The Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2020

by Nov 6, 2019

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To quote Gartner, “Technology is now on the cusp of moving beyond augmentation that replaces a human capability and into augmentation that creates superhuman capabilities.” What boundaries can we push when we consider not just how technology makes life livable but noticeably enhanced? The trend we have seen technology moving in isn’t creating for the sake of it but considering the human aspect first.

Hyper-automation

While automation isn’t new, using a combination of edge technologies that span across a range of tools that can be automated is called ‘hyper-automation’. It also refers to the sophistication of the automation (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess.) Hyper-automation often results in creating a digital twin of the organization (DTO), allowing organizations to visualize how functions, processes and key performance indicators interact to drive value.

Multi-experience

Much like an ambient experience, multi-experience focuses more on the use of AR, VR, and Voice to create immersive experiences. It’s the idea that there are multiple points of interaction a computer can use to create and enhance the experience.

Democratization

A huge push we’ve seen that will continue into 2020 is providing people with easy access to technical or business expertise without extensive (and costly) training. It focuses on four key areas — application development, data and analytics, design and knowledge.

Human augmentation

Physical augmentation changes an inherent physical capability by implanting or hosting a technology within or on the body and falls into four main categories: Sensory augmentation (hearing, vision, perception), appendage and biological function augmentation (exoskeletons, prosthetics), brain augmentation (implants to treat seizures) and genetic augmentation (somatic gene and cell therapy). Understandably, this technology carries huge ethical implications as many genetic therapies have for years.

Transparency and traceability

As consumers have become more educated on how their data is collected and used, organizations have realized that they must stay ahead of the curve to keep consumer trust. As AI and ML are increasingly used to make decisions in place of humans, evolving the trust crisis and driving the need for ideas like explainable AI and AI governance.

The empowered edge

Edge computing is where information processing, content collection, and delivery are placed closer to those sources, with the idea that keeping traffic locally distributed will reduce latency. This includes all the technology on the Internet of Things (IoT). Empowered edge looks at how these devices are increasing and forming the foundations for smart spaces, and moves key applications and services closer to the people and devices that use them.

The distributed cloud

Distributed cloud allows data centers to have locations anywhere, but the provider remains control. This solves both technical issues like latency and regulatory challenges like ownership.

Autonomous things

Autonomous things, which include drones, robots, ships, and appliances, use AI to perform tasks usually done by humans. This technology operates on a spectrum of intelligence ranging from semiautonomous to fully autonomous and across a variety of environments including air, sea, and land. While most autonomous things work in isolated settings, the futures sees them as not only existing in public spaces but also interacting together.

Practical blockchain

Blockchain allows parties to trace assets back to their origin, which is beneficial for traditional assets, as it serves as a digital transaction record. It also has other uses, such as tracing food-borne illnesses back to the original supplier. It can allow two or more parties who don’t know each other to interact in a digital environment safely and exchange value with no centralized authority.

AI Security

With quickly evolving technologies such as autonomous things that use AI to create transformative experiences, there is an ever-increasing chance for security vulnerabilities. Being aware of how to expect these challenges involves:

  • Protecting AI-powered systems
  • Leveraging AI to enhance security defense
  • Expecting nefarious use of AI by attackers

These trends don’t exist in isolation; technology leaders must decide what combination of these trends will drive the most innovation and make sense for their strategy.

Laura Pierce Little

Laura Pierce Little

Laura graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a degree in Creative Advertising. With a decade of experience working in both B2C and B2B brands she’s passionate about authentic narratives, finding what a brand believes in and figuring out how to best translate that to consumers. Currently, she serves as a committee member for RVA/Tech to help create policy for a more inclusive tech community.