The journey of business technology has taken a radical turn over the last few years. The Paris agreement has driven ever-growing momentum in sustainability, automation, and clean energy production. With 2020 coming to an end, we look at some of next year’s most exciting technological trends to watch.
1. 5G technology
5G technology is fast emerging as the next evolution in global communications. As the IoT becomes more prevalent in the commercial landscape, the need for higher bandwidth, download speeds, and data transfer will rise to meet growing capacity.
2. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence represents a kind of swiss army knife for the future. Since it can apply narrowly to an increasing number of domains – proving especially useful in manufacturing – it has the potential to improve efficiency across every sector. In addition, automation of vehicles will improve road safety and automation of factories will drastically increase their output. It’s hard to imagine a technology that could be more transformational to our society than AI.
Augmented Reality reflects an issue that Elon Musk has referred to as the ‘bandwidth issue’. The major obstacle between a human mind and the computational power of a computer is the interface. Specifically, how we receive and transfer data between our brains and the device or cloud. Augmented Reality glasses will be an important first step in closing this gap as it will allow us to interact with data more directly and whilst we are on the move.
No doubt this will also have applications beyond commercial enterprises, for example as a learning aid in schools and hospitals.
4. Cloud distribution software
Distribution software oversees a vast array of different business critical functions. Among these are departments like accounting, customer service, sales and supply chain management. Cloud distribution software refers to the next logical step in this technology. Housing such software on the cloud grants the immediate benefit of making both data and control accessible to any device with an internet connection. The double benefit of security and accessibility makes it hard to imagine that cloud distribution software won’t spread rapidly next year.
Customer data platforms (CDP) are an answer to the old complaint of having fifteen different passwords across forty five different product sites. CDPs seek to consolidate this data from multiple disparate sources, clean it, and create a single unified customer profile. Once on the database, the CDP becomes accessible from multiple other systems. In a way, CDPs offer a similar benefit to cloud distribution which is the ease of access to important and sensitive information.
6. Enterprise Risk Management ERM
After the radical economic consequences of coronavirus, enterprise risk management (ERM) is likely to take centre stage in 2021. Both in software form and in terms of legislative frameworks developed by commercial firms themselves. 2020 has been a wake up call for ERM. Moreover, the pandemic has exposed many supply chains as being much more fragile than first assumed. The encroaching challenges of climate change mean that business leaders will be forced to engage more closely with ERM to ensure their long-term survival.
7. Electric vehicles
The global electric vehicle market is ready to explode. The market enjoyed a 40% year on year growth from 2018 to 2019. Now companies are being pressured for greater specificity on their carbon emissions. As a result, commercial transport is more likely than ever to join the consumer electric vehicle market, turning it into one of the major tech trends of 2021.
8. Quantum computing
Like AI, quantum computing is a black box of potential since it has the ability to calculate in ways that the human brain cannot. Since data gathering and processing underpins all decision-making, speed, quantity, and accuracy are king. While we are probably a few years from their widespread use, several companies are already discussing the concept of ‘quantum supremacy’. Referring to a point at which a quantum computer can make calculations hundreds or thousands of times faster than a regular supercomputer. At this point, a regular desktop becomes equivalent to riding the Tour de France on a unicycle. As such, quantum research and development will continue and likely proceed at an exponential pace in the years to come.
9. Zero trust security
Zero trust security is an oddly fitting tech trend to follow the year of coronavirus. The reason for this is that zero trust refers to security that assumes danger exists both inside and outside of closed systems. Cybersecurity Ventures 2017 report estimated that cybercrime would have a global cost of $6 trillion by next year. The zero trust framework essentially challenges users at every stage to qualify their clearance for sensitive data. Since cloud computing and storage, automation, and deep learning are becoming more prevalent, data breaches will become more costly. It is likely that companies will turn to the zero trust framework to rebalance this risk.
At t-mac, we take pride in being ahead of the curve in anticipating both the trends of our industry and the needs our clients. The t-mac platform is designed with the future in mind, being able to adapt to new and emerging software and hardware in order to remain valuable to our customers long after installation. To find out more about our platform and services, get in touch.