With 2019 drawing to a close it’s time to reflect on the past 12 months. Instead of doing a recap of the year, we’re looking at some of the tech terms/trends/buzzwords that were used ad nauseam during 2019.

The technology industry, both consumer and enterprise, has a tendency to over use certain terms and after a while the impact of said tech terms begins to lessen.

As such this is our list of five tech terms we’d prefer to hear less of in 2020, or at the very least do not want to hear rhetoric about. We know this probably not going to happen, and more than likely we’ll hear these terms even more in the coming year, but we can still hope.

Scroll down further to see what we’ve selected, and whether you agree with our five picks.

1. Fourth Industrial Revolution/4IR

It seems like every government initiative that had a tinge of technology to it somehow roped in 4IR as a reason for it being brought to the public’s attention. In 2019 the presidency in particular highlighted the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an area of key focus, with a number of committees being created in order to explore it.

What those committees have come up with in the past few months is anyone’s guess, but 4IR is indeed something that we haven’t heard the last of.

With South Africa’s government pinning many of its plans around 4IR over the next few years, particularly when it comes to preparing the n ext generation of workers, we’re hoping the talk will slow down in 2020, and more action will begin to take shape.

2. Spectrum

This tech term is not the sole culprit here, with spectrum and the lack of availability thereof often bandied about while we sit and wait for 5G to reach South Africa.

Most local carriers, with the exception of Rain, have had to wait for government to assign the necessary spectrum, but it looks like those in charge are happy to drag their feet on this front. With South Africa having previously been a pioneer when it came to the adoption of new broadband standards, the wait for 5G has become a frustrating one.

Much like 4IR, we’ll likely be hearing the term spectrum in 2020 too, especially when calls for 5G availability begin to grow louder.

3. Sustainability

Sustainability is something that most big tech firms are striving for, with initiatives being announced frequently in 2019 where a switch to more biodegradable materials or energy-conscious alternatives were made.

We don’t have a problem with more companies adopting sustainable strategies, in fact we welcome it, our issue comes with the grandstanding that accompanies it.

It is true that many millennials, which is the next wave of decision makers in the workforce, value sustainability as an important consideration when picking a company to work for. Instead of making sustainability something for your company to boast about, it should rather be the norm.

Also missing is any kind of regulator making checks and balances on many of the initiatives being announced to ensure that companies follow through in what they promise.

4. Data breach

It seems like there was a data breach announced every other week in 2019, and that was probably the case with the number of cyberattacks rising to record number of the past year.

While this is an unavoidable aspect of a more connected online society, it does beg the question as to why hackers are targeting big tech firms. The main reason appears to be the data itself, with firms and services often requiring sensitive data more and more in order to grant access to users.

Regulations like GDPR and PoPI offer come control for customers and consumers, but with data being the new oil, it does not seem like the need to capture sensitive data will die down anytime soon.

Consequently the number of data breaches show no signs of waning either.

5.  Misinformation

The final entry in our list of tech terms is misinformation, or as US president Donald Trump has subverted and called it – fake news.

The result is that content shared on platforms like Facebook cannot be taken at face value, and now require an increased degree of scrutiny from users, many of which do not have a finely tuned enough radar to discern.

The role of bastions of truth then falls to the platforms themselves, and we’ve recently seen the likes of Twitter take steps in that regard.

With the 2020 US presidential elections happening next year, misinformation will be rife and therefore reported on with a higher frequency.

[Image – Photo by Headway on Unsplash]