This article was originally published on Forbes.com.
Digital continues to dominate the world, and transformations led by digital are clear in every department of business. Our personal and professional lives are impacted with proliferation of “smart” digital devices, and there has been a significant increase in workplace collaboration solutions. Below, I outline what I believe to be some of the top digital trends for 2020 and how these trends will impact your career.
1. More and more people will use mobile messaging apps.
According to a report shared by Facebook, 80% of smartphone users are projected to use a mobile messaging app in 2020. As a marketer, this means you must add app messaging skills to your arsenal. Learn how to use a messenger marketing platform — such as Many Chat, Chatfuel or Diaglogflow — just like you learn Hubspot or Marketo. Messenger marketing automation is a new and upcoming extension of marketing automation.
2. The rise in cybersecurity threats will require new data management capabilities.
We already have the European General Data Protection Regulation and California Consumer Privacy Act, and I suspect more privacy/security laws will follow. Facebook had a challenging 2019, with major lawsuits and consumer complaints. Users take their privacy seriously, and they demand better infrastructure and data management capabilities from the vendors. If you work with any personally identifiable information, then you will be required to get certified and take data security courses. A great starting point is this free online course from the Center for Development of Security Excellence.
3. Artificial intelligence will enable more people to find work.
AI is changing the workforce as we speak. Recruiters are increasingly using AI to select the right candidates. Machine learning algorithms can detect facial expressions on video interview calls. Then, with the help of speech capability analysis, they can identify the intent of the spoken words. Jobs Access with Speech is one specific example of a screen reader technology that enables people with special needs to complete previously unimaginable tasks. As a hiring manager, you must learn new recruiting technologies and AI tools to expand your reach. Encourage your human resources and information technology departments to adopt AI for recruiting candidates with special needs.
4. Move over internet of things; it’s time for internet of behaviors.
We live in a connected world, and IOT enables the connection. Your TV, refrigerator, lightbulb and thermostat now have access to the World Wide Web. This enables organizations to understand human behavior or consumer behavior better than before. Internet of behaviors is about connecting digital behaviors to physical actions. As a professional, you must be able to recognize how a digital action from your customers can impact their physical behavior. Data analysis is no longer limited to your analytics department. Every employee must learn how to interpret and apply data insights to their tasks. On an individual level, I encourage you to take data analysis courses to help you stay relevant in your organization.
5. More companies will adopt multicloud platforms.
Amazon Web Services is one of the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platforms, and as a result, AWS certifications are in demand. However, the multicloud adoption is speeding up, and Microsoft and Google cloud market share will increase by 50% as per a LogicMonitor report (registration required). Organizations are implementing multicloud platforms such as Wrike, vCommander and RightScale to accommodate this change. For a cloud professional, it’s becoming more important to get certified on multiple cloud platforms. AWS certification is no longer enough.
6. Digital and data jobs will grow by double digits.
From 2011 to 2019, marketing and sales technology has increased from around 150 solutions to more than 7,040 solutions. Market Watch predicts the global fintech market compound annual growth rate at 22%, while HealthTech is expected to have a CAGR of 13%. These trends point to one thing: Digital and data jobs are, and will continue to be, in demand. For someone in college or looking for jobs, I’d encourage you to opt for a digital- or data-oriented career.
7. Online buying will continue to put more big-box stores out of business.
In 2019, we lost Payless, Gymboree, Dressbarn, Charming Charlie and lots of other stores. In 2020, this trend will likely speed up and have a severe impact on brick-and-mortar retail professionals. If you are a retail professional, then you must add digital retail and e-commerce to your skill set.
To summarize, professionals and new career seekers must pay attention to these digital trends and adapt. Those who are prepared will see the fruits of digital disruptions.