Feb 6, 2020

The Most Overhyped Tech Trends and Buzzwords of 2020

Laura Vietmeyer, Managing Editor

Tech trends impacting IT departments evolve at a break-neck pace. Whether they are expected or not, this reality forces IT pros to quickly distinguish which trends are relevant and which can be treated with skepticism.

To learn what tech trends really deserve attention in the coming year, we presented 500 senior IT professionals and infrastructure managers a list of general tech and IT buzzwords and asked whether these trends will be overhyped or noteworthy in 2020.

Take a look at the results:

Tech trends

Trends IT Pros Deemed as Over-Hyped

None of the buzzwords/trends broke 50 percent in the over-hyped column. While there wasn’t a broad consensus, augmented reality (AR), 5G wireless, biometric authentication, blockchain and AI in the data center claimed the top five spots in this category.

Augmented Reality

AR ranked highest on the list of over-hyped trends at 39 percent, but the majority agree that it deserves attention (51 percent). Why the disparity? It may depend on whether or not AR has practical applications for the IT pro’s industry or business.

There are plenty of examples of AR being incorporated across a variety of use cases. While it more prominently (and visibly) has to capture the imagination of the public, AR has also worked its way into the data center. As this technology continues to develop, a greater majority of IT pros might come to view AR as something worth giving attention.

5G Wireless

This next frontier in wireless may be a popular topic of discussion, but 35 percent of IT pros think it will be overhyped in 2020. Mary Jane Horne, INAP’s SVP of Global Network Services, weighed in on the on the 5G buzz at CAPRE’s seventh annual Mid-Atlantic Data Center conference in September 2019.

“Just because I have a region with 5G, doesn’t meant that that particular provider is going to get it to the destination the fastest,” said Horne. “I need to have a variety of providers I can pick from. 5G is only going to be fast as the background network.”

CNN Business notes that most consumers won’t be using 5G technology until 2025. At the enterprise level, conversation on 5G will be more relevant when upstream network infrastructure is better equipped to handle it.

Biometric Authentication

While it may come as a surprise that 1 in 3 IT pros view this proven, cutting-edge branch of security technology as over-hyped, it may not be practical for every business or IT team.

Biometric authentication is another layer of protection on top of a strong security system, and it can frequently apply to specific locations, such as data centers or other high-security facilities. However, for day-to-day user access, it may not hold as much of a practical application as implementing two-factor authentication.

What Tech Trends Will Earn IT’s Attention in 2020?

Participants showed greater consensus on what is really deserving of attention in 2020, with 71 percent of pros agreeing on the top buzzwords—machine learning and digital transformation. DevOps and multicloud rounded out the top four, with more than 65 percent of IT pros saying these trends deserve attention.


Multicloud strategies continue to gain traction as we launch into 2020. The model gives companies the flexibility to pick the right environments that allow their workloads to run optimally.

“The adoption of multicloud by enterprises spurs the innovation of tools to monitor and manage across platforms and increases the value of the role MSPs play in partnering to design and manage these complex scenarios,” says Jennifer Curry, SVP of Global Cloud Services.

She continues, “The traditional division of dev and test in public cloud and product on prem or in a private cloud will go by the wayside as multicloud makes it easier to optimize your environment without sacrificing performance, security or visibility.”

We can definitely expect to hear much more on multicloud services over the coming years.

Digital Transformation and DevOps

Seventy-one percent of IT pros deem digital transformation to be worth attention. While some may think the term has become a bit “nebulous from overuse,” the concept itself is popular because companies across industries are adopting new technology that changes the way business itself is done.

DevOps is tied into digital transformation, with software developers and IT teams working in closer collaboration to more rapidly build, test and release new software. With these silos eliminated, processes can be automated, giving IT pros the ability to solve critical issues faster.

Senior leaders are significantly more likely to think DevOps deserves attention than non-senior IT infrastructure managers, with a 21 versus 11 percent split, respectively,  As leaders for their respective areas, it makes sense that fostering a DevOps culture/philosophy is appealing, especially if it means that work can be done with greater speed, agility and results.

Machine Learning

Considering machine learning makes it possible for a computer to efficiently process large amounts of information and make adjustments accordingly, it’s no wonder that 71 percent of participants said this technology deserves attention. Paired with AI, machine learning can be even more effective. At present, the growing amount and variety of data necessitates this technology to deliver faster and more accurate results.

The cost effectiveness of machine learning will likely lead to shifting functions in tech roles. As accurate and efficient as machine learning technology is, time and resources are still needed to train it properly. IT pros will need to stay on top of the latest education and skill building as their career paths evolve.

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About Author

Laura Vietmeyer

Managing Editor

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