If you're reading this, you're probably a small business owner. As a small business owner, I'm sure you are extremely busy but let's take a second to stop and think about what types of data you have available within your business.
We saw a lot of digital progression in the year 2019 – and all the years leading up to it in this decade.
The turn of the decade will see another explosion of digital trends which have been nearing maturity for a while now. We’ll also see the introduction of entirely new trends that will continue to shape digital transformation for businesses.
In this exciting time, we thought we’d discuss some of the most interesting ones to look forward to.
Unlike the coming of winter, this is one that we don’t have to fear. In fact, with more than ten times the speed of the 4G network at a lesser cost, 5G is the dream come true.
As of the time of this writing, many brands are already working hard to make sure 5G is available to all. In Australia, Telstra and Optus have rolled out 5G connectivity across a number of areas with Vodafone likely to follow suit in the next 6 months. While certain smartphone OEMs have made expensive units with the support for this network, they have also turned their gaze to more affordable units that will run 5G.
This provides businesses with the needed infrastructure to deploy what would have otherwise been regarded as data-intensive, slow services across 5G-enabled units, scaling up considerably. Likewise, 5G enables these businesses to supply their services faster and smoother than before, reducing the inherent latency which the average consumer would have had to face in times past.
Of course, 5G and Wi-Fi are not the same but they will combine to supply one of the most fast and powerful speed combinations we’ve ever seen. Wi-Fi 6 began implementation in September 2019, offering a massive increased in device connectivity but also improved performance in dense, busy environments as well as better network security.
With this introduction, it is possible to maintain a higher number of connected devices on the same Wi-Fi network without the fear of a drop in speed. Besides streamlining device connection and network setup, businesses will also benefit from the higher speed of service delivery and process operations they can attain with the network.
Artificial Intelligence has been here for a while now, but it has been taking its time to mature. While we are yet to realize the full potential of this piece of technology, though, it is at the point where full deployment will do more good than harm.
That said, the major challenge most people have with AI is how it will take over jobs in various industries. We would be lying if we said that is not true. However, it is not entirely true either.
AI will power machine and deep learning so much that certain tasks can be automated within the industry. This will, in turn, enable the handing over of menial tasks to this piece of technology while the core operations can be focused on by us mere humans.
In other words, it takes the mundane jobs away, allowing employees to scale up to even more satisfying and better rewarding positions. In 2020, AI will become applied even more in everyday business life (and not just by leading enterprises) to deliver better customer experiences, production output and business performance optimisation.
Following on from AI, data analytics and science make the next decade an even more interesting one for businesses.
The last decade has seen businesses take advantage of the potential that data holds. In 2020, this will continue to be the trend but more so in small-to-medium businesses. With affordable analytics and data science solutions now available to all businesses, the small can compete with the giants. Because the average user generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, application of these data methods is more important than ever during Digital Transformation in 2020.
Fortunately, applied data science and advanced analytics can easily handle and draw meaningful insights from mass volumes of data.
Now that we have 5G and Wi-Fi 6 coming to power at even more alarming rates, AI can help map trends in data that will allow for a better understanding of the consumer base – helping to make better business decisions. At the same time, companies of all sizes can now focus on new ways to use data as an asset.
Speaking of data…
Data blew up in our faces so fast, and businesses started mining this digital gold from just about anywhere they could find it. Such practices went unchecked for a long time before certain regulating bodies found the need to step in – and we got the GDPR.
This was a slap in the face for some organisations when it first came out, but brands have now found new strategies to keep in line with the requirement of GDPR while still going about their operations. The newest data regulation being talked about is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which goes into effect on January 1st 2020. With California being the biggest state in the USA with 40 million residents, there’s no surprise they are setting the pace for America.
The CCPA offers consumers the power to request the information stored about them by companies under this legislation. Consumers can demand that their information not be shared with 3rd parties and also deleted if they wish.
I think we will see even more of these GDPR / CCPA type legislations created and implemented around the world in the next 12 months as data becomes a growingly lucrative currency.
Internet of Things started as fun, but it is now a single driver that is considered very important to the support of digital transformation with some 61% of businesses. This growth via IoT is all thanks to the development of more and more platforms in support of this form of tech – and the expansion will only continue with an upward momentum for now.
Thus, this is the ideal time for businesses and brands to get in on the IoT trend before the market gets saturated. With sensors, it even becomes easier to gather day-to-day data which the consumer might not be able to share on their own.
Besides helping to improve the kind of services you offer to the consumer, it also informs you of what new products they might need without their ever being able to tell you.
Thanks to the coming of faster connection speeds, IoT-enabled devoices will get the ability to sync and react even faster than before for a more seamless experience.
Of course, there remains the concern of how inherently unsafe these units can be to data privacy and security – which is also a strong point on this list. 2020 will see more importance placed on the security of IoT in cities, businesses and homes. With the increasing reliance on a network of connected devices in each of these settings, hackers have the opportunity to penetrate and control all connected core devices. This a risky situation which will drive even more security enhancements in IoT networks in 2020.
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