What to Expect in 2020: Top Predictions from Industry Influencers

The new decade has come in like a lion, with major technology advances in IoT, cloud, mobile, wireless and telecom leading the way. 2020 is poised to become a banner year for network investments, in both the service provider and enterprise markets, and industry watchers are expecting big things in IoT, 5G, SD-WAN, security, AI and collaboration. Calysto is watching these and other markets closely and has compiled a list of the top predictions from leading analyst firms, publications and other industry pundits. Enjoy!

Forrester predicts that in 2020, the IoT space will get more support as a major product-as-a-service ecosystem will launch. Connected products create a constant communication flow between customer and product maker. They also create ongoing costs for product makers, who need to monitor experiences and send software updates. OEMs are seeking new revenue sources for their connected products to offset those costs. In 2020, we predict a major consumer or B2B provider will convert from product sales to an IoT services offering, backed by partners in an ecosystem.”

According to Deloitte, 2020 is the year for 5G—in the largest enterprises, that is. We’ll see the rise of private 5G networks, especially for industrial environments such as manufacturing plants, logistics centers and ports, Deloitte says, predicting that “more than 100 companies worldwide will have begun testing private 5G deployments by the end of 2020.” By 2024, the value of cellular mobile equipment and services for use in private networks will likely add up to tens of billions of dollars annually, and Deloitte predicts about one-third of the 2020–2025 private 5G market will come from logistics hubs such as ports, airports, and similar environments.

And of course, we’ll begin to see broader 5G network availability in 2020 as telcos around the world continue their buildouts, Information Age predicts. “Across the industry, expect to see 1GB access move to 10GB and 10GB aggregation to 100GB in order to cope with 4G growth and to lay the groundwork for new 5G-bearing core networks,” the publication writes. Security of operators’ increasingly virtualized networks and OTT service growth are also areas to watch in 2020.

Meanwhile, Dell’Oro predicts that the 5G RAN plus core infrastructure market will more than double as 5G NR (New Radio) continues to accelerate at an extraordinary pace, underpinned by large-scale deployments in China, Korea, and the US. Dell’Oro reports that “the upside in 5G NR will be more than enough to offset declining LTE investments, propelling the overall RAN (2G-5G) market for a third consecutive year of healthy growth.”

Cisco has named its top five networking trends for 2020, and it’s no surprise that SD-WAN, and Wi-Fi 6 and 5G (and the relationship between the latter two) are atop the list. Multi-domain control, virtual networking and the evolving role of network engineers round out the top trends we should expect to see. Like Deloitte, Cisco also predicts the rise of 5G private networks as enterprises explore their connectivity options.

In the collaboration space, Nemertes Research says the move to the cloud will continue to accelerate, with 31 percent of enterprises using the cloud today, while 43 percent of those with on-prem systems evaluating or planning a move to the cloud. AI will also become pervasive in collaboration, with 43 percent of enterprises evaluating AI solutions as part of their collaboration lineup.

Also in unified communications, ZK Research chief Zeus Kerravala predicts that UC-IoT—people talking to machine versus machines talking to machines—will become increasingly prevalent. He argues that enterprises that integrate IoT with their UC systems can streamline workflows through voice interfaces, automated messaging and other communications-enabled processes, analyzing and disseminating information quickly to the people that need it. Because of this, UC-IoT can be a game-changer in areas like smart cities, smart buildings, manufacturing, healthcare and other markets.

Blockchain is still in its hype cycle, leaving many disillusioned by its practical application. However, Computerworld reports that “as blockchain begins climbing out of the hype cycle, pragmatic use cases will arise. Some of those include payment processing, data sharing, equity trading, and contract/document keeping and tracking,” according to editor Lucas Mearian. “We can also expect the technology to be used to thwart fake news, for digital securities exchanges, and to manage consumer identities.”

CableLabs has added Deep Fakes—videos of people saying things they didn’t actually say—to its list of top 2020 trends for the communications industry. The challenge for the industry is figuring out how to detect what’s real and what’s not. CableLabs sees a push in 2020 to get ahead of the technology used to create Deep Fakes. CableLabs also says quantum technology is no longer a far-fetched idea but is rather at a tipping point and will have a huge impact on security and networking. Anyone not already paying attention to quantum should make it a priority in 2020.

What are your predictions for 2020? Drop us a note in the comments section!

1 thought on “What to Expect in 2020: Top Predictions from Industry Influencers”

  1. Gary Lee says:

    Based on our work with enterprise mobile deployments around the globe, we published our predictions around Enterprise Mobility. The single biggest shift we see is around the management of mobile devices and applications.

    Enterprise mobile devices and apps are now business-critical – they must be operational or the business suffers. Yet the management tools have historically not evolved to allow for real-time identification of problems in order to prevent, and even predict outages and downtime for workers. The single biggest trend we see going forward is allowing for real-time intelligence into the health and utilization of mobile devices and apps so that downtime can be avoided.

    The entire prediction list can be seen here: https://www.retailtechnologyreview.com/articles/2019/11/19/2020-predictions-for-enterprise-mobility/

    And IDG ran a contributed article as well: https://www.idgconnect.com/opinion/1503701/opportunities-challenges-enterprise-mobility-2020

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