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Devolutions 2020 Predictions: Top 5 Technology Trends for 2020

VMblog Predictions 2020 

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

By Dérick St-Hilaire, Digital Marketing Specialist, Devolutions

Top 5 Technology Trends for 2020

As we embark on the century's third decade (doesn't it feel like just yesterday we were panicking about the Y2K bug?), here are five technology trends that we predict will shape 2020 - and set the pace and path for many years to come.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

For all of the mainstream hype and buzz, AI isn't new; in fact, it's been around for more than 60 years. But what is rapidly emerging - and what will continue to flourish in 2020 - is the massive array of practical ways that AI is being applied across commercial and consumer spaces. For example, AI is being leveraged to: personalize the online shopping experience; drive positive customer experience across multiple channels; generate in-the-moment market research; automate repeatable tasks; enable and educate smartphone personal assistants; optimize energy efficient offices and homes; and the list goes on.

What is perhaps most exciting is that we are just on the cusp of the AI Era. While less than a quarter of businesses have adopted AI services in their products and services, 83% of businesses say that AI is a current strategic priority - which explains why the global AI market is projected to reach $190 billion by 2025. 

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

When the topic turns to VR and AR, naturally the focus shifts to games, games and more games. But while the digital entertainment space is arguably the most accessible (and also the most fun!) hub for VR and AR innovation, it is by no means the only one. A growing number of sectors and industries are leveraging VR and AR for various purposes, such as teaching firefighters how to properly extinguish a blaze, envisioning proposed construction plans, enhancing the in-store shopping experience (which is great news for struggling brick-and-mortar retailers), and much more.

And for those who think that the entrance of VR and AR into the mainstream is still several years away due to cost and technological limitations, consider this: in 2020, an estimated 129.5 million people in the U.S. alone will experience AR and VR (both headset and non-headset).

Blockchain

Blockchain currencies such as Bitcoin have been in the headlines - both positively and negatively - for several years. However, blockchain is far more than a cryptocurrency play (although this aspect alone certainly qualifies it as a game-changing technology). Blockchain is essentially about amassing, organizing, securing and applying data outside of conventional frameworks to solve practical - in some cases profound - challenges. For example, medical researchers are exploring ways that blockchain can generate unprecedented insights into drug research and disease management; corporations are leveraging blockchain in "smart contracts" to optimize supply chains and lower costs; and food safety organizations are using blockchain for asset tracking to help with product recalls.

This is welcome news for blockchain evangelists, and a lucrative development for blockchain professionals. Indeed, blockchain-related occupations pay an average of $130,000 per year, and they are the second fastest-growing category of jobs. Plus, there's no slowdown in sight: by 2024, it's expected that corporations will spend $20 billion per year for blockchain technical services.  

Internet of Things (IoT)

Like all of the technologies discussed in this list, IoT has been around for a while in one form or another (e.g. soft drink companies have been remotely monitoring and controlling vending machine temperatures for decades). However, due to the exponential growth of virtual assistants, consumer interest in the world of IoT is skyrocketing - and everyone from appliance manufacturers to smartphone app developers to diaper companies have taken notice. The good news is that IoT promises to make life much cheaper and more convenient, efficient and enjoyable. The bad news is that some privacy experts worry that consumers are giving away too much information, effectively blurring the line between supportive vs. stalking technology.

Despite such privacy concerns, what isn't blurry at all is that IoT is going to be a huge factor in 2020 and beyond. In fact, by 2026, the global IoT devices market is projected to reach a staggering $1.1 trillion driven by more than 25 billion connected devices.  

Cybersecurity

Last but certainly not least, cybersecurity has emerged as more than just a risk and information security concern. It is now a fundamental operational business requirement - as vital to survival, success and growth as customers and capital. Yet despite this, an alarming number of organizations - especially SMBs - are still taking a wait-and-see approach to cybersecurity. Unfortunately for them, they may not get a chance to see much of anything considering that 60% of small businesses fold within six months of a cyber attack. To make matters worse, the threat isn't just coming from external cyber criminals, hackers and other bad actors. It's also coming from within, as 34% of data breaches involve internal rogue actors and 70% of end users don't understand basic cybersecurity.

In 2020, we expect to see much more of everything on the cybersecurity landscape: more threats, more hackers, more victims, more training and much more spending, with global spending on cybersecurity forecasted to reach $133.7 billion by 2022.

Looking Ahead

We don't claim to have a crystal ball that definitively reveals what the future has in store. However, we think it's a safe bet - or make that a foregone conclusion - that when we reach the end of 2020 and reflect back on the year, the technology trends above will define, drive and dominate the story in some ways that we can imagine, and in other ways that we cannot.  

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About the Author

Derick St-Hilaire 

As part of the Devolutions Marketing Team, Dérick St-Hilaire manages the company's social media pages, write blogs, and supports their community of IT pros. Being a geek and a tech enthusiast, Derick enjoys discussing and writing about tech news, movies, and of course, Devolutions' roster of products and solutions.
Published Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:25 AM by David Marshall
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