Investors and executives are judged on results. They need to spot trends in the market in order to stay ahead and study how consumer habits and preferences may change in the future so they stay relevant. As such, it’s also important that they embrace change, rather than just being stuck in their ways, and use it to their advantage.
Now that there’s less than six months left of 2020 to go, now is a great time to look at the business trends that may develop over the rest of the year. Will anything new come to the market? If so, will any prove an instant hit with consumers? Are their needs going to change?
Answering these questions can help to identify the main trends to watch this year and into the next. This can help you get an edge in your industry and create a new opportunity that others have failed to notice.
Here are seven business trends to watch in 2020.
1. Edge Computing For Video
With more devices connecting to each other, there is an ever-increasing need for better server infrastructure. This is certainly the case for video solutions that need streaming solutions.
With edge computing, video provers can bring down the costs of installing and maintaining their servers, while simultaneously adding functionalities that were not possible beforehand.
Investors are seeing the potential of this industry and are willing to invest in startups attempting to fulfil this need.
Lots are cloud-based, so be aware of a potential shift to edge computing.
2. Autonomous Vehicles
This industry has been hot for a while now. The sheer number of autonomous vehicle companies is growing all the time, bringing even more attention to the tech scene. It also means there are plenty of opportunities.
A computer isn’t going to be driving you around within the year, but the industry has great pulling power, both in terms of investment and jobseekers. As such, it’s going to be a top business trend to watch in 2020 and for the foreseeable future.
The most obvious place to look at is the technology itself, but that doesn’t mean you should lose focus on other opportunities. Remember, there’ll be one more passenger to take into account.
Be aware of developments that could impact health, comfort, entertainment and productivity of the person ‘at the wheel’ while the car drives by itself.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This next business trend to watch in 2020 should hardly come as a surprise.
Artificial intelligence is everywhere you look; the reason being that there seems to be an endless number of possibilities. It can benefit every industry with a digital footprint, from healthcare to manufacturing.
There is likely going to be a lot of focus given to AI solutions in terms of fundraising, acquiring top talent and business acquisitions. In fact, LinkedIn reported AI specialists were the top job in 2020.
It’s not hard to find AI applications used in everyday life right now. For example, Netflix uses AI to tailor films and TV based on your previous watches.
Think about how AI can disrupt your industry or create an entirely new one altogether. It may even have a role to play in your own business should you have one.
This article by Digital Authority Partners is a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn more on the subject.
5G seems to be something of a buzzword among the tech community right now. It’s being lauded as a revolutionary breakthrough, even though it’s more of an evolution of existing technology.
That said, the purported benefits seem to advocate much faster speeds and new capabilities previously not possible.
So, the business trend to watch within 5G is what cell phone manufacturers and carriers will invest and how they will roll the infrastructure into their networks. Also, think about how faster cellular signals can improve your own business solutions.
5. Decentralized Finance
You may have read the word “decentralized” and instantly thought of cryptocurrency. This is definitely one of the business trends to watch in 2020, but there’s another you should also be paying attention to.
As noted by Harlem World Magazine Traditional finance is showing towards individual empowerment. For example, startups like Robinhood are receiving lots of new investment from the younger generation while traditional brokers like TD Ameritrade are dropping their fees and commissions in order to compete.
Add to that how robo-trading solutions can provide better value to clients compared to hedge fund managers and their likes, and you can see that finance is becoming more decentralized than ever before.
6. Retail Technology
Traditional retail has taken a hit ever since Amazon became the behemoth it is today. It almost seems certain that the retail industry is doomed… right?
Not quite. New technology could save retail as we know it. With AI, machine learning and computer vision available, companies have the ability to develop a better shopping experience for consumers.
B8ta in San Francisco is an example of how technology can help. They use a range of tech to learn about customer engagement and boost sales to improve offline retail.
Even Amazon thinks there’s potential in traditional retail yet. is expanding into the offline space with Amazon Go. These stores allow consumers to pick up their groceries and checkout automatically.
7. Smart Home Software
This is the final business trend to watch in 2020. Smart home hardware is everywhere nowadays, meaning there’s less of a push for innovative ideas.
Sure, 5G is a major talking point and big companies are still entering the smart home market, but there’s nothing to really get excited about this year.
On the other hand, the smart home software is a lot more intriguing. The value of smart home applications is moving towards what you can do with it, rather than just having the hardware. Expect companies to investigate how they can use machine learning and AI to service people at home.
There’s a lot of international potential too. Companies are looking at the Asian market, particularly in Japan and China, for growth.