Whether you’re ready or not, the future is here. 2015 was not the cutting-edge utopia imagined in Back to the Future II - unfortunately, no flying DeLoreans… yet. Though five years later, 2020 is poised to be packed with revolutionary tech trends fundamentally changing the way that people do business. From reaching new clients, expanding brand recognition, or completely reshaping an entire corporate business model, it’s clear that technology is collectively shaping the future of industries around the world in a variety of ways.
When 4G networks replaced 3G, the DNA of mobile communication was forever changed. Sharing pictures and videos immediately became a staple way to share information with one another. 4G played a key role in amplifying the adoption rate of social media, connecting millions of users to create an intricate network designed to share opinions, entertain one another, and remain in the loop about what’s happening at any given time around the world.
5G builds on what 4G – and 4G LTE as well as 4G LTE-A – laid down. Gigabit internet speeds – 1000mbps – will soon expand the user’s ability to both share and receive data as well as the stability of their networks. The impact of this on businesses cannot be understated – faster data transfers, more reliable video conferences, and greater connection to ideal clients are all elements primed to enhance businesses through the advent of this new technology.
As developers begin to experiment with the power of 5G, even more ways to make use of this data superhighway will emerge to create an even more connected world – both personally and professionally.
You may not even realize it, but AI – artificial intelligence – is already baked into most of our everyday lives. From social media feeds to digital assistants from leading tech giants, the power of artificial intelligence is already pushing society further along the digital continuum. The power of AI in business is being explored, but 2020 will showcase its potential in a variety of ways. Whether it be hiring the newest employee, organizing and indexing the warehouse, or predicting corporate financial reports, artificial intelligence is poised to offload work for leaders and employees and accomplish more through the power of data analysis and machine learning.
Working in tandem with artificial intelligence, automation is poised to have its largest year of growth on record. Many industries have already been transformed while some are in the midst of a metamorphosis, implementing the power of AI to create a hybrid workflow before investing completely in the technology itself. Inventory management, financial reporting, scheduling, payroll – these have already felt the impact of automation. 2020 will showcase a stronger marriage between automation and technology as can be seen through Amazon’s cashier-less convenience store and automated warehouse packing machines.
For businesses, automation creates less work and allows the business owner to focus on other areas of growth that will better boost the business. Automated systems eliminate the need for workers to stay tuned in to every order and ticket, instead allowing for more investment in innovation and optimization.
Internet of (Every)Things
If you’re reading a blog about technology, then you probably already have a personal assistant. Not someone who schedules your meetings and lets you know when your palates class is, but a digital personal assistant. Whether you’re asking Siri about the weather, querying Google about the latest stats for your favorite team, or telling Alexa to set your alarm for 6am, many of us have become dependent on digital assistants.
In 2020, businesses are going to leverage that dependence and use it to their advantage. For marketers, the ability to order by voice directly through Amazon creates an incredibly valuable opportunity to push more product. Businesses creating podcasts reflecting their industry insights will utilize podcast capabilities built into many smart devices, spreading their message (and their products and services) to millions around the world. In-house business optimizations, like voice-controlled schedule management and meeting reminders, will improve the flow of every workday.
While these are all intuitive tools, the synergy between devices is what makes AI-powered smart devices something truly special. Manufacturers are creating light switches, light bulbs, microwaves, coffee pots, and so many other devices natively compatible with smart hubs to add a touch of automation to every part of our lives. In short, the power of digital assistants and interconnectivity between devices cannot be understated both in your home and at the office.
Mobile App Revolution
Applications and their many subscriptions have already shaken up many aspects of our lives. Eating, dating, shopping, and transportation have all been revolutionized by Uber Eats, Tinder, Amazon, and Lyft respectively to condense our to-dos down to the point where anything we need is there with just a few swipes.
Business are already capitalizing on our attachment to our phones, but that won’t stop even more growth in 2020. Designing a streamlined and stylish user experience has completely changed the banking world, modernizing age-old names in the industry and introducing new contenders that emerge because of the digital transformation alone. More industries will experience a similar shift, creating full-featured mobile experiences for the estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users spending nearly six hours per day on their phones according to a 2019 study.
These trends are just a few of the dozens, if not hundreds, that will have an impact on businesses and the people that they serve throughout the year. Some new technological innovations will have a profound impact on present and future business models while many will fade as their trendiness wanes. However, regardless of the longevity of any trend, a business wanting to stay ahead of the competition should have their finger on the pulse of the tech industry.