Before we know it, trends in technology are evolving so much and so quickly that predictions change annually.
The consistent development in technology inevitably leads to faster progress, and the increasing demand for technology-based careers can be its witness. The shift in tech may not impact tech-related jobs immediately, but it certainly opens doors for new opportunities.
With it, IT professionals should adapt to the latest trends to be future-ready. What’s in it for you or your business?
Keeping in touch with the current trends can help you ensure the future of your career or your business. Learning and adapting is a survival trait in the cutthroat competition between companies.
Here are some trends in technology that businesses should follow to stay relevant and ahead in this fast-paced industry.
Even though the trend of autonomous things has been progressing for several years now, there are still a lot of things left to explore. Whether it’s cars, drones, or robots, autonomous objects can substitute and perform tasks that humans traditionally do —and most of the time, better.
These autonomous things have five types, namely: vehicles, robotics, drones, appliances, and agents that occupy sea, land, air and digital environments. These things can operate with varying degrees of capability, coordination, and intelligence.
Currently, there have been active research and release of self-driving cars. Aside from being used in the military, drones are also useful in digital productions and even farming and irrigation. Robots are deployed to serve various functions all over the world.
We need to explore the opportunities automated things have to offer. Aside from assisting day-to-day human activities, these can ease the quality of living and they can generally help in making our lives better.
Another trend that has been growing throughout the years is the AI-driven development. If the automated things sound a lot like science fiction accessory years before, then Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the pinnacle of it all.
Today, we refer to AI as the computer systems that are built to mimic human intelligence and to adapt human-like behaviours through performing tasks like image, speech, and pattern recognition, as well as decision-making.
Studies and research of AI have been ongoing for decades. But with the advancement in studies that constantly developed this tech, the slow progress gained traction again and made exponential growth in the last five years.
Aspects of AI development like machine learning, deep learning and automation, will only further efficiency, agility, and how we do work. That’s why it is imperative that companies and even individuals need to be conscious of these trends.
Businesses need to integrate automation in their processes to perform easier, faster, more efficient, and cheaper. Adapting the most recent technologies will definitely contribute to scaling and growing the company.
Automation (which is the main goal of AI-development) is a controversial topic for the potential global job loss and workforce displacements that we will face, especially in manufacturing and distribution.
McKinsey Global Institute reported that in 2030, as many as 73 million jobs in the US could be destroyed, but economic growth, productivity, and other elements of work can offset those losses.
But as it can potentially “destroy” jobs, it opens new ones that will be relevant in the next few years. Aside from the AI-oriented and development jobs, programming, testing, support, and maintenance will be in demand.
It’s not all gloom in AI because it will pave the way for new careers. There will still be a huge need for professionals and humans in the overall work process. AI experts predict there will be about 23 million AI-related new jobs by 2020. The need for this much workforce for AI may soon rival the demand of data scientists in the next few years.
Continuous development of immersive technologies will impact how we see the world. Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Augmented Reality (AR) will change how we interact with the world we live in.
VR takes users to a new, artificial environment, AR combines virtual objects on the real-world environment, and MR anchors both virtual objects to objects in reality and allows users to interact with them.
These immersive technologies are primarily observed in gaming and training simulations. The potential of these technologies is astounding and will be substantial in the near future in areas like gaming, entertainment, education, training, marketing, and even in medicine.
By 2022, a whopping 70% of enterprises globally will be exploring these technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and one-fourth of them will have deployed to production, according to Gartner.
The future is bright for VR, MR, and AR, especially when it’s been used for conversational platforms such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots. The enhanced sensory channels allow the platform to detect emotions and facial expressions, which creates a conversational and seamless user experience.
In the near future, immersive technologies can be combined and interconnected to a point where the experience transcends to various devices —from computers to cars.
Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Ethics
With data breaches and hacking attempts almost everywhere, more people are shifting their focus on cybersecurity and data privacy. Stricter government regulations and focus on data safety are employed, cybersecurity is in the spotlight of change this year.
In data breaches and cyberattacks, almost no one is virtually safe —governments and even the world’s largest tech giants have been victims of such attacks. Between 2017 to 2022, Cybersecurity Ventures projected exceeding US$1 trillion mark of global spending on cybersecurity.
In fact, Australia’s 2019 budget provided a government-wide “cyber uplift” and Cyber Security Response Fund to strengthen government websites and to assist cybercrime victims. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) even crafted eight essential steps for cybersecurity. Victorian Government has supported cybersecurity startups by A$450,000 in 2018.
Advancements in cybersecurity are being developed through various approaches:
- Hardware Authentication
- Cloud Technology
- Deep Learning
- Big Data and Behavioural Analytics and;
- DevSecOps Integration
With consumers, companies, and governments conscious about the value of information and data, ethics and trust will drive more efforts in ensuring data safety. Entities that cannot comply with new regulations and trust indicators risk their reputations and may become vulnerable to consumer backlash.
Gartner predicts that blockchain technology will create a US$3.1 trillion business value by 2030. Blockchain is an “expanding chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network.”
Simply put, blockchain is a type of distributed ledger and is a growing decentralised list of records (called blocks) that are linked via cryptography. It can be defined as the technology that allows “digital information to be distributed, but not copied. That means each individual piece of data can only have one owner.”
This makes blockchain a more secure approach in data, so it is used in cryptocurrencies and offers opportunities in medical data, financial services, smart contracts, and supply chain.
The blocks can be added to the chain but you cannot change previous data. Blockchains are also “consensus-driven” which guarantees that no one is solely taking control of the data.
Even when Gartner previously reported that only 1% of CIOs have adopted blockchain within their organisations in May 2018, the demand for blockchain specialists is continuously increasing. In fact, Techcrunch reported that it is the second-fastest-growing category of jobs, with a 14:1 ratio of openings per developer.
We need to look beyond what these tech trends are showing us. We need to look out and brace ourselves in these emerging technologies and how they will impact our work and our lives.
Forbes contributor Steve Andriole also lists some of the trends that are missing in the list and the trend that will likely become a significant contributor in businesses today and in the future.
With the Internet of Things and Big Data coming into play, we have tons of information available at the palm of our hands. This brings up the need for data scientists to prepare, analyse, and group data to draw conclusions in which organisations can use to solve their pain points and grow their businesses.
Given the seemingly infinite amount of data that could be analysed, considering all the possibilities becomes impossible. As Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” However, if data scientists miss out on key insights, it could be detrimental to businesses.
This is where augmented analytics comes in.
Augmented analytics is “a third major wave for data and analytics capabilities.” This is where data scientists utilise automated algorithms to explore more possibilities and to arrive at more hypotheses.
Augmented analytics are into identifying hidden patterns as it eliminates personal bias. This automated analysis will soon be embedded through enterprise applications.
Gartner predicts that in 2020, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated, which will increase productivity and broader use by citizen data scientists.
5G Connectivity and Wireless Technology
Andriole highlights the trend of wireless technology, especially 5G technology. In his article, he pointed out that many of Gartner’s findings depend on faster communications and interconnected devices.
He urged companies to carefully watch out on this trend especially in 2020. Many countries have already moved towards having improvement of 5G connections, and more governments are urged to build more smart cities.
Andriole also noted the ‘platform-itisation’ of these emerging technologies, turning them into service-oriented ventures. For example, this could be in the form of VR-as-a-service, IoT-as-a-service, AI-as-a-service and etc.
He predicts that cloud-provided services will be the “enablers, prototypers, innovation labs and more” of these up-and-coming service platforms.
All in all, these trends in technology should be on executives’ and organisations’ radar by now, as these trends will help them get the overview and trajectory of what will be relevant today and in the future.
Businesses need to adapt changes and transform their organisations to stay afloat and relevant among their competitors.
Tiffany Tolones is a content writer and a social media manager with experience in writing for media companies in the Philippines. She creates content for lifestyle, tech, and Korean-related niches.