At every new year we talk about trends. Gartner, for example, has predicted several things that will trend in 2020, dividing them between human-centered and “smart spaces”. For the former, a future of hyper-automation, multi-experience, democratization of skills, transparency and traceability and increase in human capabilities is expected; while the category “smart spaces” includes Cloud, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence security, robotics and the enhancement of edge computing.
We’ve asked our “visionists” to predict what will happen during the coming year and we’ve identified four topics which will surely “hold court”.
“Digital payments – says Attilio Serrone, Head of Engineering’s Payments Department – are already widespread and will become increasingly so in the future. Although cash still holds its own, the new generations already prefer digital payments, mobile apps and proximity payment methods, so it is only a matter of time in my opinion. There is no longer, for example, the fear there once was when paying by credit card when buying online and people are beginning to understand the great convenience of paying without having to actually use cash. In my opinion, this is the method which will gain most ground in 2020: payments from smartphones or other devices which bypass the gesture of handing over something to someone, something which represents a barrier to purchases. The approval of Decree Law 124 last October has also introduced a series of new features in Italy which will help to spread digital payments even more. Therefore, 2020 will take us towards a cashless society”.
“I don’t see – says Roberto Mignemi, CEO of Cybertech – any revolutionary trends in terms of Cybersecurity for 2020. I believe that security will reaffirm itself as a fundamental issue for companies, PA, organizations in general. In my opinion, the topics which will develop most are those related to code security, to managing and monitoring company perimeters and industrial security. A lot has been said about code security, but there is still a great deal to do. Despite the fact that even the GDPR, in fact, envisages the security of the code by design and by default, little is being done about this. If the application code were to be rewritten, taking into account security principles, it would have an important impact on the issue, particularly in the Public Administration. In addition to the code, there is certainly the aspect which refers to security monitoring and management which can be outsourced or managed internally, but which certainly cannot be overlooked. Last, but not least, there is also industrial security which concerns not only the big players, but also, for example, the manufacturing sector which currently has, in general, several critical issues”.
“Beyond the still bubbling ferment of technologies – comments Grazia Cazzin – Big Data is now an established trend, whose 2020 keyword seems to me to be “hybrid”. Certainly, infrastructures (on-premise, on-cloud, mixed) are becoming hybrid, but so are data architectures, where data lakes, noSQL, indexing systems, DWH (with its many meanings) and RT streams combine together in varied architectures, with less structure and more elasticity. Data architecture goes beyond the single technology and must support a data strategy for evolving business models, which are re-focusing on digital trends also in B2B sectors (smart city, smart agriculture, smart energy, in-home health care and much more). In an increasingly service-oriented logic, teams and development models are also becoming hybrid: the boundaries between a software engineer, a data scientist, a BI developer or a communication expert are blurring, and custom developments are hybridizing with PaaS components, increasingly overlapping the data lake vision with the cloud one”.
“The progressive digitization of human activities, the pervasiveness of interconnected devices and sensors with the consequent availability of data combined with the growing computational capabilities – comments Marco Penovich, Head of Data & Analytics at Engineering – allow tackling the analysis of this complex large amount of information by providing deductions when needed. AI means allowing devices to behave intelligently, understanding behaviors, predicting phenomena, optimizing resources, providing answers to specific problems. The techniques of Advanced Analytics together with Machine Learning and Deep Learning allow learning from the data, all data, continuously, simply, as a human being cannot. The result are applications aimed at redesigning the quality of our lives, with safer vehicles that drive autonomously, with accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans, with attention to waste and to the quality of food chains or, changing the sphere, by providing value-added services in daily life such as in the home where, starting from the meter consumption, we are able to identify the equipment installed, foreseeing malfunctions, managing abnormal consumption or providing for automatic restocking so as to have more free time for more fulfilling activities. What 2020 will bring us is a greater decentralization of knowledge, as each device will have its own ability to provide knowledge in real time by incorporating analytical models and processing them locally; a democratization of AI with the increasing spread of easy-to-use tools with interfaces which simplify the underlying mathematics, also facilitated by the adoption of cloud computing; a pervasive AI in every field”.