January 1st has kickstarted not just a new year but a new decade, and much has changed in the past 10 years.
From the launch of the iPad and Windows 10 to the introduction of the Amazon Echo (and Alexa), technology has revolutionised the way we live, as well as our expectations and demands for convenience, ease of access and transparency.
The next decade is set to be an exciting and interesting one, particularly for technology. Here are some positive and not–so–positive predictions about what to expect in the near future, according to industry experts:
1. Stream Wars
Netflix has reigned for many years as the king of digital streaming. However, the arrival of Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Disney+ and several others means competition is heating up amongst video streaming providers, all battling against their rivals to offer best content and value for money for customers.
2. 5G and Global Connectivity
5G will evolve rapidly throughout 2020 and beyond, with investments in 5G technologies set to rise. However, this will expose a more uneven landscape of mobile data accessibility around the world as networks in many developing countries are still mostly in 2G and 3G, with some only just catching up to 4G. As a result, seamless global connectivity will grow more complex and expensive and will become an expectation for many, creating significant challenges for manufacturers and businesses.
3. More Cyber Security Threats
One of the less positive predictions is that hacks, breaches and other significant cybercrime activities are likely to get worse across the globe in 2020 as hackers and criminals get smarter and gain access to better technologies. It is expected that small to medium–sized businesses will be targeted in particular as many still rely on traditional anti–virus software that isn’t designed to protect users against today’s smarter attacks.
4. Digital Trust
Consumers’ trust in the internet, brands and tech giants has diminished in recent years thanks to numerous incidents such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, data breaches against British Airways, Yahoo and Equifax and the fake news epidemic, to name a few. Additionally, since the implementation of GDPR in May 2018, people have begun to take their privacy more seriously, and are now starting to question how their personal data is being collected, stored, shared and used. It is expected that consent will become a priority for brands, business and browsers in years to come in order to rebuild the trust that has been lost.
5. Flexible and Remote Working Will Become the Norm
Collaboration and productivity tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Basecamp and many others are making it easier for individuals and teams to collaborate remotely with each other from different locations and on different devices, while flexible working is helping employees to achieve their lifestyle goals and reduce their stress levels. As a result, it is expected that more businesses will be open to enabling remote and flexible working as part of their company policies, giving them access to wider talent pools for recruitment while building a more satisfied and productive workforce.
With AI, blockchain and quantum tech, amongst others, predicted to have major breakthroughs as well, the list of predictions is endless. One thing is for sure – throughout this year and beyond, technology is set to continue transforming the world as we know it.