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The new year is here and the rush to be faster, better and more connected is on. Brands are focusing more than ever before on connecting with end users, incorporating machine learning tp better assess collected data and even the rise of 5G connectivity to speed information to users more swiftly than ever before. Expect to see growth in all sectors and across all industries as brands work to use technology to become more efficient and productive — and more profitable than ever before.
9 Software Technology Trends Coming our Way in 2020
What can we expect from software development as this year rolls forward? Many of the software technology trends you should expect to see will be driven by sheer need. As more and more people become connected online, and more devices use IoT technology, demand for software development will naturally increase, simply to serve the rapid growth in connectivity we’re experiencing. Expect to see the following trends in 2020 — and to see these trends target specific industries, as detailed below:
Dependence on AI and Machine Learning
As the internet and connectivity continue to grow, brands need a way to not only collect data, but to use it as well. Expect more brands to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manage information and provide better experiences for end users. Chatbots are already here — chances are if you’ve received a spam or robo-call recently, its been from an automated chatbot. Expect to see brands push past this stage in the near future and to use artificial intelligence for everything from predicting credit worthiness to anticipating a caller’s needs and directing them to the correct location.
In banking and finance, companies are expected to spend a whopping 217 billion dollars in 2020 just defending themselves from fraud using AI technology. According to Business Insider, banks are adopting machine learning and AI powered services at a rapid rate, and deploying these assets not just to serve customers and direct calls, but to predict fraud, spot signs of money laundering and identify an individual’s or company’s level of risk when it comes to lending and defaults.
Expect to see software technology trends in all sectors dedicated to improving AI, enhancing its capabilities and ensuring that employees know how to work with and use machine learning programs. An AI employee doesn’t call in sick, doesn’t leave without notice and can be on duty around the clock — incentivizing AI adoption for brands of all sizes.
A Need for Speed: Bring on the 5G Network
The time of 5G is finally here, as brands struggle to provide faster, better service and users demand swift and effective connectivity. 5G supports many of the other trends we’re seeing for 2020 and better communication will help individuals and organizations work, access services and play with ease. While 5G may be all about the speed, the enhancements to security over the 4G model used today should be significant as well.
Brands are investing heavily in 5G — experts predict that by the end of the year there could be as many as 200 million devices connected to 5G networks, thanks to rapid adoption. Because of the more robust connectivity offered by 5G technology, we should see more applications, games and experiences created that incorporate stunning but data hungry virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D visuals.
Enhanced Interest in Edge Computing
Cloud computing has been so widely adopted it is mainstream — even people who are not tech friendly can access and use cloud storage offered by brands like Amazon and Google. This ongoing and constantly increasing interest in cloud use has created a demand for edge computing. If you are not familiar with this term now, you will be by the end of 2020.
At the most basic level, edge computing is about location and access. By positioning networks and access points close to the location of users, the cloud can become more accessible and deploy assets and access even more swiftly and efficiently. The rising interest in edge computing is directly linked to the increased adoption of the Internet of Things and the need for better, more secure and efficient access. According to IoT World Today, companies are investing heavily in edge computing now to create a better, more productive architecture for the future. Expect to see edge computing on the rise as connectivity and IoT continue to dominate software technology trends, as this lesser known technology begins to go mainstream.
Big Name Cloud Competition
2019 was an amazing year for cloud technology and all of the big brands have noticed. As more businesses of all sizes and even individuals move to the safety and convenience of cloud storage, Google, Amazon and Microsoft continue to compete for business. This ongoing competition should lead to better services and availability for cloud users and an ongoing interest in switching to and using the cloud for personal and business reasons.
Autonomous Driving Technology
Tesla, BMW and Peterbilt are all racing towards the same finish line — a reliable car that can drive itself. Expect to see software development tackling the safety, feasibility and integration with other vehicles, signage and visual data. Autonomous driving is about more than just a futuristic, easy ride to work or play, the latest trends focus on logistics and moving massive amounts of goods and supplies across some of the most barren parts of the country.
Self-driving cars might get the headlines, but the trucking industry is moving swiftly towards autonomous vehicles (AVs). AV use will differ for logistics and fleets – instead of a single driverless vehicle, pods of multiple trucks supervised by one driver will move across the country; individual drivers take over as trucks peel away to make deliveries and move freight. Driverless trucks make better use of driver time; by law, drivers have strict rest and downtime requirements. A truck that is part of a pod can be on autopilot and the trucker can rest right inside the cab — then resume active driving when the group nears an intended destination.
AV adoption is something the trucking industry wants and needs more than ever before. According to recent research from the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) almost all of the major fleet brands surveyed are working towards and eagerly anticipate being able to use autonomous vehicle technology in the near future.
Increased Adoption of IoT
In the healthcare industry alone, the development of IoT or Internet of Things equipped devices will continue to soar in 2020 and beyond, according to Gartner researchers. In a recent study, the brand predicted that there would be massive growth in all business sectors when it comes to IoT endpoints. Expect utilities to continue to lead the pack, with a predicted 1.37 billion end points by the end of 2020. This includes both businesses and individual homes that benefit from smart utility monitoring, IoT equipped thermostats and similar technology.
Other sectors will continue to see adoption of IoT as well; Gartner predicts that Government use of IoT will grow to include .7 billon end points by the end of 2020, making governments large and small the second largest growth segment for IoT technology. Other frontrunners include physical security brands and providers. healthcare and the retail industry.
The rapid adoption of IoT means that brands will also be rushing to come up with ways to use the data they are collecting and to make the most of this emerging technology. Expect software development to play two key roles as the Internet of Things continues to grow and thrive:
Creation of AI and machine powered programs that allow users to make the most of the big data collected by IoT devices. This poses a particular challenge for brands in the healthcare sector, who will need to balance data use and public health benefits with HIPAA compliance and personal health information (PHI) confidentiality requirements. The massive amount of data collected can be used to provide more efficient energy, to identify at risk populations and improve healthcare outcomes and to create more productive and efficient consumer goods production.
Rising Demand for Network Security and Protection for IoT Devices
While software development will need to keep pace with the demands of IoT users, the increased adoption of IoT technology by governments, brands and individuals means there is more room than ever before for exploitation. Expect to see an enhanced focus on preventing data and identity theft and in securing information to thwart cybercriminals who would exploit end point devices for access and personal gain.
Concerns about hacking and unauthorized network access are at an all time high when it comes to the use of IoT in the healthcare field. Providers and facilities need to balance the improved patient outcomes and dramatically lowered cost that IoT equipped devices make possible, but not expose patients to risk. It sounds like something from a horror film, but hackers could cause bodily harm in a variety of ways, simply by tampering with IoT equipped medical devices. LIfesaving devices like insulin pumps demand rigorous protection — in the wrong hands, an IoT equipped device can do more harm than good.
Because of this scary scenario, expect to see manufacturers in the healthcare field lead the way when it comes to security and IoT access. While any brand can be harmed by unauthorized access and exploitation, healthcare has the highest stakes and is driving the need for enhancements in security for IoT equipped devices.
We Want it Now — Instant Apps and Games
The model we’re all familiar with — spot a mobile game, download it and play will be changing in 2020 as the adoption of 5G networks and incredibly rapid connectivity becomes available. Expect to see casual games that don’t need to be downloaded to play and more gaming software development geared towards serving an entertainment hungry public.
According to Android Authority, part of the appeal of instant apps and games is their quick availability and their lack of neediness. A user does not have to allow the app to use memory or space on a device, they just open it and begin to play. instant apps do more than offer swift gratification, brands using them can expect to see faster buyin and more sales, as consumers can make decisions in an instant.
More Software and IT Jobs
Job outlook for network, software and information technology employees will continue to improve in 2020 — and over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks IT related employment as a field that is growing “much faster than average” and that software developers can expect to see ongoing robust growth through 2028. The BLS predicts that technology jobs will grow at an astounding rate of 21% and that demand for software development employees will outstrip the current supply, leading to faster than average salary growth as well.
Expect to see demand for faster, better technology and access to drive software development trends across all industries and in all types of organizations. The adoption of IoT and ongoing increases in connectivity will continue to drive consumer and organizational demand for 5G technology and services. Many of the coming trends are integrated, with one impacting and driving several others, leading to an incredible year for software development and technology and a very bright future for those working in the industry.