Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest tech trends and developments. In this two-part series, we’re exploring some of the most exciting and transformative technology trends to keep your eye on in 2023.
In part one of our two-part tech trends series, we looked at AI and machine learning, immersive internet, datafication and green technologies. This week, we delve into edge and quantum computing, hyperconnectivity, cybersecurity and blockchain and consider their potential impact on our lives and society as a whole.
Off the heels of the cloud computing boom, edge computing is a way of processing data closer to where it’s created or needed, rather than sending it to a centralised data processing centre. This approach provides faster response times and improved security and privacy, especially for applications that require real-time data processing, such as self-driving cars or industrial automation.
For example, let’s say you have a smart home security system that needs to process data from security cameras in real time. Instead of sending all of that data to a cloud-based data centre, edge computing allows the data to be processed on a device in your home, such as a smart hub or router. This can reduce network latency and improve the overall performance of the system. This technology can also be used in industries such as healthcare, where fast data processing is critical for patient care and can allow doctors to make more informed decisions in real-time.
While the current key contributors to this technology are giants like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, according to a 2022 report, the edge computing market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% from 2022 to 2028, so it’s one of the tech trends that won’t be going anywhere soon and should provide some exciting developments in the next few years.
Quantum computing is a type of computing that uses the principles of quantum physics, like superposition and entanglement, to perform calculations. While classic computers use bits to represent information as either a 0 or a 1, quantum computers use qubits, which can exist in multiple states at the same time. This allows quantum computers to perform certain calculations much faster than traditional computers.
This might sound complicated, but let’s try to simplify with an example: In order to crack a password, the computers we currently use would need to check every combination of keys, which could take a long time for a complex password. A quantum computer, however, could use an algorithm that allows it to check all possible combinations simultaneously, making it much faster.
Quantum computing is still in the early stages of development and has some limitations, but it has the potential to revolutionise fields such as cryptography, drug discovery, banking, finance and trading, credit risk management, and fraud detection. Again, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are key players in developing this technology, but with reports predicting revenue growth from $412 million in 2020 to $8.6 billion by 2027, we can be sure to see plenty new names joining the tech trends list in the not-too-distant future.
Hyperconnectivity refers to the phenomenon of being constantly connected to others through various devices, including increased communication between complex machines. According to Statistica, the number of IoT-connected devices in 2019 was 8.6 billion. In 2023, this has almost doubled to 15 billion. By 2030, the number is projected to hit almost 30 billion devices – a 200% increase in a single decade.
One of the major drivers of this connectivity trend is the development and expansion of networks, with 5G currently leading the pack. These technologies are constantly evolving, increasing the amount of data and the speed at which it can travel between devices. Reports on 5G technology in the global market show no signs of slowing down, with a predicted annual CAGR of just under 30% until 2027.
Industry leaders are making even bolder predictions. Many see hyperconnectivity, and 5G in particular, as technologies that will leverage the practices of industry 4.0 and 5.0 – the 4th and 5th industrial revolutions of humankind. Alongside this, we will see the further development of IIoT, or the Industrial Internet of Things. Such progress does not come without its downsides, with governments and regulators already trying to figure out how to manage the exponential growth of our dependency on connectivity and manage the risks of collapse, by accident or as the result of an attack.
Cybersecurity in 2023 is marked by a series of significant tech trends and challenges, with the digital landscape evolving rapidly and becoming increasingly complex. With the increased use of AI and machine learning in cyber attacks, organisations are adopting advanced AI-based security solutions to effectively counter these threats. Additionally, the rise in remote work has led to an increased reliance on cloud services, which in turn has created new attack vectors for cybercriminals. Businesses must prioritise securing their cloud infrastructure and implementing proper security protocols for remote access to sensitive data.
Forbes reports that the attack surface is expanding, with the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G technology introducing new vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit. Organisations should be prepared to secure a wide range of connected devices, and establish robust security measures that can adapt to the evolving technological landscape. Additionally, ransomware attacks continue to be a significant threat, with attackers becoming increasingly bold and targeting larger organisations. Preventative measures, such as regular data backups and employee training, are essential for minimising the risk of a successful ransomware attack. The cybersecurity skills gap remains a significant challenge, and organisations must prioritise attracting, retaining, and upskilling talent to address the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals. Offering competitive salaries, career growth opportunities, and fostering a culture of continuous learning are critical to closing the skills gap.
On the up side, there have been great developments in the creating of digitally immune systems. These are cybersecurity solutions inspired by biological immune systems, focusing on self-protection, self-healing, and adaptability. A DIS uses AI and ML technologies to identify and neutralise threats autonomously, proactively detect vulnerabilities, and recover quickly from successful attacks. By continuously learning from network activity and threat intelligence, digitally immune systems provide robust and resilient protection against a wide range of cyber threats, ensuring organisations maintain strong security postures and business continuity.
Blockchain technology has continued to evolve, with a range of emerging trends shaping its development and adoption across various industries. One notable trend is the increasing integration of blockchain with the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing for improved security, transparency, and efficiency in managing IoT devices and data, as blockchain technology can provide decentralised and tamper-proof solutions for tracking device interactions and ensuring data integrity.
Another key blockchain trend in 2023 is the growing importance of decentralized finance (DeFi). These platforms leverage blockchain technology to offer financial services such as lending, borrowing, and trading, without the need for traditional intermediaries like banks. This democratisation of finance has the potential to increase financial inclusion and provide more accessible financial solutions for people worldwide. The development and adoption of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are also gaining momentum. Many central banks are exploring the potential benefits of issuing their own digital currencies, which could enhance the efficiency of cross-border transactions, reduce the cost of currency management, and provide a more secure and traceable means of handling money. CBDCs would most likely also play a vital role in implementing monetary policies and fostering financial stability.
There has been an increasing emphasis the rise of enterprise blockchain solutions, with many businesses recognising the potential of blockchain technology to streamline their operations, improve supply chain management, and ensure data security. As a result, more companies are investing in developing and deploying blockchain solutions tailored to their specific needs and industry requirements. We can expect to see a ramping up of this trend in the coming years, as blockchain technology continues to reshape industries and redefine how transactions, data, and value are managed in the digital age.
As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest tech trends shaping our world. This two-part series has provided an overview of the most exciting and transformative trends to watch in 2023, showcasing technologies that have the potential to redefine industries as well as the way we interact with the digital world in our daily lives. By staying informed and embracing these trends,you can better prepare for the future and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving technological landscape.
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