Whenever a new year rolls around, I always like to look back – and look forward. I did some looking back on 2019 in my Thanksgiving post, so now I’m taking a look forward with a roundup of some of the technology forecasts I’ve been reading about for the past couple of weeks. They’re from a number of different sources, and vary from high level market trends to forecasts about very specific technologies. In no particular order, here are the first ten of the twenty trends that caught my eye:
These actually go beyond 2020, and most begin with “by 202x”, but 2020 is a springboard year for all things digital. Here’s an interesting one: “By 2023, IDC predicts, over half (52%) of global GDP will be accounted for by digitally transformed enterprises.” And here’s how it’s going to happen:
Hasten to Innovation: IDC predicts that the majority of Information and Communications Technology “spending will be directly for digital transformation and innovation.” This will nearly double the spend in 2018, and will result in all that digital transformation that they’re predicting.
Connected Clouds: Those digitally transformed enterprises will be managing their clouds, both public and private, “by deploying unified hybrid/multicloud management technologies, tools and processes.” (And things will be happening at the edge, not in corporate datacenters.)
Industry Apps Explosion: If global GDP is going to be all about things digital, this will mean an explosion of digital apps. IDC forecasts there’ll be more than 500 million of them, “most of those targeted at industry specific digital transformation use cases.”
Inescapable AI: A lot of those apps will be using AI. “By 2025, at least 90% of new enterprise apps will embed AI; by 2024, over 50% of user interface interactions will use AI-enabled computer vision, speech, natural language processing and AR/VR.”
From IT ProPortal, where CTO’s had their say (beyond the inevitable ubiquitous AI):
Entertainment will be reinvented. This will come about “through enhanced experience-specific service architectures that support better multi-modal experience design.” These design improvements will include those in the realm of “extended reality and super channel convergence.”
DNA computers, or at least quantum computers. This actually scares the folks at IT ProPortal. If quantum computers can outperform super-computers by orders upon orders of magnitude, it’s a matter of time before someone uses one of those quantum computers to crack the code of even the most sophisticated and complex encryption algorithms. But not to worry too much: “this scenario is still a long way off, quantum-proof encryption services are already popping up.” Phew.
With 2020 being the year of 5G, “it will also be the year rich mobile vision and voice interfaces become the norm.” A bit of local bragging rights here: Syracuse is one of the first cities that will be adopting 5G (from Verizon). “The nearly real-time speeds of 5G will also continue to fuel the rise of haptic interfaces, which transmit the physical sense of touch, stretching them out of just entertainment and into more mainstream applications.” Life is about to get even more interesting…
From Entrepreneur: AI (of course). 5G (of course). And also:
Mobile Commerce: This has been coming on for some time, as more and more people use their smartphone as their computer, as the interfaces have improved, and as security measures have improved. But it’s not just mobile online shopping. Brick and mortar stores, fast food restaurants, any number of spots are encouraging cash- and credit-card free commerce. Just hold up your smartphone and you’re all paid up. Many younger folks no longer carry cash. (I guess it goes without saying that I still do.)
The Decline of APPs. I guess for every prediction, there’s a counter prediction. While IDC foresees a proliferation of apps, Entrepreneur sees the decline. Well, they don’t really see a decline in applications. They see a decline in downloaded apps, as more apps end up in the cloud. Or replaced by Progressive Web Apps, which are an app-like experience that seems a lot like an app by another name (and design).
Alternative-Cryptocurrency Collapse. Bitcoin won the cryptocurrency wars, and now have 69% market share. But the jury’s still out on whether Bitcoin is ever going to become “the future of money.” Then there’s blockchain, which is more likely to become an accepted way of doing business with “more practical applications in healthcare, asset management and intellectual property in 2020.”
In my next edition, I’ll take a look at what the IEEE Computer Society has to say about 2020.