I was fortunate enough to present Triad’s key findings from our 2020 tech trends survey at the Digital Leaders Salon the week before last.  I had intended to write this article sometime before now, but found myself dealing with the implications of CoVid-19 on our company.  Indeed, the salon was the last public event I attended – and it will likely be some time before the next public event.

In some ways, the virus acts as a great leveler and reduces the topic of tech trends to mere banality.  In other ways though, the tech trends survey we discussed spoke loudly to the importance of technology in today’s world – particularly when dealing with events such as CoVid-19.

When we put the survey together, I never appreciated the relevance and importance of the questions we posed about developments in the last ten years. Two of the obvious tech leaders during this period were cloud and mobile phones/smart devices.

 

What do you see as the most significant technological development of the last ten years?

Word cloud with most important tech developments of the last ten years

Table with most important tech developments of the last ten years

 

Having witnessed the wholesale impact on society during the last couple of weeks I have reflected on the obvious importance of these two areas of technology.  Our kids are at home taking lessons via Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams.  Our colleagues are working on transformation programmes on an entirely distributed basis.  Our vulnerable are able to order their groceries and essential needs online (if only panic buying hadn’t thrown the finely-balanced supply chains out of whack!), and families are staying in touch through WhatsApp groups.  All of these technologies have existed for some time, but the current climate has caused a sea-change in usage.  Without a doubt, the world will operate differently when the sun finally starts to shine once more.

So, rather than using the tech trends survey to look forwards I have ended up using it to reflect on the impact of prior technological advancements.  Of course, future developments in AI and machine learning will deliver massive benefits but it is worth pausing for a moment to applaud the fact that the now omnipresent cloud and smart devices have made a truly life-changing difference to our communities.

 

Adrian Leer

Managing director, Triad Group Plc