Article | April 1, 2020
Most of the time, collaborating on a software project means working with tools like Git—taking turns making modifications, then reconciling the final product into a single codebase. But live collaboration on code—two or more people working on the same file in real time—has become far more viable in recent years. You’ll still want to have one person sign off on the final code, but being able to see other people’s edits as they happen is a great boon for distance learning, crunch-time work, and peer review.
Article | March 16, 2020
The writing is on the wall, boldly: Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and it is transforming every aspect of life and business. Over the years, the adoption of AI in recruiting has increased, and that has subsequently improved the hiring processes of enterprises that take advantage of it. Initially, its introduction wasn’t so welcomed, not just because experts believed that it would take the jobs of HR personnel, but particularly because of the possibility that it would make the recruitment process overly robotic and remove the sacred "human" factor in HR.
Article | April 28, 2020
The tech industry is almost always playing the balancing act by continuing to drive innovations and at the same time grappling with the side effect of those innovations in the global economy. Though every industry faces this challenge as it becomes more mature, the challenge is unique for the tech industry with the scale that tech is able to achieve and the evolutionary aspect of mixing digital and physical worlds.
Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that it may go out of trend even before it is mentioned as a trending technology. But with the tremendous potential they bring with themselves, both for business and technology, it is time for the technology industry to make good use of it. While there are major questions around safety, privacy, sustainability, and trust, these questions can be answered by combining technical expertise with social awareness.
We’ll discuss how the impact of latest trends in 2020 will support and progress the infotech industry.
Table of Contents:
- Tech-Washing Fades in Favor of Real Strategy
- Growing Demand for Workforce Diversity
- Redefining IT Infrastructure with the Internet of Things
- Artificial Intelligence
- Demand for Automation
- Deep Fakes, 5G, and the Data Management Challenge
- Changing Reality of Emerging Technologies
1. Tech-Washing Fades in Favor of Real Strategy
With the vast influx of user friendly technologies it can now be said that every company is a tech company. Though the fact that technology is everywhere doesn’t necessarily change the underlying business model. A company cannot simply create new growth avenues by slapping a tech label on their product and expect to reap profits, which can be true for larger companies going public and struggling with the reality of the market.Then there are smaller businesses that are falling prey to marketing hyperbole. New trends like artificial intelligence and blockchain require significant investments and change to workflow. The smaller companies slowly realize the difference between buying new technologies and truly integrating them with their work culture.
Businesses will show more intent to integrate a technology into their work culture for strategic returns rather than buying a technology to use it as a crutch.
2. Growing Demand for Workforce Diversity
The technological workforce has been under the scanner for lack of diversity due to the unconscious bias along with other behaviour that is far more conscious, such as barrier to access for low-income students and even reports of outright abuse. In 2020, the call for improved diversity will continue to pay dividends, even if fully diverse and inclusive environments still lie further in the future. Going beyond the common conception of diversity, companies will also seek to bring in skill diversity. Companies are now increasingly seeking diversified expertise across all areas of IT framework – infrastructure, software development, cybersecurity and data.
In addition, companies now look for individuals that have some degree of work experience which indicates unwillingness to hire freshmen. Business are also looking for professionals that can speak the language of business and collaborate with other departments in order to drive technology-fuelled business results.
3. Redefining IT Infrastructure with the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things has emerged as one of the technological trends, along with cloud computing and mobile devices that will now be a permanent part of modern technology landscape. Digitization of environment and operations has gained pace due to the data value that comes with it. IoT is also bringing positive results for companies with both major and minor level IoT-related sales in the last year. Today, IoT as a managed services play is driving the most revenue in this category, but looking ahead to the next two years companies are predicting that analytics on data captured by IoT sensors – then shared with customers – holds the most financial promise.
I&O must get involved in the early planning discussions of the IoT puzzle to understand the proposed service and support model at scale. This will avoid the cascade effect of unforeseen service gaps, which could cause serious headaches in future.
- Ross Winser, Senior Research Director, Gartner
The next wave of IoT will require expert understanding of digital BizOps. Business will have to treat IoT projects more like an expansion of infrastructure.This will dictate networking structures, storage options, data policies, and security decisions. The stage for IoT, as for cloud computing and mobile devices, is set and ready to bring in advance IoT digital transformation.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Cloud computing lowered the barrierdeveloping software and distribution, while mobile devices extended the reach of software, thus increasing the software’s ability to drive activity. This created a new challenge in conducting said activity and acting on the data being collected. Artificial intelligence with software-driven routines and compute resources that can run advanced algorithms, takes software to another height. It is clear by now that AI needs a different kind of oversight compared to other software given the challenge of programming bias and unreasonable outputs. Like any other software, AI requires solid inputs and these inputs are often massive datasets rather than highly specific data points. But, there is still a need to maintain the data quality. AI opens up new opportunities for businesses as well as job roles as it continues to disrupt the infotech landscape.
5. Demand for Automation
SMBs require automation mainly in the areas of integration of platforms, application and data, while the large corporation who also focus on integration, have more internal resourcesto lean on. But, whether the integration is in-house or outsourced, the next step is automation. Today’s automations open doors to new opportunities like cloud systems offers tools from the provider; IoT gathers inputs from varied sources, and AI suggests insight-driven actions. With a number of technologies disrupting the tech landscape, companies can build complex automation. But as automation goes more complex, AI will play more a monitoring role.
Cybersecurity is not an emerging trends but it has been around for a while. Though the technologies revolving cybersecurity are upgrading as new threats keep appearing. Hackers keep finding news way to exploit the toughest of measures.
The attitude towards cybersecurity has shifted drastically from defensive to a more aggressive approach. Another drastic change has come in enterprises now treating cybersecurity more as an important component of business and not another function of IT. At large enterprises, this usually takes the form of a CISO managing a team of resources, and the division is more clear.
The first step, which many enterprise overlook, is to define the risk tolerance. The next steps is to fill the skill gap that exists due to a varied areas that come under the security umbrella. Finally, there must be metrics to measure the return on a more significant investment.
READ MORE: HOW TO MITIGATE ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION IMPLEMENTATION WITH LOW-CODE DEVELOPMENT
7. Deep Fakes, 5G, and the Data Management Challenge
Deep Fakes have the potential to wreak havoc on the society, personal lives, politics, careers, and beyond.Forging video and voice software appear to convincing people of doing things that they normal won’t do. Such software in the hands of bad elements would mean inviting trickeries and handing over important personal information to strangers. As long as deep fake applications exist – and they will continue to exist and proliferate – the need for sophisticated data management will skyrocket in the coming years. And data volume, already completely exponential, is only going to mushroom with the more expansive rollout of 5G networks next year and beyond. The entry of 5G will increase the absorption of data exponentially.
In addition to bringing us all faster broadband speeds and more reliable mobile networks, the proliferation of 5G will also accelerate advancements in smart city, smart vehicle, smart manufacturing, and scores of IoT-intensive technologies hungry for 5G. Just about every industry that touches our daily lives will be transformed – for the better – by the technology evolution that will define 2020.
- Daniel Newman, CEO,Broadsuite Media Group
The two trends will bring new data management challenges. There will be increasing need to identify data with its true source as well assecure the mountains of information speeding along these networks.
8. Changing Reality of Emerging Technologies
The excitement around emerging technologies is highand even though the impact on an operational levelhas been positive for business for building better practices for evaluating early-stage topics and accelerating adoption, its been chaotic at a tactical level. Companies have had less time to observe and evaluate which technology is profitable, while the constraints of resources and skill gap exacerbates.
The trend has been that companies in the business of technology are starting to pull back on adopting new technology as part of their portfolio. This slight tap on the brakes suggests that classic situation where companies move too quickly into a new technology discipline or business model only to have a reality check in year two or three. Though companies are excited about new technologies including AI, IoT, 5G, drones, blockchain, and quantum computing, they reserve their excitement since new trends can still take off overnight.
READ MORE: HOW TO LEVERAGE IOT IN MANUFACTURING TO USHER IN INDUSTRY 4.0
Article | November 20, 2020
As smart machines, data, and algorithms usher in dramatic technological transformation, its global impact spans from cautious optimism to doomsday scenarios. Widespread transformation, displacement, and disaggregation of world labor markets is speculated in countries like India, with an estimated 600 million workforce by 2022, as well as the global labor market. Even today, we are witnessing the resurgence of 'hybrid' jobs where distinctive human abilities are paired with data and algorithms, and 'super' jobs that involve deep tech. Our historical response to such tectonic shifts and upheavals has been predictable so far - responding with trepidation and uncertainty in the beginning followed by a period of painful transition. Communities and nations that can sense and respond will be able to shape social, economic, and political order decisively. However, with general AI predictably coming of age by 2050-60, governments will need to frame effective policies to respond to their obligations to their citizens. This involves the creation of a new social contract between the individual, enterprise, and state for an inclusive and equitable society.
The present age is marked by automation, augmentation, and amplification of human talent by transformative technologies. A typical career may go through 15-20 transitions. And given the gig economy, the shelf-life of skills is rapidly shrinking. Many agree that for the next 30 years, the nature and the volume of jobs will get significantly redefined. So even as it is nearly impossible to gaze into the crystal ball 100 years later, one can take a shot at what jobs may emerge in the next 20-30 years given the present state. So here is a glimpse into the kind of technological changes the next generation might witness that will change the employment scenario:
RESTORATION OF BIODIVERSITY
Our biodiversity is shrinking frighteningly fast - for both flora and fauna. Extinct species revivalists may be challenged with restoring and reintegrating pertinent elements back into the natural environment. Without biodiversity, humanity will perish.
Medicine is rapidly getting personalized as genome sequencing becomes commonplace. Even today, Elon Musk's Neuralink is working on brain-machine interfaces. So you may soon be able to upload your brain onto a computer where it can be edited, transformed, and re-uploaded back into you. Anti-aging practitioners will be tasked with enhancing human life-spans to ensure we stay productive late into our twilight years. Gene sequencers will help personalize treatments and epigenetic therapists will manipulate gene expression to overcome disease and decay. Brain neurostimulation experts and augmentationists may be commonplace to ensure we are happier, healthier, and disease-free. In fact, happiness itself may get redefined as it shifts from the quality of our relationships to that between man-machine integration.
THE QUANTIFIED SELF
As more of the populace interact and engage with a digitized world, digital rehabilitators will help you detox and regain your sense of self, which may get inseparably intertwined with smart machines and interfaces.
DATA-LED VALUE CREATION
Data is exploding at a torrid pace and becoming a source of value-creation. While today's organizations are scrambling to create data lakes, future data-centers will be entrusted with sourcing high-value data, securing rights to it, and even licensing it to others. Data will increasingly create competitive asymmetries amongst organizations and nations. Data brokers will be the new intermediaries and data detectives, analysts, monitors or watchers, auditors, and frackers will emerge as new-age roles. Since data and privacy issues are entwined together, data regulators, ethicists, and trust professionals will thrive. Many new cyber laws will come into existence.
HEALING THE PLANET
As the world grapples with the specter of climate change, our focus on sustainability and clean energy will intensify. Our landfills are choked with both toxic and non-toxic waste. Plastic alone takes almost 1000 years to degrade, so landfill operators will use earthworm-like robots to help decompose waste and recoup precious recyclable waste. Nuclear fusion will emerge as the new source of clean energy, creating a broad gamut of engineers, designers, integrators, architects, and planners around it. We may even generate power in space. Since our oceans are infested with waste, a lot of initiatives and roles will emerge around cleaning the marine environment to ensure natural habitat and food security.
TAMING THE GENOME
As technologies like CRISPR and Prime-editing mature, we may see a resurgence of biohackers and programmable healthcare. Our health and nutrition may be algorithmically managed. CRISPR-like advancements will need a swathe of engineers, technicians, auditors, and regulators for genetically engineered health that may overcome a wide variety of diseases for longer life-expectancy.
THE RISE OF BOTS
Humanoid and non-humanoid robots will need entire workforce ecosystems around them spanning from suppliers, programmers, operators, and maintenance experts to ethicists and UI-designers. Smart robot psychologists will have to counsel them and ensure they are safe and friendly. Regulators may grant varying levels of autonomy to robots.
DATA LOADS THE GUN, CREATIVITY FIRES THE TRIGGER
Today's deep-learning Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) can create music like Mozart and paintings like Picasso. Such advancements will give birth to a wide array of AI-enhanced professionals, like musicians, painters, authors, quantum programmers, cybersecurity experts, educators, etc.
FROM AUGMENTATION TO AUTONOMY
Autonomous driving is about to mature in the next few years and will extend to air and space travel. Safety will exceed human capabilities and we may soon reach a state of diminishing returns where we will employ fewer humans to prevent mishaps and unforeseen occurrences. This industry will need supportive command center managers, traffic analyzers, fleet managers, and people to ensure onboarding experience.
BLOCKCHAIN BECOMES PERVASIVE
Blockchain will create a lot of jobs for its mainstream and derivative applications. Even though most of its present applications are in Financial Services, Supply Chain, and Asset Management industries, very soon its adoption and integration will be a lot more expansive. Engineers, designers, UI/UX experts, analysts, auditors, and regulators will be required to manage blockchain-related applications. With Crypto being one of its better-known applications, a lot of transaction specialists, miners, insurers, wealth managers, and regulators will be needed. Crypto exchanges will come under the purview of the regulatory framework.
3D PRINTING TURNS GAME-CHANGER
Additive manufacturing, also popularly called 3D printing, will mature in its precision, capabilities, and market potential. Lab-grown, 3D-printed food will be part of our regular diet. Transplantable organs will be generated using stem cell research and 3D printing. Amputees and the disabled will adopt 3D-printed limbs and prosthetics. Its applications for high-precision reconstructive surgery are already commonplace. Pills are being 3D printed as we speak. So again, we are looking at 3D printers, operators, material scientists, pharmacists, construction experts, etc.
THE COLONIZATION OF OUTER SPACE
Amazon's Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX signal a new horizon. As space tech gets into a new trajectory, a new breed of commercial space pilots, mission planners, launch managers, cargo experts, ground crew, experience designers, etc. will be required. Since we have ravaged the limited resources of our planet already, mankind will need to venture into asteroid mining for rare and precious metals. This will need scouts and surveyors, meteorologists, remote bot operators, remotely managed factories, and whatnot.
THE HYPER-CONNECTED WORLD
By 2020, we already have anywhere between 50-75 billion connected devices. By 2040, this will likely swell to more than 100 trillion sensors that will spew out a dizzying volume of real-time data ready for analytics and AI. A complete IoT system as we know it is aware, autonomous, and actionable, just like a self-driving car. Imagine the number of data modelers, sensor designers and installers, signal architects and engineers that will be needed. Home automation will be pervasive and smart medicines, implants, and wearables will be the norms of the day.
DRONES USHER IN DISRUPTION
Unmanned aerial and underwater drones are already becoming ubiquitous for applications in aerial surveillance, delivery, and security. Countries are awakening to their potential as well as possibilities of misuse. Command centers, just like that for space travel, will manage them as countries rush to put in a regulatory framework around them. An army of designers, programmers, security experts, traffic flow optimizers will harness their true potential.
SHIELDING YOUR DATA
With data come cyber threats, data breaches, cyber warfare, cyber espionage, and a host of other issues. The more data-dependent and connected the world is, the bigger the problem of cybersecurity will be. The severity of the problem will increase manifold from the current issues like phishing, spyware, malware, viruses and worms, ransomware, DoS/ DDoS attacks, hacktivism, and cybersecurity will indeed be big business. The problem is that threats are increasing 10X faster than investments in this space and the interesting thing is that it is a lot more about audits, governance, policies, and compliance than technology alone.
FOOD-TECH COMES OF AGE
As the world population grows to 9.7 billion people in 2050, cultured food and lab-grown meat will hit our tables to ensure food security. Entire food chains and value delivery networks will see an unprecedented change. Agriculture will be transformed with robotics, IoT, drones, and the food-tech sector will take off in a big way.
QUANTUM COMPUTING SOLVES INTRACTABLE PROBLEMS
Finally, while the list is very long, let’s touch upon the advent of qubits, or Quantum computing. With its ability to break the best encryption on the planet, the traditional asymmetric encryption, public key infrastructure, digital envelopes, and digital certificates in use today will be rendered useless. Bring in the quantum programmers, analysts, privacy and trust managers, health monitors, etc.
As we brace for the world that looms large ahead of us, the biggest enabler that will be transformed itself will be Education 4.0. Education will cease to be a phase in your life. Life-long interventions will be needed to adapt, impart, and shape the skills of individuals that are ready for the future of work. More power to the people!