Welcome to the new decade from Wiser Technology Advice. In this blog post I’ll talk about the technology trends that I believe will impact our businesses and our economy over the next 10 years.
We’ve seen a lot of technology improvements and innovations over the last decade and I predict in the new decade we’ll start to see these become commercialised. This should then lead into improved returns for our businesses and a period of strong economic growth.
There are some great opportunities for improvements from affordable technology for businesses in South Australia right now. But the rapid pace of change and myriad of choices in technology can make it feel complex and overwhelming.
Wiser Technology Advice is here to help, simplifying the complex and sometimes overwhelming world of information technology and advising you about technology that’s right for you. Get in touch with me today to explore your options for 2020 and beyond.
Here are the technology trends I am predicting...
1. Internet of Things
We’ve seen the start of the Internet of Things, but the true power of a hyper-connected world hasn’t yet been realised.
The NBN has helped a little towards supporting the creation of a hyper-connected world, but there’s a long way to go before Australia has a true high-speed always on internet that can support the massive amounts of data that needs to flow freely. I predict that by the end of the decade we’ll have sorted this out by using a combination of the 5G mobile (data friendly) network, the NBN and nano-satellite network communications.
A smarter and faster Internet of Things will enable links for robotics and automation, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. With better communication and data sharing between systems we’ll see the true value of an automated world and have the environment needed to support driverless vehicles.
But with the great benefits of all this data being shared come some big risks. Hackers are exploiting the woefully inadequate security on smart devices, for example building powerful botnets, capable of delivering devastating DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks to online services.
To mitigate the risks we’ll need to have increasing awareness of cyber security and there’s sure to be more regulations put in place to protect our privacy. In 2018 the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and I expect the trend towards more regulation to continue into the new decade.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine learning and deep learning, collectively referred to as Artificial Intelligence (AI), will become an accepted standard for doing business in the new decade, much like cloud-based Software as a Service systems have become the accepted standard over the past 10 years.
I predict an increase in services and products which incorporate artificial intelligence, without this necessarily being obvious to the end-user.
A great example of this type of innovation is the fully automated, AI driven medical culture-plate screening machine, which has been created by LBT Innovations and has been given FDA approval. This machine takes just a few minutes to be loaded up with hundreds of culture-plates and then scans each plate to filter out the negatives, leaving just possible positive plates for microbiologists to look at under their microscope. For infection control plate-scanning this can reduce the workload of microbiologists by up to 95%.
3. Big Data
Data is the new gold.In my blog post of August 2019 I wrote about most businesses not recognising the value of the data they collect in their day to day operations.
If you’re not analysing all of your data, you miss opportunities for insights to drive cost and time reduction, new product development, optimised offerings and smarter decision making.
When approached for a merger or acquisition, most businesses don't recognise the value of the data they own. Did you know that Qantas earns more from its frequent flyer program than from flights sold to customers? And that Wesfarmers sold its Coles stores but retained the flybuys program, which it considers more valuable?
With the increasing amount of data generated and sent through the hyper-connected internet of things, there’ll be amazing opportunities (and big risks) from big data in the new decade.
4. Electric and driverless vehicles
I expect that the next car that I buy by the end of the decade will be all-electric.
Over the last decade we’ve seen most of the traditional vehicle manufacturers follow Tesla’s lead and now manufacturing all-electric vehicles.For example, BMW, Nissan, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Kia all have all-electric cars on the market.By the end of the new decade I believe all-electric cars will outnumber, perhaps even replace, petrol engine cars on the road.
Driverless vehicles are already in use in closed, private networks and I predict they’ll be in common use on our public roads by the end of the decade.This will require a shift in consumer sentiment, right now people still feel safer being behind the wheel and ‘in control’ of a vehicle rather than letting AI software doing the work.
The difficult transition period while we deal with these issues is similar to the difficulties society faced when horse-drawn transport was being replaced by motor vehicles. When the technology was first introduced in Britain a 4 mph speed limit (2 mph in town) was legislated for road vehicles, there had to be at least three people be on board, and somebody waving a red flag was required to walk in front of the car at all times. Meeting an oncoming horse meant the road vehicle had to be brought to a full stop!
The most exciting (terrifying!) news of 2019 was from Uber Air, announcing the introduction of flying taxis in Melbourne. Test flights are due to start from 2020 and plans are for commercial operations to begin from 2023. There’s a lot of infrastructure and risk management that needs to be put in place for this to be acceptable, so it will be interesting to see if it’s come to fruition by the end of the decade.
4. Blockchain technology
The final trend I predict for the new decade is a growing commercial use of blockchain technology platforms.
Blockchain technology provides the ability to share transaction data without the need for a central authority such as a bank or share market. It removes unnecessary middlemen, allowing more efficient business processes and improving service delivery.
I’ve attended three blockchain conferences over the last three years. The first of these in 2017 featured speakers who were explaining what blockchain is. in 2018 the conference speakers were exploring why and how to use blockchain technology, and an international blockchain summit, held in Adelaide Convention Centre in March 2019.
Blockchain is a difficult concept for people to wrap their brains around, but once it’s hidden away as an accepted underlying technology platform that won’t be an issue that end-users need to worry about.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to talk further about anything I’ve written about, get in contact with me today, I’m always happy to meet and have a chat over a coffee!
- European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) https://eugdpr.org/
- Electric vehicle manufacturers & companies https://www.energysage.com/electric-vehicles/buyers-guide/top-ev-companies/
- Victoria readies for first autonomous car to hit the road https://www.itnews.com.au/news/victoria-readies-for-first-autonomous-car-to-hit-the-road-518181?eid=3&edate=20190121&utm_source=20190121_PM&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily_newsletter&fbclid=IwAR3g3VMY-8DLf48UA8sBGqLmPxib481fbBMS0TZrYoyFEcCww8UElbEOhzQ
- More than half of Australians say they'll never feel safe in a driverless car https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/more-than-half-of-australians-say-theyll-never-feel-safe-in-a-driverless-car-72793
- The Manifold Hazards of Early Motoring https://www.cartalk.com/blogs/jim-motavalli/manifold-hazards-early-motoring
- Bus to flying taxi, Uber wants to facilitate every step of your trip https://www.smh.com.au/technology/bus-to-flying-taxi-uber-wants-to-facilitate-every-step-of-your-trip-20200110-p53qal.html
- CIO Explainer: What Is Blockchain? http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/02/02/cio-explainer-what-is-blockchain/