Trends for technological projects in 2020
To kick off the new decade, at Sngular we decided to bring together our teams to identify the most relevant trends in business and technology. After some interesting discussions, we’ve come up with six main factors that organizations should keep in mind before embarking on new digital projects this year.
AI, Data Science and IoT – a much-needed union.
The deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions will be on the rise this year. The challenge will be figuring out how to use the technology effectively. At Sngluar, we believe that businesses should work to identify processes that could be automatized and parts of the business where machine learning and AI could provide a competitive advantage.
To get real value from this technology, it’s key to link these AI initiatives with data management and analysis. “Data is critical when it comes to taking full advantage of artificial intelligence and being able to develop algorithms that could be useful for business,” José Luis Calvo, Director of Artificial Intelligence, highlighted.
Besides that, 2020 will be marked by an increase in initiatives focused on improving user experience in all areas. Virtual assistants will become more important than ever. The widespread adoption of smart speakers will help solidify this trend. With that, platforms that allow companies to create virtual assistants easily and quickly will be in high demand.
At the same time, IoT solutions and sensor systems to capture data will be extremely relevant. It’s likely that there will be more communication and interaction between technologies, which will help companies cut costs and become more competitive. For example, “the combination of AI with robotics and sensors will also serve to drive forward new applications for quality control and product planning,” said Ignacio Altube, Head of Industry & Internet of Things.
Blockchain gets real in 2020.
When it comes to blockchain, we’ve observed two major trends. First, in the realm of public blockchains, we’ve noticed the evolution of decentralized finance (DeFi) via the use of stablecoins, or cryptocurrencies designed to minimize price volatility. “We believe that this will give rise to financial products that can be combined or extended in ways that are totally unprecedented,” said Antonio Sotomayor, Head of Blockchain.
On the other hand, in terms of permissioned or private blockchains, there will be new solutions that combine IoT and blockchain through the use of 5G networks. This can create systems of interconnected devices. “In this context, edge computing will become much more powerful and the devices themselves will develop much more active roles,” added Sotomayor.
Cloud, at the heart of transformation processes.
Cloud has solidified itself as the go-to model for the IT sector because of its capacity to develop and deploy services quickly. At the same time, cloud computing is extremely flexible and scalable, which allows for technology teams and business units to use other technologies like IoT, big data or machine learning.
Organizations around the world are adopting hybrid models that combine public and private clouds. They are also increasingly using XaaS (Anything as a Service), in which apps and software are consumed as services. “In 2020 this trend will be increasingly visible. The challenge will be obtaining integrated environments that are easy to manage,” explained Íñigo Montesino, Head of Cloud & DevOps.
Collaborative work and spread-out teams are normalized.
Traditional companies are increasingly adopting agile work methods so they can get to the market faster and keep up to the rhythm of digitally native companies. “This choice will be associated with organizations that are more committed to innovation, simplifying processes and giving their teams the means and criteria to make their own decisions while sticking to the company’s main objectives,” said Chief Innovation Officer Carlos Guardiola.
These models are inspiring business and service development via teams that are spread out around a city, a country or the world. These teams are not formed based on geographical convenience, but instead to carry out complex projects with the best complementary knowledge and collaboration possible. Although it may seem simple to implant a system like this, “it’s actually a very radical change in the way people work in many companies, and not every business has a culture that is mature enough to take it on,” added Guardiola.
User Experience and Service Design are non-negligible.
Businesses are now highly conscious of the relevance that User Experience (UX) design has when it comes to the success of their digital services. It’s all about taking a holistic view of design that identifies the client’s needs and sales objectives. In 2020, businesses will place UX as a priority to avoid losing their competitive edge.
More demands are placed on corporate innovation.
Some of the world’s biggest businesses currently find themselves in the so-called trough of disillusionment in terms of corporate innovation. Many transformational initiatives have been launched by organizations in waves, often starting with changes in the workspace to continue creating teams and with the adoption of new modes of working. As a follow-up, it’s common for companies to deploy company-wide competitions related to new ideas and start-up projects, which have been widely touted as positive. However, business heads and CFOs are looking at the bottom-line results of those innovation projects to see whether they’ve started generating new profits or if they continue to fall on the wrong side of the fine line that separates costs from good investments.
“In 2020 we will see a growing challenge in the areas of innovation at big companies in terms of launching initiatives that demonstrate a real impact in terms of earnings and losses. This could either be done directly, in terms of new products and services, or indirectly by creating new competitive advantages or value proposals when it comes to existing services,” said Carlos Guardiola.
Without a doubt, in 2020 organizations of all kinds will continue empowering their transformation processes. Much of it will be done by prioritizing technology that allows companies to become more agile and responsive to their business goals with the speed and flexibility that the market demands.