The year 2020 was exceptional and unique as companies and business sectors at various levels, and governments with a new and traditional approach, were forced to change their plans, strategies and operations models in an attempt to cope and adapt to unexpected and unprecedented transformations and developments.
Modern technology and digital solutions have played a pivotal role in managing these changes, whether we use platforms such as (Blackboard), (Zoom), (Netflix) or any of the other tools, these technologies and others have helped us prepare meals, educate our children, and cooperate with colleagues Work, and even entertain ourselves at home.
Rather than affecting our progress and slowing us down, 2020 has accelerated our transition to the digital age, and I believe we will not be going back anytime soon.
In my view, thanks to this acceleration, 2021 will be a starting point for all kinds of change, with some areas that will lead our rapid transition to the digital world.
Cloud computing is everywhere
The days when cloud capabilities were mainly concentrated in data centers are fast fading, and today cloud-based applications can help boost the performance of ships at sea, planes that cross the sky, as well as our cars and our homes.
Access to cloud computing and storage capabilities extends beyond these areas even further, from rural communities and remote wilderness areas to near-Earth orbit.
In practical terms, access to the cloud is almost everywhere, and it is not just access that matters, but the speed at which this access takes place. For example, the fifth generation network extends to the edge of networks and the availability of real computing capabilities.
This is very important because tasks can now start where results are most needed, as self-driving cars have become a reality, and you can have more natural conversations with services like Alexa, and factories, homes and office spaces have become more effective and flexible. .
And if you like games, you will no longer worry about lags in your experience and your skills will be in full force, wherever you are.
Internet machine learning
We are currently generating, creating and sharing more data in an hour than was created in the whole of 2000.
More data will be generated in the next three years than has been created during the past 30 years, and in 2020, whether it is a data scientist or not, we have all noticed the growing dependence on data at a time when scientific researchers, pharmaceutical companies, governments and health care institutes scoffed. All resources are toward developing new vaccines, treatments and other means to help the world’s population stay healthy during the pandemic.
These efforts required generating and processing massive amounts of data, and the only realistic way to deal with all the information was to use comprehension and aggregation tools, combined with machine learning models, to help understand it, and here it is no wonder that machine learning has become so prevalent this year.
In 2021, we will see the rapid adoption of machine learning models across sectors and government process models, and in manufacturing, machine learning models will be embedded in production lines, so that they are able to detect and diagnose flaws in production processes in real time.
In agriculture, machine learning models help farmers intelligently manage precious resources, such as soil and water, and for areas where small-scale farmers form the majority across Southeast Asia and Africa, for example, pushing machine learning models into new applications and gathering data closer to the edge It would be a revolutionary move to help increase crop yields and get the best prices for their effort.
In 2021, images, video, and audio speak louder than words, so a few years ago, I spoke of the keyboard expiration date due to the rapid growth of computing technologies that are activated by voice commands and the emergence of user interfaces that allow humans to communicate with devices – and with each other – naturally, and I expect in months. And in the years to come, keyboards will continue to fade gradually in more sophisticated ways.
Over the past year, when we all reached the peak of closures, we have increasingly communicated through audio, video and pictures.
As a result, we have seen a decrease in the amount of text we consume on our screens in exchange for an increase in our use of multimedia for communication.
Firms seeking to continue staying close to their customers should be aware of these changing habits, rather than expecting customers to interact with their products and services through a keyboard, mouse, or other mechanical method.
And when it comes to building relationships and engaging with a brand, customers today are more than ever willing to do what is normal for them, and companies must explore this move toward user interfaces such as voice commands and other forms of voice and video services.
We all got to know in 2020 and implemented what became known as social distancing policies, which gave us the opportunity to rethink and evaluate the ways and models in which our cities are active and developing, so that many of the places in which we live and work were built according to assumptions and models that are decades old (or even centuries, Depending on where you live), these models are no longer resilient now, or at least they have not and will not perform well in times of crisis.
With the help of advanced data analytics, we’ll begin to learn how to design our cities with the benefits of social distancing without feeling disconnected.
Our plans will take into account how to make our societies healthier and safer, rather than just increasing their density and effectiveness. In short, it is the true convergence of the digital and the physical.
I recently spoke with high school students in Warsaw, Poland, who rely on the “Brainly” online learning service to keep up with their homework requirements and help each other in the classroom.
The aforementioned learning tools, such as the “Brainly” application, have witnessed high rates of use, especially as parents and guardians now support the idea of their children obtaining remote education in light of the repercussions imposed by the new reality.
Technology and access to it have played a big role in the continuity of children receiving their education during this pandemic, and in 2021, we will demonstrate that distance learning can succeed, and it may be a better option for some and can have a positive and more sustainable role in education.
We no longer need a new global health crisis to demonstrate that online lessons can be of benefit, and the widespread availability of study (and work) options remotely at any time means that children can stay at home when they feel sick without dropping out.
And what if there was no school to go to at all? Therefore, as long as there is an Internet connection, there is the possibility of applying some types of education.
There is no doubt that we should bring our children back to the classroom, but there will definitely be other interruptions, as remote classrooms give school systems the required level of flexibility to respond to unexpected events, whether epidemics, natural disasters or man-made disasters, and thus Ensuring the continuity of student education.
This comes at a time when small businesses are turning towards cloud computing, especially in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
In a major transformation, small businesses will start leveraging advanced cloud technology to reach their customers, and we will see a tremendous development in high-end technologies and solutions that service providers provide to meet the needs of these small businesses.
In return, it would help small businesses do everything from creating chatbots to help answer frequently asked questions, to building and operating a CRM system in minutes.
Small businesses will benefit from advanced models and applications without having to invest time and expense building them themselves.
The “cloud everywhere” trend described above enables this transformation along with the experience most small businesses have had in the past year.
In many cases, the difference between survival and non-survival is the ability to harness and benefit from modern technologies.
In the United States, only 47 percent of small and medium-sized businesses have their own sites, and we expect that percentage to rise in 2021.
As this trend expands globally, we should look to countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Africa, such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, to lead the way.
Quantum computing is booming
Over the years we have noted the scale of the benefits that can be obtained, by facilitating the diffusion and adoption of advanced technologies and making them affordable, accessible and understandable to the largest possible number of people.
In 2019, we announced the Amazon Brackett service, a fully managed quantum computing service that helps researchers and developers start using advanced technologies to speed up search and discovery, and we have worked during 2020 to make them available to everyone.
There is no doubt that we are in the early stages of this exciting and complex approach to computing, but this is precisely the goal behind the Brackett service.
It is extremely important in this exploratory phase that we allow as many people as possible to gain exposure and exposure to quantum computing concepts.
When companies and organizations begin to experience the capabilities of quantum computing for the first time, and as expertise in this field transcends the walls of academic institutions, we will see business plans and the initial seeds of products and services centered on the quantum future.
In order for technology to help all of the world’s population live a better life, our focus must not only be on making use of the resources available at our disposal, but we must also move to space and develop new solutions and technologies that benefit our world in which we live.
In 2019, we launched the AWS Ground Station service, which provides the ability to control communications via satellites, process the data generated by these satellites and expand their operations with ease, without having to worry about building or managing the infrastructure of the ground station.
And we’ve already seen the ability to access and process satellite data, to help researchers track ice receding, provide support to maritime agencies in their efforts to protect vulnerable marine reserves, as well as help agronomists to better anticipate food supplies.
The startups are looking to create a new generation of fast and secure networks in outer space, and by making access to space affordable and available to every developer, we look forward to seeing innovations that will help make our world better and give us more growth and prosperity.
* Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Amazon