentiator, allowing users to opt in or out of data collection approaches easier than ever. The big question is whether companies like Amazon (via Alexa), Google (via Google Home) and Facebook will imply changes to their data privacy and security issues. Furthermore, there is a huge opportunity for high tech companies like Dell, IBM, Cisco and HPE to develop meaningful structures around data security and privacy leading to a digital privacy renaissance in 2020.
Whilst well known, more mature foundational technology will continue growing as a crucial part of the digital transformation process, (especially in the enterprise field), the following trends are expected to gain significant popularity and even dominate digital transformation discussions and inform on trajectory of successful digital transformation process.
5G networks for everyone
2020 will be the year when 5G completely takes over! With some of the biggest names in the telecommunication industry ensuring that global 5G deployments stay on track and with many of them already releasing 5G phones, 5G is expected to hit the ground running in 2020.
Along with the advantages of faster broadband speed and more reliable mobile networks, 5G will bring significant benefits and advancements for smart cities, smart vehicles, smart manufacturing and IoT. Therefore, the true value of 5G will not only be limited to phone, but to almost every industry that plays a part in our daily lives, ensuring that they are transformed for the better.
WiFi 6 for a faster world
Although 5G and WiFi 6 are two completely different technologies, both will provide us with much faster networks and wireless connection speeds in 2020. A collaboration between 5G and WiFi 6 will create the perfect end to end combination of ultra-fast connectivity for office and home. Not only will the download speed be 3x faster than WiFi 5, but it will allow extending faster data speed to many more devices than WiFi 5 was ever able to manage.
This is of crucial importance because of two main reasons: firstly, the number of connected devices (on average WiFi network is predicted to grow from 10 currently to 50 in the next few years) which will require faster, more efficient and smarter WiFi capabilities. Secondly, the quality and volume of data consumed through WiFi networks are drastically increasing and WifI5 is failing to handle the load. WiFi 6 will eliminate all of these pain points.
Smart cities, connected vehicles and autonomous drones – our new reality!
These have all been very hot topics around the tech industry in the past years and yet we’re still not completely there! However, with the combination of 5G and edge compute it’s expected that it will bring us significantly closer to smart cities and truly autonomous cars and drones in 2020.
Tesla undoubtedly is one of the first big names in bringing this technology to life, however, there are many close strategic relationships being built between automotive manufacturers and technology leaders to finally bring these long-promised technologies to the real world. Companies like BMW/Volvo/Ford are partnering up with Intel/Nvidia/Qualcomm, whilst Uber is building their autonomous fleet and Amazon is working on ways to ship deliveries to your door via autonomous drones.
ACPC drastically transforming the laptop market
Today we are always connected via smartphones, tablets and laptops, however we still need PCs that can always stay connected as well. Hence, we will start to see a significant expansion of ACPCs in 2020 with already built in 5G and LTE connectivity. Furthermore, we will see some smart business partnerships follow suit, with the aim to see multi day battery life in 2020, making laptops truly portable at long last!
Analytics are a powerful competitive advantage
It is essential to collect customer data, process it and turn it into insight for any company willing to remain competitive. Flying blind and following your gut are no longer effective options when every other business is leveraging sophisticated analytics tools to identify problems, opportunities and solutions.
That’s why we are seeing a significant consolidation of analytics tools across the tech world, from Salesforce offering Tableau, to Microsoft developing their own Power Platform. Every major company, regardless of their industry, has already realised that the future is in data in particular the real-time processing of it and therefore are investing more with the aim to create a stronger more competitive advantage in 2020.
AI and Machine Learning – a vital part of data analytics
If you have decided to invest in analytics, you may also want to consider investing in AI and machine learning so that you can easily navigate the vast, churning seas of data and put it to good use. The true value of AI and machine learning regarding data analytics is defined into three areas: speed, scale and convenience. Speed and scale are factors delivered through automating analysis of massive data sets.
This is not because the computers have become faster and better, but rather because machine learning and AI algorithms have been improved for greater data analysis which can be easily scaled in the cloud. The convenience factor, on the other hand is referring to AI’s and machine learning’s addition making them intuitive, easy to use and very reliable. As good as they were getting in 2019, their speed and accuracy is expected to increase significantly in 2020.
There are still a lot of improvements with Siri to be done in order to reach the stage where you can craft a decent chat message by voice-to-text. However, it is believed that this year we will see some useful form of conversational AI. From the software side, projects like Microsoft Conversational AI are working hard to build product platforms that not only can hear correctly human speech, but also can follow complex conversation and identify the nuances of emotions.
Furthermore, SOCs and chipsets developed specifically for smartphones are becoming extremely good at isolating human speech from noisy backgrounds and processing natural language in real time. Although, we are not expecting to see radical improvements in everyday consumer tech in 2020, it is believed that this will be the year when the foundations of reliable conversational AI will be solidified.
Blockchain evolves beyond cryptocurrency
Many experts have argued that blockchain was overrated in 2019. However, in 2020 we expect to finally see the meaningful value of blockchain beyond cryptocurrency. A great example is the Amazon Web Service where blockchain technology is democratised with their subscription based on blockchain-as-a-service platform. In addition, other global leaders like IBM, Alibaba, Microsoft and Samsung are also adopting this approach. Hence, we are starting to see the true value of the technology beyond payments and cryptocurrency.
We are expecting 2020 to be the start of a renaissance for blockchain with more companies in real estates, intellectual properties and food safety adopting the technology.
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Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.David Beebe, TV Producer