Digital Origin - Business Technology Trends for 2020

Business Technology for a New Decade

Some say that a new year needs new strategies, well, it’s 2020, a new decade! In lieu of this, we’ll be going over some of the previous 2010’s business technology trends, and detail what are some 2020’s technology trends to be aware of.

The 2010’s: Cloud Computing, Big-Data, Cyber Security, Crypto-Currencies, and the Rise of IoT

At the start of 2010, your top of the line computer’s CPU had 6 cores in a single chip, 4MB of L2 Cache, and DDR3 RAM. If this is Greek to you, these multi-core chips were the dawn of Cloud Computing. At the end of 2019 there were Intel Xeon processors containing 56 Cores and support 8 CPU’s per server. This allows a computing density of ~1000 low-end cloud computers running per server.

Cloud Computing is the ability to warehouse multiple operating systems (running their own operating system) within a networked cluster of computing hardware. For this to be possible you need at least one “Core” per cloud instance to work in a production environment. With two processors running 6 cores with hyperthreading enabled, you have around 24 usable cores for running child systems. This multi-core per chip architecture, along with the availability of Jumbo Ethernet Frames (layer two data packages over 1500 bytes and maxed at 9000 bytes), Link Aggregation (IEEE 802.3ad) and 10Gig Ethernet, Cloud Computing was a natural progression of the business computing experience.

The rise of cloud computing companies like Amazon Web Services and their Storage Solutions, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, there was a need for large capacity and dynamic storage solutions. Growing off the Storage Area Network (SAN) infrastructures the advent of Big Data took hold. The ability to automatically replicate, and dedicate storage on the fly helped business services scale to a point where downloadable storage solutions were no longer the norm as Software as a Service (SaaS) providers could automatically scale up and scale down both their computing capabilities and their storage requirements.

This decentralization of data into the cloud caused numerous data security issues. Once data leaves your corporate network you inevitably lose some aspects of your security strategy. Warehousing your customer data in a remote data center was always a risky strategy without taking proper procedures. Because of this, the Digital Origin posture was to always run cloud systems inside of bare-metal, company-owned, infrastructure. An example of this is that instead of running a private cloud inside of an AWS infrastructure a business must consider buying a rack and installing servers on-site inside of their own offices or at a co-location facility.

Till the 2010’s encryption was only a method to secure data, yet no longer. The rise Cryptographically Secured Currencies (CryptoCurrencies) was incredible to watch. The novel way that encryption was implemented to create BitCoin as both a Coin and a Network helped create what is considered the best investment of the 2010’s. This is likely to not repeat and has the potential to unravel in the upcoming decade.

Lastly, although massive data centers were popping up everywhere the last trend of the 2010s involve very small computing infrastructures. You might know this type of technology as the Internet of Things (IoT). The initial creation of the Raspberry PI in February of 2012, combined with the power of the Linux OS, helped enable a new age of the DIY. Instead of relying on custom PCB’s, programming FPGA’s, and soldering circuits, the process of prototyping new internet-enabled products was greatly simplified. These cheap small form-factored computing platforms, in turn, combined with cheap Wifi & Cellular chipsets, resulted in the explosion of internet-enabled devices including Televisions, Doorbells, CCTV cameras, appliances, and various sensors have created an explosion in the number of networked devices on the planet today. There are an estimated 30 billion IoT devices online today.

Honorable 2010 Mentions: Social Media, Android OS/Mobile Tech, 4G, Cyber War Platforms/Technology.

The 2020’s: AI, Power Grid Security, Decentralized Financial Institutions, Streaming Entertainment, and Quantum Computing

With a new decade upon us, all businesses must consider and predict upcoming Business Technology trends. Our team is available to speak with you to help with not only Strategy & Planning but with Implementation as well.

Following the trend of multi-core single-chip CPUs that enabled the rise of Cloud Computing, this same architecture will provide an explosive growth of next-generation GPU’s that will accelerate the development, effectiveness, and implementation of Artificial Intelligence enabled technologies. The most exciting of these technologies will be the prevalence of Fully Autonomous Motor Vehicles. How will your business be affected by a world where owning a car, or even possessing a driver’s license, is a thing of the past? What will happen to the insurance industry? What about car washes and detailers? This is just one aspect of AI that will occur in the next 10 years.

With the iconic rise of State-Sponsored Computer Hacking, there is an inevitable proliferation of these methodologies and capabilities. The art of war iconically mentions that the first step of war is to cut off communications and similar capabilities. In an ever more globally connected society this step of future warfare will start with an attack on Electrical Power & Generation. Remotely damaging a Billion-Dollar facility that generates power for a million households could easily be taken out-of-commission for months with the existing capabilities of several nation-states. Does your business have a Disaster Recovery strategy that includes Backup Power? What about an EMP based attack? Are your backups stored within an electromagnetically protected safe? These, and other, factors must be considered in case of the worst.

Considering that the 2010’s was the age of Crypto-Currencies, 2020 can likely be a similar age for Block-Chain. Block-Chain is simply a public ledger that is cryptographically secured against manipulation. This public ledger technology has the ability to enable a fully decentralized financial institution. This is a furtherance of companies like Paypal, Stripe/CashApp, and others. A fully decentralized financial institution will pave the way for the Free Transfer of Monies between parties. This will make Western Union, ACH Transfers, the Swift Network, and other firms a memory just like Blockbuster Video.

Some would argue that streaming video content should be considered a 2010’s technology (does anyone remember RealNetworks?) our team believes that Streaming Content (specifically video) is yet to become a mature technology. What does the future of Streaming Video hold in the future? Here are some things to consider.

  • Deep Fake technology can allow a viewer to switch an actor’s face and/or voice in an existing Movie/TV Show on-demand in real-time (for a small fee). This is our favorite.
  • Faster internet will provide deeper color dynamic ranges providing a truly cinematic experience (more taxing than higher resolution).
  • Unified viewing platforms similar to a Fire TV/Apple TV/Roku but with a simplified user experience/user interface.
  • Cable TV being put on life support (note that with less bandwidth dedicated to a single coax cable companies can create a much faster internet experience).

Quantum Computing has been quite the buzz word in high-technology for some time. The 2020’s will prove to be similar to the Mainframe era of classical computing. Currently, there are two types of quantum computing – General Purpose and Annealing. Although we won’t go into the differences, we’re going to discuss the growth and implication. Right now, both Google & IBM have created their own Quantum Processors both of which have 53-qubits each (weird, I know). These processors really don’t much anything that is disruptive, they’re mostly a proof of things to come. In the coming years, following Moores Law (sometimes called Rose Law in the Quantum Space) will enable the doubling of the number of qubits on a Quantum Processor. Following this double effect, by 2030 these machines will have ~50,000 qubits. What can be done between 53 and 50k qubits? In short, a lot. The difference in processing power between 53 quantum bits and 50,000 quantum bits is roughly 250 million times the processing power. Comparing this to the difference in processing power of an Integrated Circuit in 1950’s to 2020 is “only” ~50 million times. Meaning, quantum processors will become 5x more powerful in 10 years than classical computers did in the past 70 years!

What does this mean for your business? Well, it depends on what business you’re in. If you’re in the business of making life-saving medicines then you better start planning for the quantum revolution. If you’re a hedge fund manager (or a day trader) then you might want to ask yourself if your BioMedical stock picks have a quantum strategy, or not. The implications are much further reaching than these two connected industries but, our team is available to speak with you further.

Honorable 2020 Mentions: Robotics (Soldiers, Delivery Bots, Dish Washers, etc), CRISPR/Cas9 (we do anticipate the end of malaria by 2030 so this was hard to leave out), End of Traditional Kinetic Warfare, Carbon Nano-tubes, 3D Printing.

Whatever line of business you are in the technology will either help or hurt the growth of your business. In all, we hope that you consider the Digital Origin team available to help you plan for a successful future.