Read all about what the crystal ball has in store for B2B tech next year
It’s that time of year when simultaneously we look back at the passing year and look forward to the next one to come. Making sense of the past and predicting future trends are essential activities in a VC firm’s arsenal. With a team firmly set in on B2B software and its myriad of incarnations and industries, we have no shortage of ideas, opinions, hopes, and dreams for 2020.
We went around and asked everyone at Dawn what was their one prediction for the year to come and what made them think that to be plausible. They told us about new norms in open banking, multi-cloud, and low code apps, as well as consumer empowerment such as we haven’t seen in a while. If even half of the predictions come true, we are in for an exciting 2020. Here is to that.
🔮AI and robotics will have a year of reckoning
— Mina Mutafchieva
As AI and AI-based analytics touch everything from underwriting insurance claims to controlling factory floors, most of the attention is still on structuring data as well as building and deploying models. Relatively little thought has gone into model governance and management. In 2020, CIOs and CTOs will have to start asking themselves fundamental questions around who is building and using AI-based models, what data points are they using, how are the different models interacting with each other, and who has oversight?
🔮US venture funds will look into merging with European managers
— Haakon Overli
In 2020, US-based VC funds will finally wake up to the vast opportunities coming out of Europe and the fact they need someone with local knowledge and cultural understanding to tackle it. Hiring a whole team will be hard, expensive, and time-consuming. So instead, they will look into merging with a European manager from across the Atlantic to join their team. For European managers who are looking to step up quickly and get access to US LPs, this could be an opportunity to explore the new world.
🔮New networks, communities, marketplaces will disrupt B2B SaaS products
— Sarah Nöckel
The last two decades have been about “corporations as people.” The next two will be about “people as corporations.” More individuals will be able to monetise their creativity in non ad-supported ways, and there will be a wave of new tools that help consumers grow into businesses. Any platform with functionality to like, comment, or share one’s work could lead to new career opportunities.
🔮5G will alter how media is consumed
— Norman Fiore
In 2020, video will truly kill the radio star. This will be enabled by the entry of 5G across Europe with its speed and access. Its network capabilities will allow for video live streaming that is of studio quality, potentially disseminated to over a million devices per square kilometer (in comparison 4G covers around 60,000). All that will draw even more audiences to video as the preferred content medium of choice. Interesting collaborative projects are under way between media and startups that will bring about more exciting developments.
🔮Open Banking will finally fulfil its potential for Europe’s consumers
— Josh Bell
With viable commercial models already availing of open banking and the access of financial information through APIs, tech has successfully caught up with earlier regulatory changes. In 2020 we will see broader Open Finance, with transparency across every sector of Financial Interactions, from pensions to insurance. The future is bright for consumers.
🔮Multi-cloud will become the new norm
— Evgenia Plotnikova
Organisations will increasingly leverage multi-cloud environments to prevent vendor lock-in, increase security and ROI, and reduce latency. As a result, DevOps teams will see a new spike in prominence and will start adopting new tools focused on multi-cloud delivery.
🔮The breakout year for low-code / no-code
— Henry Mason
As technology is becoming an increasingly horizontal function within organisations, knowledge workers will adopt tools and apps that allow them to circumvent IT and produce technical products and workflows themselves. Connecting their fragmented SaaS stacks ( Onna) and automating custom workflows (iOS Shortcuts) are just a few examples.
🔮Customers will stop putting up with cyber breaches
— Stefan Schmidt
Cybersecurity breaches will carry on happening at some of our most trusted brands and government institutions. They have almost become the norm by this point. In 2020, we’ll start to see an increasing number of customers who no longer tolerate institutions that treat their data lightly. Consumers will start voting with their feet.
🔮The deepfakes arms race will step up a gear
— Henry Jeffries
The realism and potential of deepfakes are advancing rapidly. Software to both create and defend against them is becoming increasingly sophisticated and accessible to good and bad actors alike. We’ll start to see both featured more prominently in 2020, anywhere from corporate cyberattacks to the US presidential election.
🔮Big banking will make a comeback in retail and SME
— Dan Chaplin
Competition for deposits will continue to heat up in 2020 and big banking will make a real fight back. Cloud adoption, API-middleware and collaboration with fintech partners is enabling banks to innovate increasingly quickly and close the customer experience gap with the neobanks. Data will become core to their product strategies — we’ll increasingly see banks using behavioural insights to offer more tailored products that are presented to customers at the right time. With big tech also making moves into financial services as Google, Apple and maybe even Amazon starting to offer deposit accounts, it will put real pressure on the neobanks to maintain their edge.
🔮The Macroeconomic forces of 2020
— Raxita Kapashi
Many macroeconomic forces will be at play in 2020. On the bright side, e-commerce will keep adding experiences; mistrust in politicians and governments — and the proliferation of fake news — will result in strides to improve security through blockchain; new renewable energy sources will be developed. However, all this will be against the backdrop of increased climate emergency, rise in populism, economic uncertainty around Brexit, and the disparity between the rich and poor. In light of this, corporations will have to become true activists, enforcing the change that is needed. They will start that by putting a higher emphasis on the sustainability and societal impact of their business by looking into ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors.
If you want to find out more about any of these predictions and how they may affect your business, get in touch with any of the Dawn team members.