5 tech predictions for 2020: A new decade is upon us, what can we expect to have seen by the time it’s over?
One could forgive anyone making predictions for the decade ahead to find themselves hurtling down a Helter-Skelter of Doomsday prophecies. What with the prospect of WW3 being provoked via a series of tweets and missile strikes, climate disaster hanging over the planet like a giant anvil supported by a rickety crane, and the proliferation of fake news making people question what their own names are, these feel like precarious times.
When we pause to think about the technologies that are having transformative effects on business, initial thoughts often turn to the likes of automation, faster payments, Cloud solutions and even more emergent solutions, such as AI. While it’s true that these technologies can be catalysts for commercial growth and evolution, there is another which is seeing widespread uptake and changing the way organisations operate; business analytics.
It is notoriously difficult to predict what the future will look like and which innovations and inventions will stand the test of time. Even the most expert and decorated individuals have struggled to forecast with consistent accuracy. Take Sir William Preece, the Chief Engineer of the British Post Office, who in 1878 said, “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” Our Bill was a little off the mark, but history is littered with similarly inexact projections.
When conversation turns to mobile phones, a standard question people have for each other is, “Who are you with?” It’s a question which often then leads to discussions around tariffs, data allowances, available handsets and the number of free texts bestowed per month.
Imagine for a moment heading back in time, not particularly far back in time, let’s say 2002. Your destination, if you can handle the excitement, is your local supermarket. Your task, and again – retain some composure – is to do your weekly shop.
Travel back in time to only a few years ago and the name Huawei barely registered with most people. It was a small-ish Chinese company who made smartphones for those adventurous enough to break away from the dynasties of Apple and Samsung and that was about it. Huawei though, were quietly creeping up the smartphone charts and as of February 2019, were the second largest manufacturer of android-ready devices on the planet.
Since the inaugural even in 1987, the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) soon began to assert itself as the largest and most prestigious exhibition for the mobile industry on the planet. In February, the largest of the annual series of events took place in Barcelona, and some of the statistics from the three days reflect an industry that continues to flourish. Indeed, this year, the Barcelona MWC19 reached a significant milestone by becoming the single largest tradeshow certified to have a zero-carbon footprint.
When we think about sectors on the cusp – or indeed in the midst – of full-blown digitalisation, springing to the minds of most would most probably be the likes of automotive, aviation, finance, and manufacturing. Few would have the Public Sector anywhere near the top of such a list, and though there are certainly sectors ahead in the great technological race, it’s a sector that it would be unwise to underestimate.
5G and Wi-Fi is on the back burner for the UK’s railways.
In light of much higher than expected costs and general market apathy towards the project, the UK Government has announced it is to scrap part of its £35 million trial of 5G-based mobile and fixed line fibre technology along the Trans Pennine rail route. With support from the Department for Culture Media and Science (DCMS) the line, which connects Manchester and York, had been selected as a trial area for new trackside wireless systems.
In the week where the first locations for the roll out of 5G are announced, we’ve taken a look at the hype.
If it’s a ‘safe space’ you’re looking for, the world of business is probably best avoided. Nothing here stays tranquil for long. However quickly a business model can be established, you can be reasonably certain that something will soon come along to turn it on its head.
At no point in history has that been more true than it is today. The technological revolution is churning out innovations and solutions at a dizzying rate. For some businesses, these new technologies deal a hammer blow (think Blockbuster, HMV, Nokia). For others, if they can adapt to the potential of they offer, it can revolutionise how they operate.
Whatever various individual pursuits a business is undertaking, ultimately, they are all part of the same, broader pursuit; the pursuit of continuous improvement. Profits, customer service, employee engagement, supplier relationships, IT infrastructures, for a company to thrive each element of the business must always be subject to analysis of how improvements can be made. One of the many upshots of continuous improvement is enhanced stakeholder loyalty, an essential component of any business model.