2020 is the decade of unprecedented advancements. Looking back at the beginning of the 21st century, technology was not that prominent and half the things we use nowadays did not exist — iPhone, 4G, Twitter, Facebook, and many such products and services were unheard of. But today we have embraced technology in all aspects of life and 2020 brings the promise of such metamorphic technology advances that will change the way we live, work and socialise.
According to industry analyst, research and consulting firm Gartner, a strategic technology trend is one that is beginning to break out of a nascent stage and moving into the field of broader impact and use, or, it can be the one which is growing exponentially and will reach its tipping point in the coming 5 years. The technological advancements to look forward to in the year 2020 have been broadly classified into two categories: people-centric and smart spaces, keeping in mind the point of impact and the manifestation of these advancements.
First, let us look at the most impactful People-Centric trends of 2020:
Remember those spy movies where you can see holographic images and data that is floating in the air and is not limited to a screen, well that is multi-experience for you. It is the massive shift from the two-dimensional keyboard and screens to a much more dynamic and immersive interface that is multi-modal. Multi-experience currently focuses on immersive experiences that use augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, multi-channel human-machine interfaces, and sensing technologies. AI-enabled conversation platforms are changing the way we perceive technology and interaction digitally. This trend will become an ambient experience.
It is the application of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to automate processes and tasks for better delivery of work in a record amount of time and also more efficiently. Hyper-automation requires a combination of tools to help support replicating pieces where a human is involved in the task. It not only refers to the tools but also to the steps of automation: Discover, analyze, automate, measure, monitor, and reassess. This trend kicked off with robotic process automation (RPA) but will see growth with the combination of process intelligence, content intelligence, AI, OCR, and other innovative technology.
Transparency and Traceability
The more data we have online, the more are the chances for the data to be misused. Customers have been looking for the control they need to feel safe while sharing information online. Many are recognizing the increasing risk of securing and managing personal data. Governments are implementing strict laws on cybersecurity to make sure that digital ethics and privacy is not compromised. But since most of the work is slowly moving towards being governed by AI and does not need human interaction, this trend needs to be looked at with some governance. The focus will be on maintaining and securing integrity, openness, and consistency with data online.
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Let us see what we have in the Smart Spaces category:
Blockchain has been around for some time, but the deployment has not been groundbreaking due to some backlogs in the technology. Blockchain has the potential to streamline processes and industries by enabling trust, providing transparency, empowering value exchange across business ecosystems, potentially lowering costs, reducing transaction settlement times and improving cash flow and the movement of materials. As complementary technologies such as AI and the IoT have begun to integrate, blockchain will see tremendous growth in the enterprise.
The empowered edge
Edge computing is the computing topology in which information processing, data collecting, and delivery are kept close to the sources and consumers of this information. It tries to keep the traffic and processing local to reduce latency, exploit the capabilities of the edge and enable greater autonomy at the edge. According to Garner, edge computing will become a dominant factor across all industries as the edge is empowered with more storage capacity and sophisticated computing resources. This will extend the role of devices as the basis for smart spaces and will move key applications and services closer to the people and devices that use them.
The distributed cloud
This is nothing but a shift in the location of the cloud. The cloud is expanding and hence becoming distributed. The public cloud services have been distributed to different locations and the originating public cloud provider takes responsibility for the operation, governance, updates, and evolution of the services. This is a significant shift from the centralised model of cloud services and is expected to bring a new era in cloud computing.
Authored by Aravind Kumar Rajendran, CEO of Academic Initiatives, KGiSL Institute of Technology.
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