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RingCentral 2020 Predictions: 5G, App Simplicity and Quantum Computing on the Rise

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Curtis Lee Peterson, SVP, Cloud Operations at RingCentral

5G, App Simplicity and Quantum Computing on the Rise

As each new year begins, there is usually a general consensus among tech experts as to what the hot trends will be for the coming year. However, the hype often outweighs the reality of how many businesses actually listen and implement these new technologies. We only have so many resources to go around and we're often left wondering what are the tech trends that we really need to pay attention to in order to remain competitive in our respective industries as we begin the new year. So this year, I wanted to share my own insight into what I believe is the overhyped prediction, accurate prediction, underhyped prediction and finally, the wildcard prediction for 2020: 

Overhyped Prediction: The State of Edge Computing 

In simple terms, edge computing encompasses the generation, collection, and analysis of data where the data is generated. The edge computing market is expected to value at $3.24 billion by 2025 and in many ways, edge computing has become the new "cloud". The perception is that now businesses have moved all their data and content to the cloud. However, some time-sensitive items that require compute are located too far away, so in this case, we have to build data centers closer to our location. In 2020, the reality is that most organizations are still in the process of moving to the cloud, and the need for edge computing is only relevant to a small number of use cases (i.e. where compute needs to be under 10 miles away). One example is the use of a robotic controller for eye surgery. For these unique cases, we can place both in the physical room for now.

Accurate Prediction: 5G Momentum 

5G has been hyped to be the next evolution of wireless technology. It promises near gigabit per second speeds, better use of radio spectrum, less latency on the network, and the ability to "slice" the network into different use cases. For example, part of the network can be utilized for real time apps, and another part for streaming, and another part for IoT devices. Today, 5G has lived up to the hype. In comparison, how do you feel when you are trying to get some stuff done on your phone with the giant 3G logo at the top? It can even take a few seconds for a text to go through. 5G is twice as good as the switch from 3G to 4G/LTE and once you get a taste of how good 5G can be, you will be cursing your LTE coverage. Realizing the full potential of 5G and faster internet speeds will not only make businesses more efficient, but will also change how society operates altogether. By taking steps forward in 2020, we are that much closer to realizing advancements in technology-including autonomous driving, connected smart homes and communities and even healthcare technology.

Underhyped Prediction: Application Anarchy

The widespread availability of devices has led to the anarchy of applications - we now have an app for almost everything. While the ‘bring your own device' trend has been largely successful for those CIOs that have successfully modernized their organizations, the ability to download and run any app on any device has also been a nightmare for the CIO in terms of security and compliance. The current hype for this trend is almost nonexistent, but the tsunami is coming.  

People are already tired of having too many apps and are deleting them from their personal lives. We simply don't need as many (with the exception of Angry Birds). When we consider communication apps, the fatigue gets even worse. Since the average person can only maintain about 150 relationships (according to the Dunbar number theory), does the average person really need FaceTime, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Viber, etc.? In the workplace it's even worse. People usually have hundreds of connections. You often can't remember which app you need to continue any given conversation. In terms of tech trends, app simplicity will be the silent winner in 2020. Did you notice that the flashlight app is already missing from your new iPhone?  

Wildcard Prediction: Quantum Computing Gains Ground

Quantum Computing is a complex technology that had been predicted to take years to come to market, but suddenly has gained momentum and will continue to gain ground in 2020. In simple terms, it's a way of encoding and correlating information at a massive scale. It replaces our binary computing with just 1's and 0's with a third option: Schrodinger's Cat. Well, really it's called quantum superposition, but the bottom line is, this is an unimaginable leap in compute capability. In 2020, we are the precipice of full scale quantum computing (for at least a few). If this becomes a reality, it will be the end of the world as we know it or at least the end of security as we know it. If fully realized, quantum computing has the potential to change the way we communicate and how we protect data and ultimately can change the entire cybersecurity landscape.  


About the Author

Curtis Lee Peterson, SVP, Cloud Operations at RingCentral 

Curtis Peterson 

Curtis Peterson has 25 years of experience managing information technology and carrier-scale data and packet voice communication networks. At companies ranging in size from startups to Fortune 500 firms, Curtis has managed teams responsible for engineering, project management, operations, data security, network security, data center, carrier operations, and internet backbone design and operation.

Curtis has been a pioneer in VoIP services in the business communications space and has been developing, launching, and operating Class 4 VoIP and customer-facing hosted PBX systems since 2002.

Published Monday, December 02, 2019 7:26 AM by David Marshall
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