We live in a tech-driven world. We’re now standing on the edge of the fourth industrial revolution even as the digital revolution that began only a few decades ago is still playing out.
The fourth industrial revolution describes the mass integration of technologies across both digital and physical space. These new cyber-physical systems will span multiple kinds of new and emerging technologies and will transform our physical world as well as the ways that we live, work, interact, and communicate.
So let’s take a closer look at which of these technologies and trends will shape the 2020’s and set the platform for the fourth industrial revolution to take place.
1. Robotics and automation
Digital workers, also known as bots, are emerging in many different forms and functions. This includes purely digital approaches to automate simple or repetitive tasks as well as highly capable multi-functional robots that can replace physical tasks previously only possible for humans.
2. AI technology
Artificial intelligence is the technology that underpins everything from voice assistants, computer vision for automated driving, and chatbots. Its usefulness will continue to increase as it becomes more accurate and is integrated into more and more systems. Its influence will be felt across almost every sector including finance, agriculture, education, health and medicine, telecommunications, and the media.
3. The evolution of social media
Social media took the world by storm but also produced its fair share of backlash due to some of its negative effects. It will continue to evolve and be reinvented to address privacy concerns while developing new trends in personalised advertising. But the biggest change will likely be related to the expansion of social media platforms into entirely new areas such as finance, offering users mobile payments capabilities that were previously only the domain of banks.
4. 3D printing
Advances in additive printing technologies combined with the development of new materials will see a huge increase in the power of 3D printing. This will lead to changes in construction processes, electronics, medical devices, and any industry requiring low cost precision parts.
5. Mobile applications
You might be thinking – hang on, don’t we already have enough mobile apps? However, this decade will see the completion of the complete redefinition of the service industry. Think mobile apps being used for everything.
6. Blockchain technology
Based on cryptography and distributed ledger technology, blockchains will be used to improve collaboration and the relationships between businesses and individuals. It will vastly improve trust and transparency, enable improved value exchange and market liquidity across business ecosystems, lower transaction costs, and improve visibility of supply chains. It will also help preserve privacy, ensure authenticity, and provide a safe exchange between enterprises.
7. Cloud services
The evolution of cloud-based services will continue and move into a new era in cloud computing where public cloud services will be distributed to multiple locations rather than a single central location. The original public cloud owner will continue to assume responsibility for the operation, governance, updates to and evolution of the services.
8. More human chatbots
Bots are becoming the driving force of online retail and customer service communications. As the underlying technologies continue to advance, chatbots will become vastly more intelligent, with their responses approaching human operator levels. Add to that the fact that they can work 24/7 and talk to thousands of people simultaneously and you can see that their continued potential is enormous.
9. Enterprise chatbots
The capabilities and use cases of chatbots will significantly expand so that they’re common in company settings. They’ll have the ability to answer HR questions, initiate the interview process by screening questions and capturing candidate answers, guide employees through company guidelines, and provide internal help desk coverage.
10. Quantum computing
Quantum computers will introduce entirely new computing capabilities that simply aren’t possible with existing computers. It will mean some types of tasks will be able to be completed in a fraction of the time and new advances will be possible in a whole range of areas including cybersecurity, logistics, and the creation of new kinds of medicines.
The future is now
The tech trends that will define this decade are already here and underway. But as their influence increases we will soon see that each of these technologies when viewed as the sum of their parts will completely transform society. Devices and machines underpinned by AI will be able to interact faster, making better business decisions autonomously. All businesses will need to transform to become smart businesses – connected and highly efficient.
Tech professionals and business leaders will also need the skills and capabilities to guide these changes and to understand the changing roles of people in the modern work landscape. To learn more about how these trends will shape the near future and how to best position yourself to take advantage of these changes, talk to Finite.