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IT Trends and Challenges for 2020

2020 is set to be a big year for the IT industry. However, with many companies now investing in more advanced systems, hackers are increasing the sophistication of their attacks. Here, we take a look at the trends set to dominate the industry this year, as well as the challenges IT professionals are likely to face.

Trending in 2020

1. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has seen a huge rise throughout 2019 (with even the egg trays in the fridge having a WiFi connection) and it isn’t likely to slow down in 2020. According to research by Software Testing Help, by 2021 there may be approximately 20 billion connected smart devices on the planet. That’s over double the world’s population!

So, what exactly is an IoT device and should your business invest in any this year? The basic principle of the Internet of Things is the ability connect everything via the internet, allowing it to be controlled and monitored. You may in fact already have some IoT devices in your home or office, such as a smart speaker.

2. 5G

5G is already set to be one of the biggest technological changes in 2020, even at this early stage in the year. Spiceworks project that two thirds of large enterprises plan to deploy 5G technology by 2021. A full 5G upgrade will see the complete overall of the existing wireless data system into a newer, cheaper, more sustainable model. This global project has been subject to ongoing political debate over the companies involved and their jurisdiction over the networks. But what actually is 5G and how will it affect your business from this year onwards?

In a nutshell the completion of 5G’s installation means that, if all goes to plan, once the systems are fully in place and operational, mobile and fixed devices can become fully wireless.

3. Multi-cloud

While most businesses will be familiar with cloud computing, the IT trend set to sky rocket this year is multi-cloud. Essentially, multi-cloud is just that, multiple cloud services working in unison. Businesses can now incorporate private, public and hybrid clouds into their networks. A multi-cloud system is defined by Avi Networks as ‘the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single network architecture.’ So, why adopt a multi-cloud strategy? The benefits include:

• Vendor lock-in avoidance
• Multiple cloud services
• GDPR compliance
• Resilience

4. Industry 4.0

You may have heard of Industry 4.0 but do you actually know what it means? Tech Radar defines it as “the growing combination of traditional manufacturing and industrial platforms and practices with the latest smart technology”. Industry 4.0, hailed as the fourth manufacturing revolution, can support automation and lead to better communication across sites.

Industry 3.0 saw the introduction of computers, but this new revolution is seeing computers working together and communicating with each other to work without human direction. This digitally connected network of machines is set to revolutionise the industry this year. Watch this space!

Troubling in 2020

While there are many exciting developments in the IT sector for 2020, there are also a number of challenges that businesses will face in the coming year . . .

1. Ransomware

We may have all heard of ransomware, but in the coming months ransomware attacks are set to rise. McAfee reported that in the first quarter of 2019, ransomware attacks grew by almost 120%. These shocking figures are only set to increase.

2020 has already seen ransomware attacks target schools, legal agencies and currency exchange firms. However, if businesses are proactive when a threat is identified and keep on top of staff training and updates, they will be in the best position to avoid an attack.

2. AI is a Target

More and more businesses are taking on artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and why not? From autonomous vehicles to smart speakers and chatbots, most of us will interact with artificial intelligence on a regular basis. However, with these fantastic developments comes enormous risk. There are a number of ways in which AI can be dangerous; as these new systems are developed, effective and reliable safety measures aren’t always available straight away.

While we can programme AI devices to help with day-to-day tasks, these devices can be manipulated to act in a dangerous way. These devices do not possess a moral compass as humans do, they are simply following their code. This makes AI devices a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals.

3. Skills Shortages

While there are so many incredible discoveries and advancements being made in the IT industry every day, many businesses are struggling to adopt these new technologies due to a lack of skills.

Edge estimated that in 2018 there were 600,000 tech vacancies in the UK alone, with that figure set to total one million in 2020. A lack of skilled professionals could lead decision makers to automate roles, removing the need for skilled individuals altogether. Look at ways your business can develop the skills of your existing staff as well as ways to inspire young people to get into the industry. A fantastic way to do this is through school visits, work placements, apprenticeships or mentoring schemes.

4. Data Privacy is Just as Vital as Ever

While GDPR will celebrate its second birthday in May 2020, data privacy and processing are just as important as they were two years ago. With all these amazing updates to technology and systems, companies will need to ensure new methods are compliant. Technology plays a crucial role in collecting, processing, storing, accessing and monitoring data. Any changes to these systems will need to be fully compliant. We are still seeing massive businesses being handed huge fines due to improper use, storage or distribution of data. It is estimated that, since its introduction, EU regulators have dished out fines worth £97.29m for GDPR related issues.

All things considered, 2020 is set to be a fantastic year for the IT industry. Yes, there are challenges to tackle, but with new developments come new problems that must be addressed – this has and will always be the case.

If you have any concerns about what 2020 hold for your business’s IT, get in touch with a member of our team here.

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