In 2010, consumers were introduced to the iPad. Facebook was rising in popular culture with Twitter hot on its heels. The BlackBerry withered on the vine while more smartphones stormed the market. Americans were just beginning to consider online privacy concerns.
A decade later, tablets and smartphones have revolutionized business. Social media is a must-have platform for businesses to connect with consumers. Cybersecurity and privacy concerns reached a fever pitch in 2019.
There’s no doubt that the rapidly changing digital world will bring new opportunities and challenges in the next year. We predict 2020’s technology trends and how they’ll shape workplaces.
The Internet of Things — interconnected devices able to transfer data over a network — will grow in 2020. The IoT is already represented in the workplace through smart locks, thermostats, cameras, printers, tablets, smartphones and wearable devices to track travel or employee activity. As automation grows and companies add or upgrade equipment, it will be increasingly important for professionals to understand their devices’ interconnectivity and how to secure them from cyberattacks.
Automation and AI
Automation programs and artificial intelligence will have an even greater impact on the workforce in the coming years.
AI — machines mimicking human behavior by basing actions on past data — is already a fixture of Americans’ personal lives. Streaming services offer algorithmically generated suggestions based on past views, and social media sites use AI facial recognition software to suggest people users can tag in photos. In business, AI is already used to filter spam emails, detect fraudulent financial transactions and for a variety of other tasks.
Simply put, AI technology can accurately perform these tasks much faster than people can, leading decision-makers to favor labor-saving tools. AI is part of a larger automation trend that which could obliterate as many as 73 million jobs in America by 2030, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report. However, experts such as Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, believe the growth in AI technology will also create jobs as employees are needed to create and manage the technology. Throughout the next decade, the tech industry will see a rapid expansion in the need for workers trained in automation programs.
Outside of the job market, workers can find comfort in the fact that automation will eliminate pesky daily tasks that distract them from larger projects. Automation can help generate sales leads, maintain office equipment, analyze reports, organize data, process transactions and answer questions among other tasks.
American workers are constantly on the go, and many workplaces have employees who work remotely. More and more workplaces will require virtual private networks — VPNs — for employees who access the company network remotely.
Hosted communications systems are another way for employees to easily work on the go and connect with customers. The system allows a group of employees to collaboratively edit a document in real time and facilitate a video or phone chat for employees working in different areas. Cell phones connected to the office communications systems allow workers to answer calls outside of the office. If the call is sent to a voicemail, the message is transferred from the individual’s cell phone to the voicemail connected to the hosted communications system.
As the IoT expands and hackers become more adept at deploying cyberattacks across devices, cybersecurity threats will be more prevalent than ever. More small and medium businesses are facing the same cyberthreats as large corporations, according to Ponemon Institute’s 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Size Businesses report.
For the report, researchers surveyed more than 1,000 small and medium businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom. The survey found that 67 percent of respondents — eight percent higher than in fiscal 2017 — reported facing a cyberattack in fiscal 2018. Additionally, 58 percent reported facing a data breach in fiscal 2018, an increase of four percent from 2017.
More businesses will recognize the dire need for advanced cybersecurity plans. Throughout 2020, leaders will devote more resources to security efforts. For comparison, Cyber Security Hub found that companies’ cybersecurity budgets increased 59 percent in the first half of 2019.
In 2019, 91.3 percent of the Cyber Security Hub respondents said the lack of trained talent was turning into a crisis. As the workforce hurries to find employees skilled in cybersecurity, more organizations will turn to managed IT service providers, such as Infomax, to work with a ready-made team of cybersecurity experts.
To learn more about Infomax’s team of providers, message us or call 1-800-727-4629. We can help guide your workplace through the next decade.