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GP Bullhound unmasks top tech trend predictions for 2020

GP Bullhound has revealed the top ten trends and innovations that will be integral to the evolution of the technology landscape over the coming year, in its annual Technology Predictions report.

The leading technology advisory and investment firm’s new report – Technology Predictions 2020 – finds disruption in traditional models of data usage, storage and analysis will be a defining trend next year, with newcomers challenging the dominance of incumbent brands across various markets, including edge computing and 5G.

2020 will see structures and methods of processing and storing data evolve to align with the increasing vast amounts of complex data that is being generated globally – 80% of which is unstructured. The increasing realization of the potential and value of data lakes will see an increased rise in their adoption, with usage of relational databases starting to wane.

While edge computing will not eclipse cloud computing, it will present a third option to the traditional private versus public cloud structures, using a combination of both centralized and decentralized data processing. New players will seek to provide a viable alternative to a single cloud solution and challenge existing large enterprises like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud.

Apple will retain its dominance in shaping the feature set which meets customer demand in the next generation of smartphones, as its A13 Bionic chip will set a precedence other phone makers will be racing to match.

Meanwhile, AI will allow marketers to set up new insight models and engage with their customer base on a greater depth of personalization at scale.

5G presents an industry disruptive technological evolution which will significantly enhance mobile computing capabilities. The race to establish a claim to be the originator of the first fully operational 5G network has created a battleground around the telecom industry giants. Traditionally large players in this space – Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – will be some of the key companies vying for this claim over the next year.

Alec Dafferner, Partner at GP Bullhound, commented:

“Our report unveils that data and AI have a hugely significant role to play across the entire technology landscape. We are pleased to see rapid adoption and adherence of CSR as a key trend emerging, and the vital role technology plays in fostering this – supporting our firm belief that technology can be harnessed as a strong force for positive impact on society.”

The GP Bullhound 2019 report predicts:

  • 5G battle will be the most significant advancement in technological infrastructure: The race to establish a 5G network has brought about a war amongst existing telecom industry giants. Going into 2020, companies will look to solidify their position in the spectrum network with the acquisition of certain bands and frequencies and increase infrastructure spend to ensure global coverage.


  • Streaming frenzy will allow one premium competitor to emerge alongside Netflix:2020 will see the progression of a fundamental shift in how viewers consume traditional movie and TV content, from cable channel productions on televisions to on-demand content platforms available on any device. Netflix will continue to be the anchor platform, but one other premium platform will significantly attract consumer attention – perhaps Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Peacock, or Apple TV+.


  • Vertical AI SaaS solutions will have the edge over horizontal:25% of organizations worldwide that are already using AI solutions report up to 50% failure rate. As education levels increase, and leaders truly understand where AI can improve their businesses, companies will seek out verticalized solutions that tackle those challenges, leading to dramatically improved AI implementation success rates.


  • Apple A13 Bionic sets the precedent for on-device AI/Machine learning technology: Apple is defining the feature set that consumers will come to demand in the next generation smartphone and it has upped the ante for other handsets in the market. This is enabled by unprecedented machine learning processing capability on the device itself.


  • Death of relational databases and the rise of Data Lakes: The world is generating so much data in such a complex way that relational databases are no longer suited to being the optimal method of storage – more than 80% of the data produced today is unstructured. In the age of big data and IoT, data lakes serve multiple incredibly important functions that position it to replace the relational database for many enterprises.


  • Gaming will be exposed to the masses through streaming: The subscription model of gaming consumption is going to gain significant momentum in 2020. According to Electronic Arts, subscribers play 2.5x the number of games that non-subscribers do, spend over 3.5x the amount of time, and most crucially spend over 3x more money. Streaming platforms like Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud will be the biggest disruptors.


  • Marketers will embrace AI to win personal engagement at scale: A rapid adoption of AI within key topics, including hyper-personalization, branding, and the B2B sales experience, is forecast in 2020. More marketers are expected to set-up predictive lead scoring, deploy complex trigger-based campaigns and invest more heavily in dynamic content to develop stronger customer relationships and loyalty.


  • Technology enables rapid adoption and adherence to Corporate Social Responsibility: With greater accountability and tracking needed to uphold CSR pledges, a greater adoption of programs which enable companies to perform this task more accurately and efficiently will facilitate this process with greater ease.


  • Notion that everything can be offered as a service (XaaS) will grow: In 2020, commercial enterprises will continue to change their product and service offerings to pure-as-a-service models. HP recently announced its plan to transition to an as-a-service model over time and offer its entire portfolio of enterprise solutions through subscription based, pay-per-use and as-a-service payment models, in order to provide its customers with better choice, flexibility and control.


  • Edge computing providers will mushroom: Going forward, edge computing will present a third option to the traditional private versus public cloud structures, utilizing a combination of both centralized and decentralized data processing. In 2020, expect the number of start-ups and mid-sized companies that provide compute, network, infrastructure and cybersecurity for the edge to increase as these players will look to provide a viable alternative to a single cloud solution and challenge existing large enterprises like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud.

The full report can be read here:

For the past thirteen years, GP Bullhound, the leading technology advisory and investment firm, has identified the ten trends and innovations that will drive the growth and direction of technology globally.

The research is compiled through analysis of global investment data alongside the expert insights of GP Bullhound’s worldwide team, leading investors, and entrepreneurs.

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