After the “nineties” and the “noughties”, the “twenty-tens” just didn’t have quite the same ring to it. For that reason alone, it will surely be a relief to get into the twenties. But will they be as roaring as the last lot?
Let’s take a look at some of the major predictions for the next decade across technology, the economy and politics, according to the experts. And explore what small businesses can do to adapt and maximise their potential. One thing is for certain, they will need to adapt. In our ever-changing society, there’s no going back.
“Alexa, what will happen in technology in the 2020s?”
The top 10 technological advancements likely over the next decade:
1. Artificial intelligence
The ability of a machine to think and learn.
2. Augmented reality/Virtual reality
Adding digital elements with AR or complete immersion in a digital world (with a VR headset).
3. Voice recognition
The ability of a machine to understand spoken commands. A third of web browsing will be voice-activated by 2020 (Gartner).
4. Autonomous cars
Prints layer upon layer to create three-dimensional objects like jewellery or prototypes.
A decentralised database that can’t be copied or modified and is the basis for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
The next generation of WiFi set to be 100 faster than 4G.
8. Mainstream Internet of Things
Interconnected devices embedded with software that allows it to collect, exchange and respond to data (think smartwatches).
9. Wireless power
The ability to charge or use power through electromagnetic induction (without cables).
10. Universal translation
Instant translation of any language through text and voice.
Businesses need to consider what effect these technological advancements could have on their products and services.
- What threats are there and what could be capitalised on from a marketing or product development perspective?
- How do marketing strategies need to change in light of voice-activated web search and constant connectivity?
There’s still a lot that most organisations could do to use data better, capitalise on personalisation and build online communities. And if your business relies heavily on one channel like pay-per-click advertising or uses a platform like Facebook as it’s main way as connecting with customers then you should consider lessening this reliance. Own your data and have multiple routes to market because it’s possible that the ‘big tech’ monopoly will be broken up over the next decade and that these platforms won’t exist any longer (or be as popular or used in the same ways).
“A million small and medium-size enterprises could offer a million different sets of house rules, and the monopoly would be effectively disrupted.”
Cory Doctorow, author and journalist