Technology is evolving faster than ever and companies need to keep up to avoid being left behind. Future-focused companies can seek out ways to innovate by implementing four of the technologies that are expected to have the greatest impact on business in the coming year.
We are currently in the throes of the technology-driven 4th Industrial Revolution and technological innovation is occurring at a rate that has never been witnessed before. Keeping one step ahead of the technological curve has never been more important. We look at four of the most important tech trends for business in 2020.
The 5G network is already available in some locations and its bigger bandwidth is providing super-fast connections for a smoother internet user experience. Implementation of 5G networks is expected to intensify in 2020.
The fifth-generation cellular network technology, known as 5G, reduces latency, improving the efficiency of online tasks, which are so often affected by slow connections. This, in turn, offers the potential to improve the speed and efficiency of businesses processes and ease of connection between teams in different locations.
The launch of 5G networks across the globe is expected to create 22 million jobs and provide some US$3.5 trillion in revenue by 2035, according to a study by Qualcomm. Leveraging this speed and improved user experience will be key for companies to take a slice of this pie in 2020.
Augmented reality blends the virtual world with the real world to enhance the things we see, hear and feel and provide users with a more immersive experience. This technology is being incorporated into a wide range of applications such as medical and classroom training, retail, design and modelling, the tourism industry and a range of other sectors.
International Data Corporation research points to global revenues of US$162 billion for Augmented and Virtual Reality-driven tech in 2020 so this trend also translates into serious income. Huge industry player including Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are making significant investments in AR as users who use mobile devices that are able to support it hit 1.5 billion worldwide in May 2019.
Artificial Intelligence, often simply called AI, is where people skills and technology meet. With AI, software mimics human interaction as most of have experienced with Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistants. We may not be entirely aware of it but AI is already incorporated into the smart devices we use on a daily basis and in 2020 that will only increase.
By 2025 the global AI market is expected to be worth over US$60 billion, up from just US$1.6 billion in 2016. According to the Wall Street Journal AI is expected to have a “profound effect on our jobs, health and possibly our very existence. But that’s where the consensus ends.”
AI-based software can take over almost any routine task, meaning that it will likely replace many jobs, increase business productivity by up to 40%, according to Accenture, an essentially changing the nature of work as we now understand it.
Blockchain is a list of encrypted records that enhances data security. Recent concerns about data storage and use by large corporations is driving the trend for using blockchain to decentralise data ownership.
Blockchain technology was first, and most famously, used to secure Bitcoin transactions, but its applications are more far reaching than just cryptocurrencies. Its current functions include smart contracts, securing digital assets and supply chain management, all segments in which complex processes ad sensitive data need to be protected in the most transparent and secure way possible.
By 2023 the world blockchain tech market is expected to grow to US$23.3 billion with financial companies at the forefront of the uptake.