Predictions for the tech industry in 2020

3rd December 2019
Lanna Deamer

Each year end, we find ourselves in an excellent position to reminisce the year that was and indulge in some crystal ball gazing to see what the coming year might bring. Many technology trends came and went this year, all promising to transform our business landscape as we know it. Even though not all these trends came to materialisation, they did spark off conversations about what the future could hold.

By Claus Jepsen, Deputy CTO, Unit4

The rise of chatbots in enterprise settings

Chatbots and digital assistants played a much bigger role in enterprises in 2019. From AI-powered recruitment services to customer experience chatbots, more and more businesses turned to AI to help streamline operations and boost convenience for consumers.

2020 will see this becoming even more commonplace across organisations and across industries. We’ll also see more enterprises tapping into the analytics capabilities of AI-powered digital assistants in helping proactively determine easier ways to work and automate mundane tasks through machine-learning.

Cloud storage - the shift towards hybrid 

Cloud migration took centre stage in 2019 with businesses moving data, applications and elements to cloud computing environments. We even saw many predicting that pure-play cloud storage would be the future.

With regulations such as GDPR in play, however, we’re seeing increased concerns from customers with regards to where their data sits. In 2020, we expect this to cause a significant shift in cloud adoption strategy - hybrid deployments will be the way forward.

Organisations will turn to hybrid solutions where they are able to store data on-premise while using cloud to ensure the security of their database. As such, ERP vendors that offer a hybrid solution will win over legacy ERP vendors who are not able to accommodate for this approach.

Pure-play ERP functionalities will no longer suffice

In 2020, we’ll see buyers of ERP solutions shifting their requirements from vendors. They will increasingly turn away from vendors that provide pure-play ERP feature functions. Instead, they will turn to those that allow them to seamlessly tap into data and technologies they have across both cloud and on-premise locations to achieve digital transformation.

Digital transformation is a critical business consideration today. Yet many ERP solutions on the market today are limited in the capabilities they provide - they offer standard ERP functionalities and that’s about it.

With the shift in buyer expectations, ERP vendors will need to start worrying about extensibility and making sure their platforms are able to support hybrid scenarios and other requirements to help further digital transformation strategies.

People insights will drive businesses forward

Whether it’s 2019 or 2020, people continue to be the biggest asset to businesses, no matter the industry.

Insights driven from this people base will be the most valuable in helping companies determine the direction they should be heading in.

Is your workforce skilled? How are you as a business supporting your employees in planning their career journeys? Are you hiring the right talent for your company? These are all critical questions that businesses need to have insight to in order to determine the right strategy for the company.

As a result, in 2020 we will see more businesses adopting a more strategic approach to their HCM function driven by data and analytics gleaned from the people that make the company.

Attracting the new breed of talent

Those born in the millennium year 2000 turn 20 next year and will start entering the workforce. This means that businesses will need to start thinking about how best to attract this new breed of talent.

Organisations much ensure their systems are in line with what the new generation desires and expects. You cannot expect your employees to undertake a technology downgrade when joining the company. Young talent that has been used to technology in their personal lives will not appreciate or be attracted to an organisation that cannot fulfil their expectations.

Organisations who still have legacy systems in place will struggle to attract the right calibre of talent. Businesses that place attracting young talent high on their agenda must revisit their entire company infrastructure to ensure their technology does not put them at a disadvantage.

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