Year-end Experience with 2020 future predictions by Tech Veterans

Well, just like every year we are about to close one chapter of life with some ups and down, however, it is good if we talk only what we are imminent to get rather pondering on losses.

The year of 2019 was full of new technology developments and trends such as Artificial intelligence which was a buzz of the town whole year; progress in quantum computing, smart homes, Autonomous cars, smartphone’s camera technology, 5G tussle and so many more things are going to take forward in 2020 with advancements. Thus, in the context of the same, we gathered views and insights on the major tech trends of the year 2019 of different tech industry veteran to know the developments on upcoming technologies to look out for in the year 2020.

2020 Tech Predictions

Mr. Rakesh Kharwal, Managing Director – India/South Asia & ASEAN, Cyberbit:

“A year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, yet another data leak took place at Facebook this year. About 540 million records of Facebook users were publicly exposed to Amazon’s cloud hosting service. To give you a picture, this is about 7% of the global population when a large chunk of it is yet to digitize. The losses due to such cyber crimes are expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021 according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures. This is when almost 60% of organizations have unfilled cybersecurity positions owing to the skill gap and 77% of leaders believe that an infrastructure breach can take place with far-reaching consequences. The need of the hour is to quickly fill this void by adopting next-generation technologies such as cybersecurity simulation & training platform to equip our nation with the required skillsets and thereby generating over 1 million jobs for the country’s youth. In a nutshell, 2020 could turn out to be a year of unbridled opportunities for India if it is able to successfully align itself in this landscape.”

Mr. Piyush Kumar Founder and CEO, Rooter:

“2019 was a great year for the Sports industry in India with a busy cricket calendar including the ICC Cricket World Cup in England for ODIs. A massive number of sports fans chose to consume their favourite sports events online, especially on their smartphones. As a result, the Indian smartphone market added nearly 100mn new users taking overall internet user base to 600mn in 2019. This presented a huge opportunity for all content platforms to engage and onboard new users. As consumption for sporting events online grew around 50% in 2019, OTT platform Hotstar engaged more than 300mn users, whereas Cricbuzz had more than 100mn users consuming its content. Sports Community Platform, Rooter also pivoted from being a gaming and content provider to a content-based community platform in 8 languages in 2019.

We identified our core audience and their needs thereby focusing on content as a core product feature to create the community. We also launched the first-ever Audio/Video user-generated tool in Sports, giving wings to millions of fans to express themselves. The user base of Rooter grew by 350% this year with more engagement and revenue base. 2020 is again lined up with a busy sports calendar starting with IPL, Euro 2020, Olympics and T20 World Cup. We want to grow bigger creating a strong value proposition for sports fans and create our own leadership space in the sports content category in India.”

Mr Ashwin Rao, Director, Limelight Networks, India:

The global wireless communications industry has begun preparing for the rollout 5G with the promise of offering consumers faster speeds that can potentially change how people and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices communicate. According to the State of Digital Lifestyle research report, 2019 commissioned by Limelight Networks, expectations that 5G networking will bring faster download speeds are highest in India, with 88.2 per cent expecting to see improved performance.

Mr Eric Zhou, EVP – UNISOC:

“Given the recent developments, it is likely that the year ahead will see India making several quantum leaps. To begin with, a large-scale 5G rollout is likely to come to pass in 2020, with chipset manufacturers, smartphone brands, and telecom operators taking a page out of the playbooks of 5G nations such as the China and US. This 5G adoption will also increase the network bandwidth in new-age chipsets, powering a rapid increase in the number of everyday use-cases for these cutting-edge technologies such as AI, machine learning, and edge computing.”

Mr Aakrit Vaish, CEO, Haptik:

“Conversational AI world is now driven by an entirely new concept of Intelligent Virtual Assistant solutions (IVAs), and 2020 is the year when they finally burst onto the scene. Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) are getting smarter and their increasing capability of voice assistants is accelerating their adoption in the global business landscape further. While Alexa is reported to have 50,000 skills and is used by 3500+ brands, Google’s voice support today supports more than 30 languages. Globally, IVAs have contributed to increased sales by about 67%, and have initiated 26% of all sales transactions. As per a recent report by Accenture 75%, executives believe they risk going out of business if they don’t scale.

We enter 2020, with an ever-quickening pace of life needs solutions that support diverse needs for people with short attention spans. IVA solutions have evolved to fill this need gap, and have finally reached a critical point in their acceptance and implementation.

From the pace of adoption of IVAs by organizations, It becomes obvious that enterprises are not ‘trying them out’ anymore, rather they are actively looking at them as necessary drivers of better ROI, improved customer engagement, operational efficiency, productivity boosters and an active facilitator towards achieving other organizational objectives. 2020 is the year when IVAs will become a common feature across the global entrepreneurial ecosphere, implemented as a norm rather than a novelty.”

Mr Sumit Sood – Managing Director, APAC, GlobalLogic:

“The speed and depth of recent innovations have no ancient precedent and is unsettling almost every sector on the planet. In 2019, we witnessed how technology integration positively impacted sectors from blockchain potentially revolutionizing commodity markets to more socially relevant issues such as protection of plant and animal species facing extinction and water conservation using the power of AI and ML, technologists are putting their minds to work and making tomorrow’s technology right now. Inclusive innovation at scale rather than scaling IT services today is the new moola and core of IT services. This is especially true in the area of Engineering R&D which has seen a significant surge in business, today employing 700,000 people contributing USD $24 Billion through 40 R&D captives and standalone players in India. The IT sub-sector aims to generate USD $100 Billion and employment for one million employees by the year 2025.

This shift towards building specific ER&D capabilities to use technology purposefully is already growing worldwide at a huge scale and has already now caught pace in India, witnessing a massive transformation. For the upcoming decade, while familiar subjects such as cloud computing (including everything-as-a-service, or XaaS) and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to dominate technology headlines, 2020 could be a breakout year for “DARQ tech” (the set of new technologies – distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing).” There are also substantial new social and commercial opportunities – such as adult education, care economy, employment services – that make India ripe to be profited and take the leadership spot at the global technology stage. Today, technology can help solve real-world problems and provide opportunities for inclusive prosperity. However, in order to accelerate technological growth, the country needs to attract more foreign investment, offer tailored upskilling programs, retain home-grown talent, as well as create a favourable regulatory environment.”

Mr. Vikram Kumar, Founder and CEO Letstrack

2019 has been a great year in both the sectors i.e. tracking and auto industry. It saw the dawn of a new age of security and technology which will go on to change how GPS and services related to it are perceived. The auto industry saw a slight slump, but it didn’t deter from growing. The industry used that slump to reach out to a larger audience and educate and inform them about why they need these security devices. The fact that irrespective of the slump in Auto Industry, thieves didn’t stop targeting cars was one of the big issues that the GPS tracking industry addressed. The industry pundits forecast that the Auto Industry will rise from the slump in 2020 which means more opportunities in the industry. Though we expect the business to pick up in the second quarter of 2020, we will continue working in full gear.

Mr. Rick Tsingh, Founder & CEO, OneOneDay:

The online ad-spend numbers continued to shoot up in India in 2019. The high engagement on mobile apps and the ever-growing Internet users support fuelled the growth of newer mediums. Marketers are getting used to technology-enabled marketing and started adopting data analysis for more effective targeting and advanced segmentation. New channels and devices have offered opportunities for advertisers to connect with consumers in many ways.
Looking towards 2020, we can expect more innovative technology solutions driven by the consumer-centric approach to accelerate user experience. Technology that enhances the brand experience like AR advertising would become the next hype. Also, the shift to digital has brought connected TV advertising to the scene.

In 2020, TV streaming is expected to grow rapidly like before. Connected TV campaigns that allow brands to perform precise targeting and effectiveness measurement will be more accessible to advertisers.

Dick Bussiere, Technical Director APAC, Tenable

Over 30 billion IoT devices are projected to be connected by 2020, according to Statista Research Department. As IoT devices continue to grow exponentially in popularity, they also add an unknown amount of additional risk and complexity as they permeate both corporate and personal networks.

In 2019, we saw security cameras, printers and routers amongst other devices being compromised. These devices are typically designed to a tight cost point, use a multitude of arcane operating systems, and may never see security updates. Even worse, they may exist in networks for periods of time far longer than traditional computing devices – consider how long a network-enabled appliance may last, as an example. Add to this the emergence of 5G networking, which will only amplify the proliferation of intelligent connected devices, and increase the impact of an attack against these devices.

2020 will see the demand for stronger IoT security to protect consumers and organisations alike from growing threats. Manufacturers of IoT devices will feel the pressure to effectively bake security into the overall design from the start.

Manufacturers who prioritise the security and privacy of their connected products will enjoy a competitive advantage over those who don’t.

From HCL Team:

“As the Information Technology (IT) industry steps into the next decade, along with disruptions in both business and society through digital transformation and innovation, privacy, safety and sustainability will be few of the key game-changers. IT spend will see an increase in 2020 with growing concerns over security, technology buyers upgrading their infrastructure and a steady transition towards everything-as-a-service (XaaS), which comprises capabilities such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS). The next decade will also see a larger percentage of enterprises migrating to the cloud and subsequently Integrate Cloud Management— across public and private clouds — by deploying hybrid and multi-cloud technologies. The next decade will also see Edge Computing take the next big leap driven by IoT (Internet of Things) applications across industries like retail, life sciences, manufacturing, BFSI, logistics, and agriculture. In turn, this will give a boost to the Edge Cloud Service market, which is seen growing substantially in the coming few years. While 5G technology is poised to grow in the next decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will continue to dominate the technology landscape as more enterprises will use AI-enabled speech, vision, natural language processing, and virtual reality.”

Mr. Karmesh Gupta, Co-founder, WiJungle(Cybersecurity Startup)

“2019 has turned out to be a year of Cyber Security ‘Product companies’ in comparison to the ‘Services segment’.  One of the major and awaited trends shift that I have seen this year in India is the dominance of product companies over services companies in total spending. The market contribution of cybersecurity products in India has been 52.07%, accounting for it to USD 1.03B. This year total spending over Cyber Security in India has seen a jump of 19% and reached $1.97Bcomparative to $1.66B in 2018.  

This change in trend has been majorly due to an increasing shift amongst organizations to invest in tailed cybersecurity technology for their specific needs. Additionally, there has been substantial growth in the adaptability of domestic products due to emphasis on data localization and Make In India. In 2020, I expect a rise in global players from India.  Moreover, penetration in the SMB segment is forecasted to increase significantly because of awareness. The share of domestic product companies will increase in the total pie of cybersecurity products, subject to the execution of government policies. Data Security and Endpoint security companies are expected to observe the highest growth.”

Ms. Yogita Tulsiani, Co-founder, iXceed Solutions

The HR industry experienced a drastic change because of the alignment of the workforce in 2019. The gig economy has contributed to the major growth of companies like Uber, Ola, Deliveroo, Uber-eats as they provide their employees with the flexibility to work at the time as per their convenience. This changed the way the HR industry used to deal with the teams both in terms of hiring the candidates and engaging them. Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning technologies have become new trends in the HR industry. I am expecting AI and cognitive technologies to mature further in the year 2020. The predictive analytics will be giving powerful insights around performance, hiring trends, attrition, etc. I also see the need for talent in the startup sector with the startups increasingly becoming more successful alongside the disruption they bring to the market.

Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder, Navia Life Care- Smart Solution for healthcare providers

2019 was a very interesting year for the healthcare sector as a whole. There have been exciting things happening on a policy level, providers side (hospitals and diagnostics companies), life sciences and one the insurance side.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has come up with National Digital Health Blueprint which is an interesting step towards increasing the digital footprint in healthcare. We hope the government is going to build upon this blueprint and come up with a simple and implantable policy in the coming year.

Continuing the trend from 2018, Private Equity has shown keen interest in the hospital sector this year as well, there have been some key consolidation and M&A deals in the sector. We believe that this could bring in more efficiency in the ecosystem. This has impacted smaller neighbourhood hospitals as well, and across the ecosystem, hospitals have become significantly more open to innovative solutions to improve patient experience and patient outcomes. We hope that in 2020, the adoption of innovative solutions by hospitals increases even further so that it can benefit both patients and the hospitals.

Life Science and Pharma industry did pretty well this year. Change in the import policy by China is a promising welcome for India generic manufacturers. The industry has also made significant strides in digital health innovation with new digital devices coming in from different pharmaceutical companies.

For healthcare technology companies, 2019 has been very good. There have been quite a few large value VC-PE deals this year which has given good impetus to the sector as a whole. We believe that this momentum is going to continue for a while now and this sector will grow significantly in the coming year replicating Indian Fintech sector growth.

Mr Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform

Personalized Learning has been in the education sector for many years now and its popularity keeps growing. But in 2020, we will see increased integration across the globe of personalized learning. EdTech and AI technology have evolved more to cater to personalized learning styles and diverse individual needs. Just in time assessment will assist teachers to intervene at appropriate stages and tailor lesson plans accordingly.

Cost Management: With the increased adoption of EdTech in schools, universities and institutes across the world, the administration will have to strategize and plan their investments accordingly. The next few years from 2020 will see significant integration of below technologies:

Cloud-Based Technologies: Education organisations will aim to leverage the benefits of cloud-based technologies to drive cost savings and operational efficiencies through shared services initiatives.

Blockchain Technology: Education sector will look towards utilizing blockchain technology to cut paper and printing costs by digitally storing student certificates and diplomas, cost and labour savings by transferring the control of storing personal data to the applicants, litigation cost savings due to loss of documents and damage.

Online Education: According to KPMG and Google study, it is predicted that online education in India is likely to be 2 Billion USD industry by 2021. Students are now focussing more on online learning sitting at their home and as a quality education at affordable cost is made available to them through e-learning platforms like Catalyst, it is making education accessible to everyone at anywhere, anytime.

Mr. Amol Arora, Vice Chairman and MD, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools

The year 2019 saw some major and promising changes in the education sector. Starting from the establishment of the National Research Foundation (NRF), which is helping in creating the right ecosystem for R&D in the country with greater focus on innovation, to the introduction of New National Education Policy, which is transforming India’s higher education system to one of the best around the world, it has been great to see the government taking steps to strengthen the education sector. A humble yet notable announcement was the ‘Study in India’ Programme, which I think holds the potential to put India on the world map. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms that need to be implemented. To cater to the evolving needs of the future workforce, education startups need to be encouraged, especially EdTech.With 2020 just around the corner, we are ready to welcome the New Year with new hopes, new outlook and a new zeal. We are looking forward to create opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to increase the supply of quality schools so that parents have a choice. Our endeavor is to make learning creative, interesting, interactive and engaging in the coming times, through a system of education which is constructive, comprehensive, practical and futuristic.

Mr. Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd

Technology is one of the biggest factors impacting the Indian education scenario today. We see it in the form of digital content and classrooms, online assessments and cloud-based platforms, augmented by the exponentially growing Internet and smartphone penetration. This integration of technology in education, which is giving impetus to initiatives such as online teacher training and integrated learning, is expected to continue at a fast pace throughout the country. These initiatives have facilitated the popularity of new-age pedagogies, empowering students with self-learning abilities through e-learning tools as well as the adoption of experiential learning solutions for a holistic learning experience. Some of the practices that are revolutionizing the Indian education system currently and will continue to do so are as follows.

Experiential learning techniques: Experiential learning is being implemented in India in the form of virtual labs, social media platforms, virtual and augmented reality tools, and gamification of learning. This form of learning enables students to be actively involved in defining problems, asking questions, experimenting, analyzing results and constructing meaning. Furthermore, it provides an immersive, real-life experience, and is effective in maximizing student motivation and engagement while developing and instilling in them 21st-century skills, such as communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Artificial intelligence and cloud computing: AI has made considerable inroads in education across the world, and India, as one of the leading developing nations, is no exception. Some of the key challenges faced in the education sector in India is the all-round management of schools, streamlining of assessments and implementation of personalized learning. AI, along with cloud technology, is helping overcome these challenges with online data management and adaptive learning techniques, providing means to successfully personalize education in the country.

Mr. Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer|Mettl-An online assessment platform:

“In 2019, organisations focused upon reskilling and upskilling their workforce. Most sought after skills were in new age technology spaces like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), IoT, & Data Sciences space. HR leaders are far more open to the adoption of new-age tools to bring about a transformation in the way they search, manage and retain talent. Organisations are attempting to make better data-based decisions to improve employee productivity and the company’s profitability. Many organisations adopted Predictive Analytics to hire for performance, lower attrition and better cultural fitment among other competencies. Organisations will continue to face disruption and hence they will have to invest in improving all processes related to Talent management. Better people will remain the biggest differentiator and that’s why workplace learning will see continued investments. Organisations will focus on building an intelligent workforce with high learning agility so that they can adapt and respond to technological inventions/disruptions. Also, processes around Flexi-hiring, info-security, and GDPR would have to be given special emphasis.”

Mr. Narayan Mahadevan, Founder, BridgeLabz-Platform bridging the talent gap and providing skilled engineers to startups and enterprise:

“As we march into 2020, it is certainly a good time to be in the technology space. With several advancements and innovations coming to the fore, the sector is continuously opening up a number of opportunities for young talent, both in terms of realigned skillsets as well as completely new job roles. Businesses across the spectrum are undergoing a rapid digital transformation, and in-demand IT roles will witness a shift in 2020. These will include new positions with a focus on advanced technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, amongst others. In India, tech-based sectors like Fin-Tech, Agri-Tech, Health-Tech, Edu-Tech, Logi-tech and Travel-Tech are amongst those which are likely to hire more graduates within the coming year. However, in order to secure the right opportunities for a lucrative career, potential job-seekers need to focus on building robust skillsets. For this, in addition to the technical know-how of the role, there should be an emphasis on the areas of complex problem-solving, critical thinking, people management, cognitive flexibility and emotional intelligence. Honing these skills through hands-on, industry-oriented experiential learning will go a long way in creating a talent pool that is ready to be productive from day one on the job.”

Mr John Dong, Director, Tenda India

The Major Technology development in the field of wireless connectivity is the implementation of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G in all connectivity devices.Also, future devices will have AI and Voice-enabled features helping them modernizing faster.”

“As per our plans for 2020, we are looking to expand our product portfolio in and bring in AI-based products for B2B as well as B2C segments. Primarily, we are into networking solutions, routers, PoE switches, range extenders, adapters and 3G/4G equipment and security cameras. In the coming months, we will be forging into smart switches and will also be adding new products to our existing portfolio.”

By Rick Rider, Senior Director, Product Management, Infor

Infor’s Enterprise AI Predictions for 2020- Enterprise AI becomes more “Intellectual” (context-driven)

(1) Moving to “Intellectual Digital Assistants.” To meet growing enterprise user expectations, AI Digital Assistants will evolve into “Intellectual Digital Assistants.” Users no longer are satisfied with just telling Digital Assistants what to do and having them automatically execute certain tasks or basic configurations. 2020 will be the year when these digital assistants, using AI and machine learning (ML), start to understand the context of what users are doing, recommend potential next steps (based on completed actions), identify mistakes and auto-correct inputs, and start to engage with users in dynamic, on-the-fly conversations.

(2) AI helps define a “new normal.” In 2020, AI and machine learning platforms will start to challenge conventional thinking, when it comes to enterprise business processes and expected outcomes. In other words, these systems will re-define our default assumptions about what is “normal.” This will make the business process re-engineering and resource training more efficient. When examining supply chain processes, for example, AI platforms have observed that default values – related to expected delivery dates and payment dates – typically are used only 4 per cent of the time. Users almost always plug in their own values. Therefore, AI and machine learning systems will start enabling us to disregard default values, as we understand them today, and act more quickly through trust in our data. We no longer will be beholden to predefined rules, defaults, or assumptions.

(3) Operationalizing AI. Industry-specific templates will make AI easier to use and deploy in 2020. In manufacturing, AI and machine learning systems will take advantage of templated processes to help enterprises better manage their parts inventories, improve demand forecasting and supply chain efficiency, and improve quality control and time-to-delivery. In healthcare, organizations will leverage AI and machine learning to better integrate data that are segregated in application silos, exchange information with partners across the care continuum, and better use that data to respond to regulatory and compliance requirements. And, in retail, companies will use AI and ML to better predict demand patterns and shipment dates, based on defined rules, and improve their short- and long-term planning processes.