Tech Trends 2020

Tech Trends

In 2020, THE next stage of digital’s evolution welcomes us with the promise of emotionally intelligent
interfaces and hyper intuitive cognitive capabilities that will transform business in unpredictable ways. Yet
as we prepare for the coming decade of disruptive change, we would be wise to remember an important
point about yesteryear’s leading-edge innovations: Architects of the 1980s designed mainframe systems that
continue to run and generate business value today. Sure, they’re outmoded by today’s standards, but how
many of us will build systems that run for decades? And how’s that for a legacy?

Architecting for longevity and adaptability requires a deep understanding of both today’s realities and
tomorrow’s possibilities. It requires an appreciation for the technology and market forces driving change.
And finally, it requires a long-term commitment to focused and incremental progress.

Against this backdrop, we present Tech Trends 2020, Deloitte’s 11th annual examination of the emerging
technology trends that will affect your organization over the next 18 to 24 months. Several of this year’s
trends are responses to persistent IT challenges. Others represent technology-specific dimensions of larger
enterprise opportunities. All are poised to drive significant change.

We begin Tech Trends 2020 with a timely update on the nine macro technology forces we examined in
last year’s report. These forces—digital experience, analytics, cloud, core modernization, risk, the business
of technology, digital reality, cognitive, and blockchain—form the technology foundation upon which
organizations will build the future. This year’s update takes a fresh look at enterprise adoption of these
macro forces and how they’re shaping the trends that we predict will disrupt businesses over the next 18
to 24 months. We also look at three technologies that will likely become macro forces in their own right:
ambient experience, exponential intelligence, and quantum.

In subsequent chapters, we discuss trends that, though grounded in today’s realities, will inform the way
we work tomorrow. Our chapter on ethical technology and trust takes an in-depth look at how every aspect
of an organization that is disrupted by technology becomes an opportunity to lose—or earn—the trust of
customers, employees, and stakeholders. We follow with a discussion of human experience platforms that
will enable tomorrow’s systems to understand context and sense human emotion to respond appropriately.
Pioneering organizations are already exploring ways in which these platforms can meet the very human need
for connection.

Trends evolve in unexpected ways. And often, the most interesting opportunities happen at the places where
they intersect. Several of this year’s trends represent fascinating combinations of macro forces and other
technology advances. For instance, digital twins represents the culmination of modernized cores, advanced
cognitive models, embedded sensors, and more—a recipe that is in itself a trend, even as it builds on evolving
individual technologies.

We hope Tech Trends 2020 offers the insights and inspiration you will need for the digital journey ahead.
The road from today’s realities to tomorrow’s possibilities will be long and full of surprises, so dream big and
architect accordingly.