McKinsey & Company has presented a list of the main services, systems, and products in the IT sector for the next decade. Analysts have developed a new methodology, with the help of which they identified ten trends — the most important decisions for competitive advantages and investments in technology. As McKinsey explains, they didn’t write about the most innovative technologies, but about those that will receive the most venture capital money, form the majority of patent applications, and ensure global changes in the development of companies and markets.
Trend №1. A new level in automation and virtualization processes
Automation and virtualization of work processes is the main part of all the trends that are transforming activities of leading organizations and the industrial sector. These processes will affect robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and digitalization — technologies will increase operational efficiency, as well as accelerate the introduction of services and products to the market. By 2025, more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the IIoT. In various industries, about 10% of production processes will be fully automated by 2030. The industry will discover new opportunities for scaling while reducing the lead time of orders. This trend will move competition towards investments in automation technologies and towards social, emotional, and technological skills.
Trend №2. New generation wireless communication
This trend combines fifth-generation broadband cellular networks (5G) and the Internet of Things (IoT). A mix of these technologies will provide a fast connection to any network over long distances with fast loading and almost zero latency. High-quality Internet access will cause wide shifts in business. Ultra-fast communication will support the creation of new services and business models related to intelligent products, as well as give rise to new value chains and expand the potential for companies that are engaged in personalizing offers for their customers.
Trend №3. Distributed infrastructure
In the near future, cloud and peripheral computing will be combined to help companies increase and protect computing power. The distributed infrastructure will allow people to connect to data-demanding devices with minimal latency. Such systems will optimize decision-making processes and expand the possibilities for analytical operations. In two years, about 70% of companies will use hybrid technologies, tools, and management processes. Moreover, if current trends continue, by 2025, the implementation of distributed infrastructure in leading organizations will significantly expand — from the current 23% to 80% by the middle of the decade.
Trend №4. New generation computer computing
The new computer technology will help to answer questions that science and society can’t cope with. Advanced computers will reduce the time for the development of chemical and pharmaceutical products using virtual modeling, improve the quality of self-driving cars through artificial intelligence-based algorithms and transform cybersecurity. Next-generation computing will democratize services, radically accelerate development cycles and reduce barriers to entry into new industries. The old value chains will collapse, and the necessary skills for specialists will change. For example, automatic trading will completely displace traders — the algorithms will work faster, more accurately, and more efficiently.
Trend №5. Applied artificial intelligence
This trend will be used to deploy AI algorithms to recognize patterns, interpret them and act according to these patterns. Applied AI will help computers understand existing data, including videos, images, audio, and texts. This will increase customer satisfaction through new user interfaces and interaction methods. New technologies will increase human productivity and reduce the operating costs of companies. The upcoming changes in AI-based applications will expand almost all aspects of human-machine interaction and bring automation to a new level for both consumers and enterprises.
Trend №6. The future of programming
In the future, a new type of software product will appear — “Software 2.0”. The last implies neural networks based on machine learning, which will replace most programmers. Autonomous systems will open up new development options — the development of new applications, services, and products will come to the world faster due to new AI models. Software 2.0 will provide companies with simpler and more understandable ways to configure code and automate routine tasks. Technical barriers to entry new classes of applications will be reduced, and the key advantage will be given to those who can correctly interpret large amounts of new data.
Trend №7. The new trust structures
This trend is fully related to a set of technologies and approaches to deal with cyber attacks. Trust structures will provide consumers and companies with new schemes for checking the reliability of devices when transmitting data over networks, APIs, and applications. In addition to reducing the risk of hacking, trust structures will reduce the cost of complying with security rules, reduce operational and capital costs associated with cybersecurity, and ensure more cost-effective transactions between buyers and sellers. Cyber risks will decrease as companies use zero-trust security measures to reduce the likelihood of data leaks. In the future, the cost of cybersecurity will increase dramatically.
Trend №8. Biorevolution
The eighth trend reflects the merging of progress in biology and the accelerating development of computing, automation, and artificial intelligence. The connection of these technologies will lead to a new wave of innovations, called “Biorevolution”. This trend will have a significant impact on the global economy and private lives. The rapid pace of the development of biological science will lead to the undermining of competition and not only in the health sector. Biological innovations will bring higher profits in exchange for increased personalization of consumers and patients. The biorevolution will create new markets, for example, nutrition recommendations that will be based on genetics.
Trend №9. New generation materials
The new generation of materials includes all the components that will have an impact on the technological and biological industries until 2030. These include graphene, two-dimensional materials, molybdenum disulfide nanoparticles, nanomaterials, and lightweight materials. The new compounds will affect the development of pharmaceuticals, the automotive industry, energy, and computer technologies. Many of these materials are still at the development and research stages, but some are already approaching their commercialization. More and more new materials will appear, as computational materials science will combine computing power and related machine learning methods.
Trend №10. The future of clean technologies
Clean technologies can create many solutions that will satisfy the global need of people for the production of green energy. Clean technologies include intelligent energy distribution systems, energy storage systems, zero-carbon energy production, and thermonuclear energy. These new technologies will be widely used in the energy, transport, and real estate sectors. The demand for renewable energy sources will grow sharply. As the cost of clean technologies decreases, new systems will disrupt traditional business models. Companies must keep up with rising business opportunities by developing improvement programs.