Ethical technology, human experience platforms among Deloitte’s 2020 tech trends

With the new year in full swing, executives are evaluating how best to leverage their technological tools and stay ahead of the curve.

Deloitte recently released “Tech Trends 2020,” the company’s 11th annual evaluation of emerging technology trends. Several trends that the company highlighted in the report have emerged in reaction to long-term IT challenges, while others address the technological needs of large firms, Deloitte said.

The Tech Trends 2020 report updates last year’s focus on nine macro technology forces: digital experience, analytics, cloud, core modernization, risk, the business of technology, digital reality, cognitive, and blockchain.

This year’s report also considers three technologies that Deloitte expects will become macro forces — ambient experience, exponential intelligence and quantum — and contemplates how they might affect business operations during the next two years.

Technology and trust

Organizations are exploring how macro forces overlap to maximize value while developing new ways to manage technology, the report said.

Deloitte also notes that companies are beginning to understand that every new use of technology by their organization presents an opportunity to gain or lose trust.

“They are approaching trust not as a compliance or public relations issue, but as a business-critical goal to be pursued,” Deloitte said.

Business leaders who understand the importance of merging their companies’ organizational values and technological ethics across their organization demonstrate an ethical commitment that can establish a long-term foundation of trust with stakeholders.

As technology strategy becomes rooted in business strategies, Deloitte notes that the demand for improved outcomes has grown.

“IT will need finance’s support to effectively rethink governance of technology innovation, adapt to agile methodologies and secure creative capital,” the report said.

While transitioning to new processes that support technology innovation will not happen overnight, Deloitte says there are many incentives for executives to fund innovation.

 

Source: Deloitte (Click to enlarge chart)

Sophisticated simulation and human experience platforms

Another area of opportunity is what Deloitte calls “digital twins.” Although the idea of using models to optimize products or services is not new, companies are finding success by using increasingly sophisticated simulation and modeling capabilities to create simulations that are more detailed than ever.

“Digital twins can increase efficiency in manufacturing, optimize supply chains, transform predictive field maintenance, aid in traffic congestion remediation and much more,” Deloitte said.

Human experience platforms are another trend to watch, Deloitte said. The growth of artificial intelligence solutions, referred to as “affective computing” or “emotion AI,” are changing the way people interact with technology.

“More companies will ramp up their responses to a growing yet largely unmet demand for technology to better understand humans and to respond to us more appropriately,” Deloitte explained in the report.

When companies make use of artificial intelligence and human-centered design techniques to better understand human needs, human experience platforms will be able to better respond to users’ emotional states and the surrounding context.

“The ability to leverage emotionally intelligent platforms to recognize and use emotional data at scale is one of the biggest, most important opportunities for companies going forward,” the report states.

Disruption and architecture

To remain competitive in markets where technology disruption is prevalent, Deloitte says companies will need to change how they approach architecture. The process can begin by transforming the role technology architects have in the business.

“We expect to see more organizations move architects out of their traditional ivory towers and into the trenches,” Deloitte said. “These talented, if underused, technologists will begin taking more responsibility for services and systems.”

The report suggests this trend will benefit companies that move the most experienced architects where they are needed most, which is likely as part of a company’s software development team and designing complex technology.

Leading organizations should implement disciplined, measured technology innovation programs that consider innovation and business strategy long-term, the report states.

“In a world of seemingly infinite unknowns, it is possible to focus attention on a meaningful collection of known technologies that, taken together, can help you chart a path to the next horizon,” Deloitte said.

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