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4 Tech Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2020

Every year, the web is flooded with predictions — some good, some not so good — that range from realistic and expected to pipe dreams with no reasonable expectation of ever coming true.

But 2020 may be different from years past. Not only because it’s the first year of the new decade and everyone is feeling more futuristic, but also because transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), distributed networks and Internet of Things (IoT) have reached the point of maturity and market viability that they’ll play a legitimate role in shaping the trends for the coming year.

Those trends reach far and wide, and will provide both opportunity and disruption for existing and new business models. So, as we enter the New Year, I pulled from some research sources and tapped into my own experiences with tech trends to come up with a list of tech trends for 2020 that you can’t afford to ignore:

Trend #1: Automation kicks into overdrive

Automation has been table stakes for a generation. Today, advanced platforms automate everything from new software rollouts to systems configurations to restarting servers whose connections have been lost.

In 2020, we’ll see what Gartner calls “hyperautomation,” which combines machine learning (ML) and automation tools into a sort of supercharged automation platform. For enterprise IT pros, “hyperautomation” will be a boon to productivity, as it will help identify, configure and optimize interconnected global networks that power the secure private data exchange of virtually every digital technology around — especially AI, virtual reality, or augmented reality and IoT.

The addition of machine learning to standard automation scripts will help further spare precious human resources from time-consuming systems configurations while enabling businesses to continue making critical business processes more efficient and easier to execute.

Trend #2: Decentralized IT becomes even more distributed

In 2020 we will see the continuation and expansion of distributed clouds. The average enterprise already employs five public clouds simultaneously according to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera. The clear benefit is leveraging the cloud’s instant scale and lower CapEx. But modern enterprise applications like autonomous vehicles, blockchain, and enterprise AI are increasingly latency-sensitive and are pushing organizations beyond the four walls of their data center.

In 2020, enterprises will still flock to public cloud services from AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform for scale and cost management, but they’ll do so with the cloud providers’ various availability zones accessible in edge data centers to bring their apps and data physically closer to their user bases to minimize latency and optimize performance worldwide and give them a more competitive edge.

Trend #3: Multi-experience digital encounters will explode in popularity

In 2019, there were an estimated 26 billion connected devices worldwide, a number that’s expected to grow to 75 billion in just a few more years. From smartphones to refrigerators and every other device imaginable, 2020 will continue the trend of more connected devices coming online, leading to a more computerized world.

More than any year prior, 2020 will see what we do online directly impact our physical world. With each connected device comes an additional source of rich data that can be used to power everything from smart homes or cities to personalized health and medicine — all of which will move increasingly toward full autonomy, outside the reach or need for human intervention.

Like decentralized IT and hyper-automation, these multi-experience encounters will have a symbiotic relationship with the explosion in edge computing. They’ll simultaneously benefit from existing network-dense, flexible edge data centers while providing a compelling business case for building more of them or expanding current ones as enterprises around the globe continue the push for blending our digital and physical worlds into “smart” spaces.

Trend #4: Ethical technology comes to the forefront

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been on the popularity upswing for years. Charitable donations, volunteer days, and eco-friendly business practices have been stalwarts of how companies show they live by their mission and values for decades.

But in 2020, more organizations will turn their attention to being good stewards of technology as well as of their business. Emerging technologies, especially AI, decrease human involvement and can create something of a trust crisis among users of the general population that command transparency to put users’ minds at ease. In response, organizations will emphasize good faith efforts to improve data governance, compliance and transparency around how they’ll use the data they collect.

More importantly, this year they’ll also recognize the imperative of creating technologies in an ethical manner and with future implications in mind. Truly transformational technologies like conversational AI and blockchain all come with inherent risks of abuse, evidenced by the emergence of “deep fakes” using AI — this year’s leader of the we didn’t see that coming award —and other unforeseen misuses of otherwise world-shaping innovations. 2020 will be a turning point for the industry’s collective push to bake ethics and responsibility into technical innovations.

A secure, flexible backbone for advancement and scale

Each New Year ushers in a collection of predictions and prognostications. Whether they prove right or not, enterprise IT leaders need to be prepared to capitalize on all of them when the opportunity arises. CoreSite is committed to providing the tools, technologies and expertise to enable innovators to work their collective magic.

We continue to develop state-of-the-art facilities in strategic edge locations, bringing critical computing capabilities to widespread geographies. Each facility is network-dense and equipped with direct cloud connectivity, peering exchanges, and intra-site connections to create a low-latency, resilient global network. And we do it all with a keen focus on integrity, security and ethics.

To learn more about how CoreSite’s expansive network of hyperconnected data centers to capitalize on new business trends and optimize existing operations, contact a CoreSite solution expert today. Happy New Year!

The CoreSite Team
Combining expertise, research and thought leadership to inform and advance hybrid IT.