The technology landscape in 2020 will be fraught with hills and mountains, but there also will be stretches of lush growth and flowering fields.
In a new survey of 5,000 technology professionals, 59% of respondents say they are optimistic about how tech advancements will affect their career. However, only 40% are confident that the evolving tech landscape will impact society as a whole. While respondents express confidence about the value of technology, most believe that businesses and industry aren’t ready for what’s to come. In fact, 81% say organizations aren’t investing enough in the people skills needed to successfully navigate the changing landscape of the next decade; and 70% say there isn’t enough investment in the necessary technology itself.
Among other findings from the survey:
- 93% of respondents say that the augmented workforce—people, robots, and artificial intelligence (AI) working closely together—will reshape how some or most jobs are performed.
- Professionals identify AI/machine learning as the most important business technology of the next decade, followed by cloud platforms and big data.
- 87% say they expect that AI will have a major or moderate impact on the profitability of most organizations.
- While they are optimistic about the growing role of AI, respondents also express some concerns about its possible misuse. Specifically, they identify five potentially malicious applications of AI: attacks on critical infrastructure, social engineering, autonomous weapons, attacks targeting the healthcare sector, and data poisoning.
- Respondents say that digital natives will move into more leadership roles. As a result, they say, cybersecurity will be a higher priority (72%), organizations will deploy emerging technology more proactively (56%), security and privacy by design will be ingrained in technology builds (53%), and employees will use mobile devices more than laptops or desktop computers (51%).
Tech professionals predict that cybersecurity threats and attacks will continue. Unfortunately, only 18% say they think the current shortage of cybersecurity practitioners will be entirely or even mostly filled in the new decade. However, they also believe that new options or solutions will arise. For instance, 73% say it is likely that an “internet of internets,” in which users can pay for a safer place to function and communicate in the online world, will become mainstream.
In general, the pace of technological changes will continue to accelerate. While IT and tech personnel need to stay ahead of these changes, everyone in the organization should receive training and updates to work confidently, safely, and efficiently with emerging technology. Otherwise, costly errors, breaches, and turnover could mar your 2020 landscape.