As the year rolls on, we will see trends that have been incubating for years see progress. From cloud computing to artificial intelligence and blockchain, many concepts that used to only exist in science fiction are becoming very real and are becoming the top tech trends of the day.

It is difficult to predict what futuristic ideas will eventually turn into reality, but here are five top tech trends that are sure to drive the conversation among decision-makers and tech leaders.

 

Increased Use of Cloud Computing

2019 was about cloud cost optimization, securing data in the cloud and the continued rise of container usage. We expect to see more multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud adoption, AI implementations in the cloud, as well as further growth in edge computing in the coming years.

5G and further developments in edge computing will make data processing faster and more responsive to customer and business needs. Automation, combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI), will allow decision-makers to simplify work processes and to secure operations in public, private, or on-premise environments. 

Another step will involve more containerization- the ability for developers to write and manage their code in the cloud. Building this capability will further develop the ability of enterprises for near-instantaneous updates and bug fixes for their products.

In questioning how much this will affect how we do business, it’s not a question of when and how. The better ask is:  How far can cloud computing take us?

 

Rapid Development in IoT

The businesses of today and tomorrow will be heavily reliant on IoT devices to assist us in everyday tasks. Most personal devices can already interact with other smart devices in their immediate environment. Meanwhile, devices connected to manufacturing facilities can observe and dictate operational efficiency and productivity. An example of this is the use of sensors in POS machines and store shelves that help retailers keep track of their inventory or of their best selling items.

Data collection and sharing will also be more efficient, especially in the case of devices equipped with AI and voice-user interfaces. Digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are constantly competing to become your next much-have home accessory (if it’s not yet on your desk!). 

IoT technologies work best in the background, collecting data and interacting with other devices to make work and everyday living so much easier. And with more developments in artificial intelligence and cloud technology, it will not be a surprise to see ‘smarter’ homes, offices, even cities.

 

Hyperautomation

Hyperautomation advocates for continuous automation of work processes to augment human functions.  Through Machine Learning (ML) algorithms and controlled workflows, almost any business process or function could be automated. But it can also involve making more sophisticated process models for customer acquisition, data ingestion and processing, analytics, and measuring and monitoring of other automated processes for assessment. 

With RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and Artificial Intelligence at its core, expect organizations that hyperautomate to see better responses in customer engagement and demands, identify crucial opportunities, and reach record efficiency and effectiveness numbers for service delivery. Integrating automation will also reduce chances for human error, allowing managers and decision-makers to make better resource allocations and decisions. 

 

Continued Integration of Artificial Intelligence

The AI industry involves many facets, yet a large part of its growth has revolved around the use of data and analytics. With an increased focus on collecting, storing, and utilizing data, companies have become more aware of the different ways they can do better business with smart robots. 

Retailers and e-commerce sites can create targeted campaigns and personalized offerings through predictive analytics, which uses AI to predict outcomes using patterns and historical data. This is how certain platforms such as Facebook and Google can give product recommendations, a discount coupon, or content that is curated for you.

Chatbots with advanced AI can be made into smart digital assistants. Natural language processing and machine learning algorithms have advanced to a point where we can train bots to translate and analyze data input into contextual written prompts. An example of this is a leading insurance firm in the Philippines pioneering the use of a deep-learning AI platform that’s integrated into Facebook Messenger and other chat apps. More than 200 microinsurance agents equipped with these robots in far-flung provinces are able to quickly provide clients with protection against fire, accidents, and critical illness, all through the convenience of Facebook.

 

Further Developments in Blockchain

There is a saying among tech circles whenever the topic of blockchain is brought up: “Blockchain is a solution looking for a problem.” For all of blockchain’s promise of a decentralized and secure system, it has had problems with scalability and speed vs cost. Interoperability issues and much-needed regulation also persist- not all solutions are present on all blockchain networks (such as Hyperledger and Ethereum) and legislation on its use differs per nation. Yet, this has not stopped its development as one of the top top tech trends often discussed in business and government circles.

In spite of companies continuing to grapple with how blockchain can best serve their purposes, its advocates continue to build on its foundation. In the book Ready or Not 2020, Winston Damarillo explained how financial institutions like banks can make transactions on the blockchain and secure them through smart contracts. Smart contracts are digital programs that enforce an agreement between two parties. This means that specific actions can only be executed after prerequisite conditions have been made. This ensures reliability and security are enforced for all parties on the blockchain.

This is what a leading Filipino bank is doing with its own blockchain platform. Built to process inter-bank fund transfers instantly, the platform was made for rural bank branches to avoid the usual pitfalls of servicing clients so far away from urban centers. Since its launch, the platform has on-boarded 31 banks and has processed over Php 150 Million worth of transactions. Supply chain financing and international remittances, amongst other features, are in the works.

Accessible blockchain for all has yet to arrive, but there is progress. What needs to happen is constant cooperation and collaboration between the bigger blockchain players.

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What other top tech trends do you think will have an impact on how you do business this year and beyond? Feel free to tell us your thoughts by dropping us a message.