AI, cloud computing and 5G will have the most impact of new technologies this decade, experts say, with manufacturing, medicine, financial and energy sectors most affected.
Nonprofit technical organization IEEE polled 350 C-suite leaders in the U.S., China, U.K., India, and Brazil and found an overwhelming majority (95%) agree — including 66% who strongly agree — that AI will drive the majority of innovation across nearly every industry sector in the next five years.
Technology leaders surveyed said that because of the global pandemic, in 2021 they accelerated the adoption of cloud computing, AI and machine learning, 5G and augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR). So it’s not surprising there is overwhelming agreement that AI will drive the majority of innovation.
On 5G specifically, it seems telemedicine, including remote surgery and health record transmissions, remote learning and education, day-to-day communications and manufacturing will be most impacted.
“5G will allow more and more connections between people,” says IEEE member Filipe Torres. “It will include people who don’t have as much access today. It will allow better use of other technologies in parallel such as blockchain, IoT, data science, AI and ML. It will mainly allow us to be able to use an amount of data and processing much higher than the capacity we have today.”
Another IEEE member, Paul Kostek picked out banking and financial which is set for major disruption from blockchain and crypto.
“Financial technology will provide more people with access to banking services and the ability to invest,” he says. “Along with virtual funds like Bitcoin and Etherium, people will be able to gain greater control over their financial lives.”
An open-source distributed database that uses cryptography through a distributed ledger, blockchain “enables trust among individuals and third parties” says IEEE and has many applications: the most likely for 2022 being securing M2M communications along with shipment tracing and contactless digital transactions, keeping health and medical records secure in the cloud, and securely connecting parties in a specified ecosystem.
Nearly half of technology leaders agree that the number of devices connected to their company’s business will grow so significantly and rapidly in 2022 that it will be unmanageable.
As a result of the shift to hybrid work such devices now routinely include smartphones, tablets, sensors, robots, vehicles and drones – all devices connected to their business that technology leaders need to track and manage.
On the plus side, the vast majority of those surveyed believe that compared to a year ago, their company is better prepared to respond to a potentially catastrophic interruption such as a data breach or natural disaster, and that COVID-19 accelerated their preparedness.
Furthermore, 81% agree that, in the next five years, one-quarter of what they do will be enhanced by robots, and 77% agree that, in the same timeframe, robots will be deployed across their organization to enhance nearly every business function, from sales and human resources to marketing and IT. A majority of respondents agree (78%) that in the next 10 years, half or more of what they do will be enhanced by robots.