It’s the beginning of the year, so you know what that means — trend forecasts! What will digital transformation look like this year? Here’s a synopsis of Forbes’ “Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2020”. 

The year of 5G

2020 will see the proliferation of 5G across the globe. Android handset makers like Nokia and Huawei are already releasing 5G devices. The spread of 5G will speed up “smart” developments, like smart cities, cars and manufacturing.

New and improved: WiFi

Similar to 5G, but different technologies, both WiFi and 5G will be bringing considerably faster wireless and connection speeds. WiFi 6 will not just be faster, it will also allow more connected devices, with the number growing from about 10 to 50 over the next few years. Additionally, WiFi 6 will have increased quality and volume of data consumed through WiFi networks. 

Deeper data analytics

Analytics will be central to Digital Transformation in 2020. Businesses face eradication if they don’t use advanced analytics to identify problems, opportunities, and solutions. Analytics capabilities are deepening, with tech companies like Salesforce leading the way (especially after acquiring Tableu). Microsoft introduced its own platform, Power Platform. Analytics is the competitive advantage all organisations will need, no matter which industry they’re in.

AI, machine learning and data analytics

To make sense of the infinite amounts of data out there (and use it effectively) companies will also have to invest in AI and machine learning. This technology can break down data into 3 value propositions: speed, scale, and convenience.

Move aside crypto, Blockchain is here

Blockchain might have been overhyped last year, but now is its time to shine. Giants like Alibaba, IBM and Samsung are moving into this space, democratising blockchain technology. More interesting though is to see how the technology will be used beyond payments and cryptocurrency, and how it will be used in areas like food safety and intellectual property

New wave RPA

RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. A hot topic at tech conferences all through last year, money is being poured into AI’s “lowest hanging fruit”. Forbes believes 2020 will be a big year for this area of Digital Transformation, especially with companies like Cisco using RPA to improve the quality of their existing workforce. 

Chatty AI

While Siri might still annoy us, companies like Microsoft are working hard to get AI to understand emotion and the nuances of verbal communication. Although it’s unlikely we’ll see massive improvements in consumer tech, this year the foundation will be laid for the next generation of conversational AI. 

The rise of ACPCs

We’re always online, and it makes sense that our laptops should be the same. Always Connected PCs (ACPCs) will now have embedded 5G and LTE connectivity. Most have a full day’s worth of battery life, but this year we could see multi-day battery life — finally making computers truly portable.  

A new reality, connected cars, autonomous drones and smart cities

With advancements like 5G and companies like Tesla, we’re closer than ever to have smart(er) cities. Uber is partnering with the likes of Ford and BMW to develop an autonomous fleet and Amazon want to ship you every need and want directly to your door with an autonomous drone. 

Tech-adjacent trends take centre stage

Digital Transformation transcends the tools that enable it. 

XaaS: Everything-as-a-service will gain more traction this year. 

User and Customer Experience: With the importance of UX and CX being realised more and more, this year will bring the best of both. 

Digital Privacy: data privacy has been a major issue over the last few years, companies will finally get serious about privacy and data security in 2020. 

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