The year is now over and at Santander Global Tech we wanted to examine which trends in technological innovation have been strong this year, and which have not made the progress we expected, but may have a greater presence in 2021.
Predictions are always difficult and more so this year, but some trends on the list were already “old news”, such as cyber security, blockchain or big data, and have continued to consolidate among the main developments in the technology sector.
Others have made strong progress this year, especially with regard to the evolution of technological infrastructure or new services that previously had a more reserved place, as is the case with cloud technology and microservices, or the arrival of 5G networks. And let us not forget how this year has been marked by the “forced” acceleration of digitalisation and remote working.
Tech Trend #10. Technology as a service
No one could predict the consequences of the current pandemic, which has led to a global test in many ways and to a transformation of the technology sector.
New ways of working remotely have given rise to new needs, such as the extensive use of teleconferencing platforms (Teams, Skype, Zoom), work-sharing applications, new educational resources, remote medical consultations, online menus consulted by QR in restaurants and even visits to virtual museums.
No one seems to think that this technological transformation is temporary, but that these changes are here to stay.
Tech Trend #9. AI to improve the customer experience
Artificial intelligence continues to make steady progress and there are positive advances in AI technologies for understanding and processing human language, but as we pointed out at the beginning of the year, the arrival of a revolution in digital marketing, banking, finance, etc., still has some way to go.
Gartner pointed out that around 2025 may be its best time. This company also indicates that AI engineering is currently going through the improvement of its maintenance, scalability and governance, where the profile of the DevOps is of vital importance in order to extract benefits from its developments.
Tech Trend #8. Data Science: Tensor Flow y Keras
In terms of Machine Learning, the main driver was the support it receives from the Python community. Google’s bet continues to grow as a reference in data science this year: TensorFlow 2.0, but it has quite a few followers Keras, Python library for neural networks and Deep Learning, which allows in more or less time to use deep learning networks. Part of its success is that it can be run on the TensorFlow framework itself.
Tech Trend #7. Big Data “No news is good news”
Mainstream technologies within the lake, such as Spark, Hive, Cassandra, Kafka, MongoDB, etc, continued to lead, but this year we thought Amazon’s new cloud storage technology, MinIO, would take a leap, and it hasn’t. The vast ecosystem of Big Data technologies remains conservative.
Do you want to know what the main data technologies are?
–> Here you have updated the Data & AI Landscape 2020
Tech Trend #6. 5G Networks little echo for the moment
The 5G network arrived, and at the beginning of the year, it only had one operator, something that has changed and practically all of them operate under this technology.
Unfortunately, the expected popularity has not been such, surely due to the unexpected social and economic situation of this 2020. But the benefit of mobile high speed will surely be one of the touchstones of the coming years.
The main advantages of 5G are:
- higher speed in data transfer
- more latency speed
- greater number of devices connected simultaneously
- less energy consumption
Thanks to this technology, we will be able to make massive use of data under this network and we will surely see its advance in the Internet of things, Smart cities, predictive medicine, Smart homes, automation, etc.
Tech Trend #5. Blockchain comes of age
Blockchain was born a few years ago with a paradigm shift that seems destined to be the basis that will revolutionize the Internet, however, for this 2020 we predict a process of maturation and it has been so, with a slight increase in cases of use.
Recently, an agreement has been reached between large Spanish companies, including Banco Santander itself, to develop the digital identity with blockchain technology. It is hoped that this initiative will enable users to manage their own digital identity in a secure and reliable manner.
In this way, users will be able to use their data validated by other entities to rent a car, take out insurance, ask for a loan, sign up for the electricity service, or any other service that the user desires, all in a few clicks.
Tech Trend #4. Cybersecurity, an essential feature of companies
We said that cybersecurity would remain a major issue in business, but so much so?
2020 has become the year when the cyber-threat indicator increased like no other. Google data reveals a 350% increase in phishing websites during this pandemic period.
To this must be added the complications of working remotely, access to data from sources outside the organization and ensuring the proper functioning of companies under these circumstances. Cyber-resilience is a current challenge for cyber-security teams.
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Tech Trend #3. Virtual reality and augmented reality
We didn’t count it among this year’s top technologies, but it’s worth mentioning for several reasons. There are more and more virtual reality devices, such as the new Facebook glasses, the Oculus Quest 2, which have been well received in sales.
Also because, although the use is mainly for entertainment applications, there are more and more companies developing under this technology, such as in rehabilitation treatments for medical problems, virtual visits or immersion experiences.
But especially because given the current limitations of the Covid era, virtual and augmented reality can play new roles in customer experience, in the education sector, tourism, etc.
According to the consulting firm IDC, more than 50% of European companies have implemented a strategy of virtual or augmented reality in 2020 and 71% of eShoppers would buy more often in an eCommerce if it offered products with augmented reality.
Tech Trend #2. Microservices: The travel companion to the cloud
If the new foundations of technological development go through the Cloud, the bricks that will build the applications will be the microservices. The architecture that will be most extended will have these microservices using Docker containers to deploy and scale services thanks to an orchestrator, Kubernetes.
With the microservices, each application can be isolated, with its own dependencies, providing greater flexibility in deployments, version management, testing, etc. This modularisation of applications is well aligned with continuous integration.
As we were saying at the beginning of the year, this architecture for developing applications has made great strides in 2020 and will continue to do so over the coming year.
Tech Trend #1. Migration to the MultiCloud
Another easy hit of our predictions for this year 2020. According to Francois Ajenstat, Product Manager at Tableau Software, “there is a stampede of organisations moving their data to the cloud and moving their core applications”.
This year the number of companies migrating their technologies to the use of cloud technologies has increased. The main service providers are still Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud.
The advantages of this paradigm are:
- scalability resolution
- less need for resources to monitor services thanks to its automatisms
- Cost reduction
- access to services from anywhere
All this without losing the autonomy in the management of the software, and keeping the data safe. The consultancy firm Gartner ensures that at least 30% of the technological investment will be made in the hybrid cloud. It goes so far as to say that not having the infrastructure in the cloud will be as absurd as talking about a company that does not work with an Internet connection.
Do you want to know more? Check out this article on how many types of cloud services there are.