4 IT Trends To Look Out For In 2020

Posted: Aug 14 2019, 12:13am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 19 2019, 9:55pm CDT , in Technology News


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4 IT Trends To Look Out For in 2020

Change in technology is constant, unpredictable and beyond the control of any single industry, institution or regulatory authority. Where we go next is as much a matter of crystal balls and reading tea leaves as careful analysis. That said, trends — or broad movements in the flow of change — are somewhat easier to spot.

Here are four technology trends that’ll be interesting to watch as we come closer to signing off on our second decade of this weird and wonderful century.

There are lots of new ways to make money

The first undeniable trend is that there are more ways than ever to make money. The concept of the traditional, locked-in nine to five grind is rapidly giving way to more fluid methods of earning a crust. Entrepreneur types looking for something completely different now have access to seemingly endless permutations and combinations of MLM work, franchisee arrangements and home business options which simply weren’t there a decade ago. The trick isn’t finding something. It’s figuring out which of those options are a) trustworthy; b) sustainable; and c) a good fit with your personality. So, while there are new ways to forge your own financial path, a big part of that trend is that there are many pitfalls in getting there.

But even if straight entrepreneurship is a little too intimidating, there are a wealth of “old faithful” options for earning income which are gaining a stronger foothold on the global marketplace. Freelancing work, online consulting and the vending of digital products all combine to form a big, amorphous workforce of folks who need never put on pants or leave their front door to earn their keep. In fact, as telecommuting becomes an accepted part of life, more and more people are gravitating to a digitally nomadic existence, a trend we can expect to eventually impact industries that have previously been largely buffered from technological change; such as real estate and the travel industry.

People are getting more cynical about influencers

Five years ago even, marketing trends were shifting increasingly in favor of “influencers” over the more traditional advertising paradigms. Young (typically attractive) people were hauling in ridiculous money simply by offering endorsements through social media. While this particular phenomenon is still out there, we’re beginning to see the pendulum swing the other way. A great wave of cynicism toward product endorsement has emerged. Gradually, we’re beginning to see a return of demand for product critique and authority opinions about products and services. Will marketing go back to those traditional advertising tricks and tropes? Almost certainly not. But it won’t stay where it is, either. The recent successes of a crowdsourced advertising and interactive campaigns run through platforms like Snapchat suggest we may be moving toward a more chaotic approach to selling stuff. The big success five years from now may be those people who have the knack of generating compelling small scale ads imbued with that magical ability to “go viral.”

Voice interfaces aren’t quite so silly any more

A few months after Amazon Echo, first came out, there was a collective “ugh” from the technology consumer market. People got that it should be exciting, but somehow while the technology was undoubtedly there, the actual usefulness and coolness of smart speakers left a lot to be desired. The technology was a bit like Google Glass, only for your ears. To the surprise of many, though the technology did eventually gain traction and prove itself. Today, over 65% of smart speaker users say they would not go back to life before speakers ruled their home and social life. How this happened can’t be nailed down to one particular killer app or innovation. It just gradually matured and became, in all respects, better. Having proved its consumer might, we can expect to see new and imaginative uses of smart speaker technology to gain extra footholds in consumer technology markets. Where will it take us next? It’s kind of hard to say. But smart speakers will be part of that future, probably offering politely inaccurate advice on how to broil a turkey.

Consumers are less gadget crazed

In many ways, this last trend represents a convergence point of everything mentioned thus far. For years now, the complexity of life has ramped up exponentially. While technology is seen as a great gift for getting things done, it’s done that by adding more screens to watch, more features to master. Technology has become a war of competing ecosystems, and consumers have been asked to choose one and commit. It’s probably hardly surprising then that consumers don’t want to play any more.

We’re beginning to see a distinct preference for simplicity over complexity. Good, functional products are less about Internet-enabled toasters or watches which can predict weather patterns on each of Jupiter’s moons. People want simplicity and efficiency. What does this mean where the rubber hits the road? Equipment which does one thing well. Fewer buttons. A new approach to technology and design which favors simplicity and authenticity. As one UX designer pithily said, “nothing beats good intent.”

Everything changes in technology, but if I had to draw any conclusions about where technology is taking us, I think I’m left with one simple, quasi-optimistic word: authenticity. No human can tolerate hyperbole for too long without narrowing their eyes a tad, and demanding a simpler and more authentic experience. We see that in the kinds of work goals people are pursuing. We’re seeing that in the growing rejection of personality based selling. We’re seeing it in consumers’ growing demand for fewer buttons, fewer cords, fewer things to worry about charging every night. Who knows what the killer product is around the corner, but if trends today are anything to go by, it’ll be sleek, basic and built to make life simpler. Here’s hoping.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.




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