With 2019 in the rearview mirror, the collective business and tech trends conversation is shifting from reviewing industry milestones to previewing industry trends. There are no shortage of business and technology trends expected to play out in 2020 and plenty of opportunity to shape the narrative to help brands capitalize on them. This is especially true of growth trends in the AI, IoT and cannabis industries and trends in sustainability.
AI and IoT
The coming year will see AI technology continue to gain traction as it transforms many aspects of everyday life at work and at home. Consumers, whether they are aware of it are not, are already benefitting from AI technology in applications like Netflix, Spotify, as well as voice recognition technology in device assistants. Analysts project worldwide spending on AI systems to reach $79.2 billion in 2022 more than doubling the projected spending on these systems of $35.8 billion in 2019.
IoT is on a similar growth trajectory. The technology, which is being used in everything from creating smart cities, to protecting endangered species to creating more connected healthcare and more, is projected to grow globally, reaching $74.74 billion by 2023.
Cannabis has rapidly become a billion-dollar industry and as more states move toward legalization, increasing numbers of growers, cultivators and peripheral businesses will enter the market. As this market matures, PR is quickly becoming a critical component to building a recognizable brand for cannabis businesses and helping shape public perception of the industry.
In 2019 many industries stepped up efforts to “go green” and 2020 will see even more adoption of green initiatives. The building industry and restaurant industry are two sectors embracing sustainability in a big way.
Building, design and construction companies are implementing initiatives around sustainability, resilience, carbon reduction and transparency to fight the effects of climate change. According to the World Green Building and Construction Trends 2018 report from Dodge Data & Analytics, nearly half of the architects, engineers, contractors, owners and consultants surveyed say the majority of their projects over the next three years will be green buildings.
A similar trend is playing out in the restaurant industry. Recognizing the importance of sustainability from an environmental and business perspective, more and more restaurants are adopting sustainability practices in all aspects of their operations. A 2018 National Restaurant Association State of Restaurant Sustainability survey of 500 restaurant owners and operators found that 79% of respondents use energy-efficient lighting, 65% engage in recycling and 22% reduce food waste by donating leftover food.
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