The Top Five Digital Trends That Will Shape Business Growth in 2020
Over the past decade, businesses have seen a series of new technologies transform how they operate. Some of the major technological advancements that have had a major impact on business operations include Cloud Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service, Artificial Intelligence (AI), The Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data. Many business strategists are considering whether these trends will continue into the next decade, or if we’re about to see a major change in direction.
In 2020 and beyond, we’re likely to see two things: further maturation of existing technology trends and the arrival of faster communication technology. As technologies mature, they’ll become available to a wider audience, and as communication technology improves, these new technologies will spread even faster. As a result, many organizations are faced with the dilemma of identifying the new digital trends which will be most beneficial to their business. Here are five of the most important digital trends that will impact businesses in 2020.
Faster Wi-Fi Will Accelerate Business Networks
The sixth generation of Wi-Fi connectivity will be entering the consumer market in 2020. Commonly called Wi-Fi 6, the official standard released by the IEEE is called 802.11ax. The new standard improves the speed of Wi-Fi connections by making it possible for Wi-Fi access points to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously.
Users experience slowdowns with the current Wi-Fi standard because access points can only communicate with one device at a time, which causes intractable bottlenecks when there are too many connected devices. Adding additional access points can help decrease these bottlenecks, but overlapping access points tend to interfere with each other.
Mobile devices will likely see four times the data throughput on the new standard compared to what is possible with today’s Wi-Fi standard. That includes both personal devices and Internet of Things devices that use Wi-Fi connections to communicate with the cloud or local servers.
The next generation of Wi-Fi will be a boon to companies that are currently limited in how many connected devices they can support. Possible ways to leverage this new technology include:
- Delivering better internet service in public spaces
- Enabling high throughput streaming apps such as virtual reality and video conferencing
- Supporting better internet service in high occupancy rooms like classrooms
5G Will Supercharge Data Speeds
Another major upgrade to connectivity speeds will come from the new 5G network standard. While 5G has yet to be deployed in Canada, it is already available in some cities in the US, and will be rolling out across the country over the next few years. ATT has been achieving 1 Gigabit speeds during trials in cities like Austin, TX. In addition to increased speed, 5G promises to reduce latency to under 10 milliseconds. Latency is a measure of how long it takes for a connection to be established and begin streaming data.
The benefits to businesses that will come along with widespread 5G include:
- Support for more connected devices, which will enable an expansion of the Internet of Things
- More reliable connections
- Very fast handshakes and low latency connections
- More connection points in a coverage area
These new capabilities will accelerate the development of burgeoning trends, such as smart cities and automated cars. Wearable technology will become connected over mobile networks, and financial and retail services will be able to leverage this as mobile transactions become even faster and easier. Manufacturing and logistics companies will find that massive IoT applications will become more practical, making it possible to connect transport fleets, shipments, and production floor equipment to the cloud.
Blockchain Will Enter the Mainstream
Blockchain was a buzzword when cryptocurrencies hit the news. It’s not the flashiest tech innovation, but many IT companies have been investigating and researching innovative ways to leverage blockchain for consumer use. New applications utilizing blockchain are likely to begin to appear on the market in the next couple years.
Possible applications of blockchain technology include:
- Transaction records for financial service companies
- Public sale records for mortgage and real estate
- Contract management for corporate legal agencies
- Insurance claims for consumers and businesses
- Privacy control for medical records
Data Analytics Will Provide Greater Competitive Advantages
Data Analytics technology isn’t a new trend, but it still hasn’t reached its full potential, and with the advances in artificial intelligence that are well underway, it stands to become much more sophisticated. As more customer and market data becomes available, and tools for managing huge data repositories become more powerful, it will be easier to use complex analytical tools.
Big Data and AI technology will give a significant boost to data analytics, and businesses will benefit in many ways:
- Lowered data storage costs across the enterprise
- Improved speed and accuracy of decision-making, based on in-depth analytics
- Faster development of new products and services to fill specific market needs
Cities Will Begin to Transform into Smart Cities
Perhaps the most exciting development that all of this technological advancement is making possible is smart cities. As 5G and improved Wi-Fi connectivity spread, it will become possible for entire cities to begin digitally transforming themselves. Cities are already utilizing technology in limited areas, such as public safety and traffic control. These efforts will accelerate in the next few years and become more widespread as their costs become manageable.
Cities that have embraced these new technologies and grown into smart cities will be attractive to entrepreneurs and companies that depend on technology to do business. What advantages will smart cities hold compared to traditional cities?
- Better services for tourists and residents
- Better internet, transportation, and other city services
- Greener and healthier urban environments
Keep an Eye on the Trends
With all the new digital trends popping up everyday, business organizations have no choice but to stay on the cutting edge of technology, or else risk losing to their competition. When technology trends threaten to leave businesses behind the curve, the best place to get sound advice is with tech experts such as Outsource IT. We can assess a company’s current technology and give fresh ideas on how it can take advantage of trends that are just around the corner.
For more information about a consultation, contact your account manager today.