Guest Column | January 15, 2020

Tech Trends VARs Need To Be Aware Of In 2020

By Hugh Simpson, Ciklum

The Top Trends Influencing Automation In The Life Science Industry 2018

As we stand amid the digital transformation, the way we work, live, and play is being constantly challenged.

I recently attended WebSummit and the AI & Big Data Expo in Silicon Valley and it is clear that this era of technology now represents a radical change in enterprise development.

Many trends on the horizon in the next decade show innovation speeding ahead with each technology uniquely enabled by access to more people, services information, increasing demand, and yielding to new platforms.

With this, what trends are primed to forge full-steam ahead and continue to disrupt the cognitive enterprise? We’ve chosen the top technologies primed to take center stage in 2020 and beyond.

Continuous Intelligence

Regardless of the industry in which they operate, all businesses aim to stay relevant, especially in the current data-driven age of IoT. However, many organizations have placed their bets on historical databases and systems such a batch processing, which involves the tedious processing of bulk material in groups, which can cause slower processing times and higher costs. Continuous intelligence seeks to put historical systems to rest speeding up this process by furthering enabling businesses to leverage real-time data analysis using a continuous high-frequency approach.

Continuous Technology marries the best that real-time advanced analytics has to offer using real-time data to support IT performance at the highest level. This method further aligns with today’s modern framework for application development and deployment needs.

Simply put, this technology takes the friction out of big business and it’s gaining traction. Gartner revealed by 2022, more than half of major new business systems will incorporate this process into their organization to further improve decision making.

Voice Technology

Voice-activated technology is positioning itself to be the next iteration of human-machine interaction in the next decade. A report from reveals U.S. smart speaker ownership rose 40 percent over 2018 and now reaches 66.4 million — or 26.2 percent of the U.S. adult population. The technology at large is positioned to create a dramatic impact on the way information is sourced and consumed in the years ahead as user demand and comfort levels with the technology increase.

What’s important for the enterprise to grasp, as we enter into 2020, is the urgency around this transformational shift. We’ve already begun to see the impact of voice in the customer service sector such as retail, where conversational interfaces are enabling on-demand associates, creating greater intelligence insights and driving personalization.

Prioritizing voice-enabled technology the right way will prove paramount for organizations and industries looking to stay ahead of the curve. Voice technology’s ability to streamline conversations, integrate with various products, and create individualized experiences will further enable developers to add this capability to their applications.

Natural Language Processing

The maturation of Natural Language Processing has allowed brands to automate customer inquiries than more “traditional” methods such as chat or voice or text without impacting the customer experience. We, in part, have Siri and Alexa to thank for NLP’s advancement as it continues to gain serious momentum and attention as a top enterprise productivity tool.

The most evident form of artificial intelligence, NLP can communicate in human form and further automate the learning process. This, in turn, supplements machine learning to create more responsive AI which can directly affect various business objectives.

Businesses will continue to look toward NLP as it holds great rewards in its ability to source deep information in enterprise content allowing users to receive accurate answers to complex questions.


The true rise in blockchain technology will occur in 2020 as the technology’s primary advantage comes in the form of decentralization. In its simplest definition, blockchain technology is a solid, realizable record of transactions (making it difficult to hack) based on a distributed ledger technology which owns records across a peer-to-peer network. Created for bitcoin, it’s potential now reaches far beyond cryptocurrency.

Recent research from Gartner suggests that blockchain has the potential to transform industries by enabling greater trust, transparency, and value exchange across businesses.

Many leaders on the global scale are also making their bets on the future of this technology including IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung. While the banking industry is the most mature at blockchain adoption, real-life use cases beyond payments and cryptocurrencies are being realized in healthcare, real estate, and food safety.


If you’ve been privy to the buzz happening around hyperautomation there’s a good reason. Named one of the top technology trends for 2020 by Gartner, hyperautomation integrates technologies and tools that boost the ability to automate tasks. For companies looking to reach the ultimate level of high-end automation (i.e. advanced analytics, workforce engagement, client onboarding, etc.) hyperautomation becomes the key to unlocking how organizations scale effectively.

As we forge into a new decade, hyperautomation will bring in a deeper understanding of the customer experience, innovative products and services, new business models and cost management. This will allow industries to better leveraging AI platforms, automation, machine learning, and other advanced technologies for organizational improvements in accuracy and efficiency.

Whether it’s through Blockchain, NLP or AI our 2020 trend predictions reveal that the enterprises’ ability to expand into new areas of productivity and innovation is well within reach.

If the last decade of swift change was any indication of the future, business leaders and their organizations are being forewarned that it pays to get this next iteration of the digital transformation right, right now.

About The Author

Hugh Simpson is Global Lead for Fintech, Data & Analytics, A.I. and IoT at Ciklum.