The convergence of enterprise technology trends will continue to profoundly transform all businesses and unlock potential for innovation, according to Deloitte's 'Tech Trends 2020' report which examines trends in digital technologies, human experiences, analytics and artificial intelligence in the modern enterprise. This article is copyright 2020 The Best Customer Guide.

The report explores digital twins, the new role technology architects play in business outcomes, and affective computing-driven "human experience platforms" that are redefining the way humans and machines interact. Tech Trends 2020 also shares key insights and prescriptive advice for business and technology leaders so they can better understand what technologies will disrupt their businesses during the next 24 months.

"Technology is the number-one differentiator for businesses today and that will only accelerate in the years to come as even more powerful innovations take hold," said Scott Buchholz, emerging technologies research director and government and public services CTO at Deloitte Consulting LLP. "The most successful businesses today are combining cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and IoT with disruptive IT architecture and supercharged talent to create entirely new ways of working - and they already see the benefits."

And with organizations needing to adapt and respond quickly to ongoing technology disruption, Deloitte expects to see more IT and finance leaders working together to develop new flexible approaches for funding innovation at the speed of Agile.

The report's five trends of focus for 2020 include:

  1. Digital Twins - Bridging the physical and digital
    As digital twin technology allows businesses to create increasingly sophisticated virtual models to optimize processes, products, and services, organizations will integrate IoT, machine learning, advanced computing infrastructure, and more to unlock entirely new business models.
  2. Architecture Awakens
    Systems architecture will become a strategic priority as organizations redefine the architect role to be more nimble, responsive, and collaborative. Architects will work across the business and work creatively with non-technical project teams - forming a competitive differentiator in the digital economy.
  3. Ethical Technology and Trust
    Organizations in every geography are realizing that their embrace of technology is an opportunity to gain - or lose - trust, and with it, customers' business and brand loyalty. CIOs will emphasize ethical tech in the coming years - and create processes to help solve ethical dilemmas related to disruptive technologies.
  4. Human Experience Platforms
    To address the lack of connection humans often experience with daily digital interactions, a growing number of organizations are injecting emotional intelligence into their systems. These include AI capabilities such as machine learning and voice and facial recognition, which can better detect and appropriately respond to human emotions. The net result is emotionally intelligent human experiences that leverage connections between people, systems, data, and products.
  5. Finance and the Future of IT
    As enterprises become more agile, financial operations will need to support new modes of working. That means CIOs and CFOs will need to explore how a new, flexible approach to enterprise finance, budgeting, contracting, capital planning, and more can redefine the future of tech innovation.

The report also provides a view of years of trending the trends with insight into how trends evolve into table stakes over time, an update on the symbiotic benefits derived from the macro technology forces that serve as the foundation for business transformation, and a look at "what's next" beyond the near term.

"Technology is constantly in motion. Executives should take tomorrow's cues from today's trends. 'Horizon next' technologies are evolving out of today's core trends, sometimes in unexpected ways, giving rise to new opportunities," added Bill Briggs, Chief Technology Officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

"The trends of 2020 will disrupt entire industries and redefine business as we know it in the next decade, even as digital innovation becomes the norm for organizations of all sizes," concluded Buchholz. "Some of these trends may not come to fruition exactly as envisioned, but the technologies underpinning them will fundamentally change the way we work."