The Top 5 Tech Trends for 2020

Samantha Joule Fow

Samantha Joule Fow

January 24, 2020 · 8 min read

This year, engineers and developers are looking forward to seeing what will come next in any of several exciting advancements in their field. Groundbreaking new Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) applications, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and distributed computing solutions are finding their ways into the everyday flow of commerce. As they do, they are reflecting one significant trend in tech that is clear at the start of 2020: organizations are demanding technologies capable of facilitating the free flow of data across networks and between individuals.

The proliferation of digital technology has made collaboration more convenient and effective than ever before. This is possible because the most cutting-edge trends in technology are not just smart, they are also focused on improving the ways people engage with their virtual tools. These developments are reflected in the top five tech trends to watch out for in 2020: next-generation automation, tech-facilitated collaborative methods, the growing dominance of serverless systems, the rise of edge computing solutions, and the commercialization of quantum computing.

1. Next-generation automation

The automation of common operations once painstakingly performed by hand is nothing new. Whether applied to the management of big data or the assembly of complex industrial hardware, automation can make systems more productive and efficient. Further, automation frees up stakeholder time and resources by improving the efficiency of complex systems. By doing so, improvements in automation can help a team communicate and collaborate more effectively.

Developments in AI and ML have facilitated the automation of systems and processes that once required substantial human oversight. Improvements in robot dexterity are facilitating the field of robotic process automation (RPA), which moves beyond the automation of simple robotic tasks and allows entire processes to operate on their own. Following in the footsteps of early RPA innovations, Hyperautomation combines ML, custom and off-the-shelf enterprise software, and other technologies designed to expand the breadth of automation potential in complex applications. Beyond improving efficiency, hyperautomation is building lifespan analysis into automated processes. This technology can be used to discover automation potentials, analyze their likelihood of success, design solutions, deploy the automation, measure and monitor effectiveness, and reassess effectiveness over the long-term.

 The major advancements in next-generation automation solutions are making this field one of the top technologies to watch in 2020, particularly as AI and ML technologies continue to develop. But beyond facilitating automation, the deployment of AI and ML in the automation of enterprise systems that improved communication and workplace management have increased meaningfully over the past year. As a result, the improvement of tech-facilitated collaborative methods is another key trend enterprises are watching.

2. Tech-Facilitated Collaborative Methods

Like automation, collaborative methods have been used to gain competitive advantage in marketplaces for generations. Collaborative methods address challenges in cooperative processes, behaviors, and communications. As novel solutions in this space develop, technology is facilitating new collaborative approaches thanks to the improvement of communication tools, processes to organize those tools, and more open mindsets that can be applied from everything from data management to productivity management.

Over the past year, the tech industry witnessed the development of several novel collaborative methods designed to improve the flow of communication across networks. For example, service meshes involve infrastructure specifically designed to communicate between services, often as a means of overcoming the communication barriers that can arise between devices in an enterprise’s IoT. Distributed tracing is another tech-supported collaborative method that allows for quicker monitoring and debugging of network applications. This greatly improves collaboration among IT and network management professionals, particularly in complex systems. Likewise, progressive web apps (PWAs) facilitate the collaboration of independent software applications, as PWAs allow developers to make just one version of a new application that is accessible across all platforms worldwide, not just Android or iOS. 

Some of the most promising tech-facilitated collaborative methods are developing out of open source technology like Google’s distributed tracing system Dapper and the developer community behind Open Tracing API. Regardless of the publisher, tech-facilitated collaborative methods are harnessing the power of distributed computing to improve communication across systems. This enables greater flexibility and productivity, and as distributed and virtualized computing technologies continue to improve the functioning of serverless systems, collaborative methods are sure to develop meaningfully throughout 2020. 

3. Serverless Systems

Beyond AI-powered next-generation automation and tech-driven improvements in collaborative methods, the tech industry also saw a groundswell in serverless systems over the past year. A natural next step in the long march towards the virtualization of resource-intensive physical processes, the use of serverless technologies has spiked this year. And as enterprises are clamoring for better network solutions, tech innovators are rising to meet their demand.

Already, organizations are relying on multiple public and private cloud networks to deploy their various applications. To keep their networks flexible and dynamic, some companies rely on hybrid cloud servers that combine private and public cloud infrastructures or multicloud architecture that utilizes several public cloud providers to support network operations. Sometimes called Function as a Service (FaaS), any combination of popular platforms like Knative, AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions, and Google Cloud can be used to move various network applications and services into a serverless system.

Applications on the cloud benefit from thoughtful security controls and sophisticated sharing capacities offered by serverless system providers. They offer the potential to increase productivity and efficiency from the very inception of a project – and from a business perspective they can be highly cost-effective. Serverless computing tools support organizations that need scalable cloud-based systems. With FaaS providers requiring customers to pay only for the services network they need while they are needed, serverless systems allow businesses to avoid the hassle of investing in their own scalable network infrastructure.

Altogether, serverless systems are more cost effective, scalable, and flexible than traditional server-based approaches. They make it easier for organizations to create and manage programs without concern over whether they will work on different platforms – and as distributed computing technologies continue to evolve, serverless potential will only continue to grow.

4. Edge Computing

Cloud-based serverless solutions have already helped enterprises capture the benefits of flexible, scalable network infrastructures, and distributed computing solutions stand to refine on these improvements over the course of the year. While cloud-based serverless systems improve functionality by executing applications on the cloud as-needed, edge computing approaches take this same approach and improve execution time and reduce latency by moving these activities to the edges of the network. Because edge computing solutions run applications at the closest point of presence (PoP), they are performed much faster than networks that rely on a centralized architecture.

Edge computing is where the most groundbreaking innovation in serverless system technology is happening, and Dis.Co has developed a simple, secure serverless computing solution that harnesses the power of distributed computing solutions. Unlike cloud-based systems, Dis.Co uses edge computing to utilize idle computing power in laptops, smartphones, and other IoT devices to process network services at the most efficient PoP. Furthermore, platform-agnostic data management service allows customers to connect resources across remote and on-premises cloud providers, so Dis.Co can be leveraged to improve system flexibility and avoid vendor lock-in.

5. Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a novel approach to programming that moves beyond the constraints of the binary code. Computers running on the principles of quantum mechanics put even the most powerful supercomputer’s processing power to shame, opening up an entirely new world of potential applications. Quantum computers can solve problems that are simply impossible for classical computers to take on, and with Google’s announcement that it achieved quantum supremacy late last year, the possibilities are endless.

Google may have won the race to quantum supremacy, but competition is hot on the tech giant’s heels. In addition to a growing field of quantum computing startups, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Alibaba all have their own quantum computing projects underway. The growing mainstream interest in quantum computing foreshadows a strong likelihood that several common applications and platforms will go quantum by the end of 2020.

Ensuring effective collaboration has been increasingly significant particularly in the wake of the proliferation of smart devices and the growing significance of the IoT, but advancements in AI, ML, and computing technologies are quickly rising to meet these challenges. This year, there are sure to be a number of unexpected and groundbreaking innovations that take even the most seasoned industry experts by surprise. Regardless of whether enterprises embrace the application of next-generation automation technologies, tech-facilitated collaborative methods, or the increasingly sophisticated computing technology growing out of distributed and quantum computing fields, the top tech trends for 2020 are all telling the same tale: organizations need to find ways to improve coordination within networks and complex systems.

Samantha Joule Fow

Samantha Joule Fow

January 24, 2020 · 8 min read