It is no secret that technology is constantly evolving and new innovations are being developed as new challenges arise. 2020 has been a unique year filled with hardship as well as opportunities to create positive change. The door has been opened for new ways of tackling issues that better fit society’s changing needs. Here are a few of the major trends this year that show how much tech has changed in 2020 and what that will mean for years to come.
As the world adjusts to life during an ongoing pandemic, the need for contactless solutions has increased. From transit to retail and restaurants, we’ve seen an increase in the use of contactless technology this year.
PYMNTS reports that a Visa study found an astounding 150 percent increase in the use of contactless payment technology between March 2019 and 2020. This includes methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and other forms of digital wallets at many major points of sale. For example, Ventra, the Chicago train system, accepts these contactless fare payments at turnstiles and on bus readers, eliminating the need for a physical card or ticket.
But the technology goes further than just a method for payment. QR codes are being used as identification for scanning into buildings, to open up restaurant menus on your smart phone and to look up product information.
Major teleconferencing software platforms, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype, utilize video and chat features to connect coworkers and family members alike. According to MarketWatch, “The Zoom app is currently the top free offering in Apple Inc.’s…App Store, and JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty says third-party data indicate that daily usage was up more than 300% from before the pandemic forced workers into their homes.”
Users are able to utilize services like these for a host of different purposes. As schools made the switch to remote learning, educators learned to replace their lesson plans and class discussions with online lectures and break-out discussions. Salespeople have turned to scheduled video calls to make their pitch. Friends and extended family quickly replaced face to face contact with virtual happy hours as a way to connect while apart. These platforms have expanded far past their intended office use and are proven to be a quick and easy way to connect no matter the occasion.
Emphasis on Cybersecurity
As digital solutions are further employed, the importance of cybersecurity becomes paramount. IT teams have had to find creative solutions to make their company’s tech easy to use outside of the office while simultaneously secure to protect against cyber threats like data hackers and phishing scams.
In a panel discussion lead by CompTIA on “The Impact of Today’s World on the Tech industry,” Meredith Patton explained that “It’s accentuated the problem we’ve always had with cybersecurity, which is that pragmatist balance between making life easy for people and making it secure for people. It’s pointless telling people ‘you can’t do that because, you can’t connect your device because…’. It’s much better to adopt a stance where you say, ‘you can do that if…’ if we make some adjustments, if we introduce practices that will allow you to stay safe.” She goes on to explain that a solution and major opportunity in this industry is to recruit and train a more diverse group of professionals to fill these positions and close the skills gap. With an increased risk, there is definitely a growing market for jobs focused in cybersecurity that require specialized skills and creative thinking.
These three aspects of changes to technology in 2020 are not just fleeting trends. These ideas are set to stay and continue to grow as the world adapts to societal changes. How have the technological changes impacted your life this year?