The current crisis is changing a lot of things about our lives, but experts are already saying that the effects of these changes will extend far beyond the pandemic. Trends are shaping up on the market, new habits and other changes are already affecting our lives at the moment, and more importantly, technology is bringing greater impacts in general.
Some new technologies are being pushed to the centre stage due to the changes being made right now. There are tools, products, and services that will continue to be parts of our lives after the crisis is over. What are the technologies that will dominate the market in 2020 and beyond? Let’s find out, shall we?
The most obvious tech to pay attention to in today’s market is video conferencing and collaborative platforms in general. People are forced to work from home and remain effective, and the way to do that is by relying on audio and video conference technologies to connect with colleagues and maintain effectiveness level as a professional.
Zoom.us is the most prominent name in video conferencing technology right now. Despite the controversies surrounding its attention to security and privacy, Zoom.us continues to be used by millions of professionals across the globe. The simplicity of the video conferencing platform, the features it offers, and the fact that it is available for free also make Zoom.us more interesting.
Zoom.us is not alone on the market. Google has long offered video conferencing via its Google Meet app and service. Skype, Cisco, and other tech companies also offer similar solutions, albeit with different feature sets and offers. Nevertheless, expect to see video conferencing becoming more common even after the crisis is over.
Video conferencing is only the start of the many changes affecting professionals around the world. Remote collaboration is also becoming more common. Adobe, for instance, is seeing a significant increase in its Creative Cloud active users. Adobe CC itself is not a new suite of software, but more users are using its cloud and remote collaboration features actively today.
The same is true for apps and services like Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Zoho. Other SaaS applications like Salesforce and HubSpot are also seeing spikes in their user acquisition. Everyone is moving to the cloud, and business operations rely on technology more than ever. It is evident that remote collaboration is here to stay.
What’s interesting is that professionals now find themselves more productive when working remotely. There are fewer distractions to worry about, less time to waste in commuting and taking breaks, and more ways to create a suitable work environment. Even for those who work from home, maintaining focus and remaining effective is easy to do.
When the pandemic first hit the West, a lot of market analysts saw artificial intelligence as among the least crucial technology to have. In reality, however, artificial intelligence, or AI, is being adopted at a significantly faster pace. AI is being used to power chat bots, in automated diagnostics tools, and for many other critical services right now.
AI is also being used to streamline processes in various industries. The University of Exeter Online recently published an article about how AI is improving education in many ways. Similar applications of artificial intelligence are also helping industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and retail improve their efficiency levels through automation and assisted applications.
AI is the way forward; businesses can reduce their overhead costs by utilising AI to automate tasks, crunch data, analyse workflows, and assist employees in completing their own tasks faster. AI is also incredibly accurate when processing data, plus it is now more capable of generating readable insights from multiple data streams.
Aside from remote working, 2020 is the year of online learning. Online learning service providers and online universities are seeing a sharp increase in new students and course adoptions. People are turning to online learning for different reasons. For starters, those who are confined to their homes can pursue a higher degree or master new skills by studying online.
Online courses and formal programs are also more up to date. The market may be struggling right now, but there will be plenty of opportunities to seize in the coming months. Enrolling in a master’s degree program today is a good investment in the future. After earning the master’s degree, it is much easier to fill managerial (or other higher) positions.
Edutech is also being used to deliver conventional education to students. Schools are turning to apps and services like Zoom.us to make remote learning possible. It is a trend that’s affecting the education systems of many countries around the globe. When the crisis is over, remote learning will still be an attractive option for students and professionals alike.
Of course, technologies that are helping the healthcare industry deliver the best services today are also here to stay. Digital imaging, AI-powered analysis, remote and online consultations, healthcare bots, and many other new technologies are being pushed forward in order to help the industry face today’s challenges.
Rather than seeing a doctor in person, for example, patients can now get in touch with doctors through healthcare apps. The consultation can be done via video conference or text. Patients will then receive instructions to follow or solutions related to the health issues they face. Even remote testing is made possible through the use of technology.
With the integration of electronic medical records (EMRs), remote consultation and healthcare tech in general are more likely to be implemented beyond today’s crisis. Both healthcare service providers and patients are realising the added convenience and benefits offered by these new technologies. It will not be surprising to see an increase in healthcare apps as we move forward.
Payment services may not be tied to the crisis we face today directly, but the financial industry as a whole is still heavily affected by the pandemic. Physical distancing is being enforced in many parts of the world and it is changing the way we interact socially. Contactless payment is a technology that will be offering the most advantage in this circumstance.
Once again, the technology that makes contactless payment possible is not new. Its application, however, is more in line with the needs of customers or users today. Using existing tech like NFC, QR, and RFID, financial service providers will continue to offer contactless payments for offline transactions.
The adoption of contactless payment will also reduce the use of cash. This shift further pushes financial inclusion; those who don’t have access to financial and banking services can now download an app, open an account, and start making payments without jumping through hoops. The integration of other technologies like eKYC (for identity verification) will speed up the adoption of contactless payment.
The last tech on our list is drone delivery or contactless delivery. This too is a technology that has been under review and testing for a couple of years. Amazon has its delivery drones, and other online retailers are following suit. While the technology itself isn’t 100% ready for wider adoption, there is a bigger incentive to get it ready for market use today.
Drones for delivering goods is incredibly valuable in today’s market. Ecommerce sites are seeing spikes in demand and customer orders, but they are still relying on traditional shipping methods to get products to customers. It is only a matter of time before e-commerce businesses or shipping companies start offering drone delivery as part of their regular service line-ups.
Robot delivery is promising too. The Domino’s delivery robot was introduced as a gimmick, but it is now a serious concept being developed by a team of experts. Don’t be surprised to see delivery robots ringing your doorbell or Amazon Prime’s drone landing on your front garden in the near future. We are moving towards these technologies being implemented widely as we speak.
Business as Usual
Tech companies are coming up with new products and solutions as a response to the pandemic and the changes happening around it. The market is changing indeed, and companies whose products and services are adjusted to account for market changes will be the ones who survive the crisis and beyond. The same is true for technologies behind today’s products and services; they need to be adopted in different ways for them to survive the crisis.
Not all technologies will be as important as the ones covered in this article. 5G implementation, for example, is more likely to be delayed by a year or so due to the market shifts. 6G Wi-Fi is now stealing the spotlight as a way to enable faster connections with lower latency. This is a good example of changes happening in real-time.
For us users and consumers, these changes are promising. The new trends shaping up on the market are all very interesting to follow. They make our lives better and more convenient, and they enable the creation of better, more refined tools that can support the new habits and daily routines we will eventually have after the crisis.