In a recent interview, Tom Pfister, a CMO-level marketing leader and entrepreneur, who had a long professional history working under the German-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software Systems, Applications, and Products, commonly known as SAP, shared his thoughts regarding the best trends he can identify in the field of Information Technology.
Tom jump started his career as a Marketing Director for SAP in the early 1990s before working his way up to become the company’s VP of Marketing in Latin America, and then eventually, Founder and Board Member of Atelier SAP. Tom’s knowledge in the industry is not limited to his experience under the said data processing company. He is also the founder of Matchcode, a global marketing company with substantial operational and IT experience, and Nytro Marketing, a strong global leader in terms of strategic inbound and digital marketing.
Tom’s competence, knowledge, and experience in the field make his input a significant piece of information that every person in the industry can surely benefit from. With 2020 approaching its halfway mark, a recap of the best trends can be crucial to improve the innovations for the rest of the year. Therefore, without further ado, here are the top 5 best IT trends according to our expert, Tom Pfister.
In recent years, the concept and implementation of sustainability have been taking over all of the biggest industries in the world. And you guessed it, the field of information and technology is not exempted from that. According to Tom, solar energy can be big, especially if you use the sun’s energy to power most of the appliances and electronics in your house. But take this. Imagine solar energy being the main energy source across America. Such mainstream use of solar panels and energy would lead the world in the right direction. However, the main energy providers would have to be well versed in the volume of energy that the PhotoVoltaic installations produce at any time. They would have to have enough data regarding energy surplus that may be fed back into the grid, and so on.
Sustainability also plays a part in other aspects. Nowadays, companies are obliged by customers and investors to report on sustainability. And since manual tracking of energy consumption is not a sustainable option, energy management solutions are usually built and integrated into software. So we could say that without Information Technology, sustainability management and reports would be hard to take on, making the two almost as equally important as the other.
If you’ve been reading anything about this field, you’ve surely come across the dominant 5G movement. To no surprise, Tom’s on board with it. A direct quote from him goes, “This is a mobile internet connectivity revolution, the next big thing. I see it emerging everywhere.” He also adds that “5G offers an unprecedented transmission speed that far surpasses its predecessor, 4G. And since we’re talking gigabytes per second transfer rate, 5G is actually faster than virtually any home broadband available.”
Being relatively new to the technological field, 5G is sure to bring some drawbacks. Tom agrees that although 5G providers market it as a commodity that’s smoothly up and running, its development is nowhere near complete. This network is not even available in some countries and areas as of the moment.
This has constantly been a global concern since day one. And with gadgets becoming more accessible and available to consumers, the risks are also rapidly getting higher. The more devices, the more risks. So Tom sees cybersecurity as a vital IT trend within the coming years.
It’s not unheard of that our current security measures need a major upgrade for us to successfully protect and defend ourselves from cyber threats. With more devices, the more opportunities that hackers can threaten users. And these so-called opportunities are often interconnected. Each single device could be attacked. So in order to protect everyone, every single one must be optimized for maximum security.
However, even if individuals do their best to protect themselves, with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that strive to overwhelm websites with traffic, a different sort of challenge could prove to be a problem. This type of cybercrime can render popular and vulnerable websites like online stores unavailable, making an impact not only to a cluster of individuals but also to companies and small businesses that are just trying to make a living.
As Tom phrases it, IoT technologies are like double-edged swords. They can relax the burden of our everyday lives, make daily tasks easier, and routines smoother, but they also come with unique threats and risks that could have a huge impact in our lives.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
As already mentioned above, the Internet of Things is a huge trend this year. If this still sounds foreign to you, I have two words. Smart homes. Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant are now integrated into these homes for easy access to questions, schedule management, and even convenient controls to bulbs and power outlets. Even seemingly mundane things like thermostats and sensors are actually part of the IoT reality. According to Tom, this trend may also be coming into cars, cities, production, deliveries, and so on.
The current average for connected devices per person is four, but experts suggest that by 2030, that average will rise to up to 15 devices per person. Just the sheer potential data that manufacturers and businesses can obtain from these devices is unbelievable. It could be used to classify trends based on every user’s personality, consumption habits, and history. We can already see the impact of this connectivity and data resource in the current eCommerce space. Just look at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Ah, the ever-controversial “human replacement.” Tom firmly believes that AI is the top trend among the top trends. AI is and will continue to control the huge volume of data that we are all using and providing.
With all his connections and exposure to various global businesses, he has come to realize that Customer Service makes or breaks a company’s success. And AI just happens to deliver successful customer interactions through continuously improving tech innovations like facial recognition, real-time data processing, and speech recognition. Tom already solidified the AI niche as his top IT trend for the next half-decade. Despite being an expensive trend, business leaders who don’t even know how to use it to its full potential are getting the biggest worth for their money. So yes, you’ve read that right. AI is the top trend last year, this year, and possibly for the next years to come.