With the fourth industrial revolution now in full swing, technology is moving faster than ever. What seemed like the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago is now a reality.
Understanding the key trends shaping the market will help you differentiate between the hype and the real thing that’s here to stay. It will also help you identify lucrative new opportunities. After all, business technology strategy isn’t something you do once — it’s an ongoing journey of innovation, which needs to be driven by the alignment between IT solutions and business goals. Watch out for the following technology trends in 2020.
#1. AI as a service
In discussions about enterprise technology, it’s never long before artificial intelligence (AI) enters the conversation. It’s undoubtedly one of the most promising developments of the last decade, and it’s safe to describe AI as a key driver of the new industrial revolution.
The biggest challenge with implementing AI is that it requires a great deal of computing power. What’s more, the resources required to run it increase with the more data you collect and the more processes you try to automate. In the age of ubiquitous connectivity and big data, it’s rarely long before workloads become impossible to handle when relying on in-house resources alone.
With the rise of AI as a service delivered over the cloud and drawing upon the computing power of large data centers, incorporating AI no longer has to be an expensive proposition.
#2. 5G data networks
With today’s workforce demanding a better work-life balance and companies wanting the freedom to tap into talent all over the country and beyond, the need for faster and more reliable mobile internet connectivity only continues to grow. 5G technology has been a long time coming, but 2020 will be the year when it starts rolling out to major urban centers around the world.
5G promises similar bandwidth and latency to that of fixed-line fiber optic broadband. This will make mobile networks every bit as useful for work and play as wired networks. For business, one of the most important implications of this trend is the exponential increase in the adoption of internet-connected smart devices ranging from autonomous cars to industrial control and monitoring systems.
#3. Extended reality
Extended reality is a catch-all term incorporating virtual, augmented, and mixed reality devices to create more immersive digital experiences. Although largely seen as consumer-facing techs particularly in the entertainment sector, extended reality has recently revealed some important opportunities in sectors as diverse as healthcare and real estate.
Although VR and AR have already been around for a few years, businesses are only just now starting to realize its full potential. For example, the first surgery using an AR headset has already been carried out. Meanwhile, in the manufacturing industry, AR can help improve worker safety and simplify maintenance routines by providing real-time information on the heads-up displays of the headsets. In real estate, VR headsets can provide immersive experiences of properties for sale or rent without clients having to visit in person. These are just a few of the exciting new opportunities we can expect businesses to tap into next year.
#4. Quantum computing
Finally, after being a topic of discussion among technologists and futurists for decades, quantum computing is gradually stepping out of the world of thought experiments and early prototypes and is becoming a viable technology. While you certainly won’t be replacing your desktop anytime soon with a quantum computer, the market for delivering such power over the cloud is steadily growing.
2020 will be the year when developing real-world use cases for quantum computing will make the most visible progress in decades. Already, experimental services are being delivered as cloud-based offerings to solve some of the most complex computing problems of all.
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