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Part of Western Governors University

December 20, 2018

Information Technology

Top IT innovations and why you should be involved.

Lightbulb of IT innovation

IT innovation is happening at quantum speed.

Your new phone is able to unlock by looking at your face. Your music app can create a playlist based on the music you’ve liked before. These are cool and convenient innovations, but they also represent huge technological advances. And they’re just one piece of the puzzle. information technology (IT) innovation is getting bigger and better than ever before.

Impactful innovations are happening today, and are quite literally changing the world as we know it. And this innovation is happening faster than anyone could have predicted. In 2020, just over a year away, experts at Gartner predict that 95 percent of new products will contain IoT technology. Experts also predict cryptocurrency to take off that year, and that 2.3 million new jobs will be created in the IT realm.

These software engineering innovations are happening at quantum speed, with the help of the expansion on the quantum computer, which has the power and processing capabilities beyond any other computer. We’ll get more into the details of the quantum computer a little later. The bottom line is that this innovation and many other new technologies are moving technological advancements forward at a pace faster than ever before.

See what predictions and breakthroughs are happening in the IT industry right now, and how you can get on this fast-paced train to changing technology, and the world.

Future technology: predictions and breakthroughs.

Quantum computers.

Quantum computers are up and running today, and predictions are that in the next five years they will be more than just a playground for researchers. Predictions also say that in that time, quantum computing will be an essential part of a computer science (CS) degree, and that the terminology associated with quantum computers will be mainstream. These computers work faster and process more than the computers you use every day. Scientific fields greatly benefit from the processing systems, as they can handle things like molecular building, quantum chemistry and more. Scientists are thrilled at the idea of being able to precisely design molecules; something extremely hard to compute with the 1’s and 0’s of digital, binary computers. The technological advancements being made on these computer systems are likely to change medicine and science extremely fast.

AI developments.

AI utilizes deep learning or machine learning to continually learn and get smarter in the realm of technology. From things like facial recognition to driverless cars, AI is advancing at an incredibly fast pace and shaking up everyday life in the process

-Cloud services for everyone.

Currently, AI is used mainly in the tech industry, but as these tech giants bring AI to a cloud system, more and more people, students, and industries can utilize it. Companies in other sectors can utilize AI in the cloud to test their own data, development, and products, and even develop new programs and models that will help their economy run. The deep learning or machine learning involved in AI allows continual technological advancement and growth when it comes to data and systems. The biggest roadblock to cloud AI is that most organizations don’t have enough skilled IT staff to actually utilize the service.

-Robots to clean water.

AI can be utilized in more than just tech and business industries. Current AI plans include utilizing cameras and robotics to learn about water systems around the world, and help end the water shortage globally. Because AI continues to learn and develop based on the data structure it receives, the robots and cameras can understand where to move to continue to learn, what organisms are impacting water drinkability, and more.

-Non-biased AI.

As AI continues to get more advanced, the idea is that there will be less bias involved. Currently, AI is as biased as the humans who create it, but researchers and experts are working to help AI not learn bias or be able to be taught bias by hackers. The idea is that if AI systems can eliminate human view and bias from their understanding, it could potentially help make moral and ethical decisions without having that element clouding the result.

Computer hardware for IT innovation

Medical leaps.

Computer scientists are making huge medical advances with the help of technology, but there is controversy regarding what can and should be done when it comes to management of research and advancement.

-Artificial embryos.

One of the biggest new technologies in medical advancements also comes with the largest controversy, and that’s artificial embryo creation. Ethical questions surround stem cell research, but experts say that even if they never try to create new life using the technology, they can utilize computers to learn about the early stages of life, human genes, and more. Computers allow gene editing to be done to help these artificial embryos be more consistent with real embryos, allowing for better research. While IT innovation is allowing for advanced work in the medical field for artificial embryos, bioethicists say that more of the ethical questions need to be answered before work in this area continues.

-DNA report cards.

IT innovations also help in genetic mapping, which could give suggestions about types of diseases or illnesses you could be at risk for. Knowing from an early age that your genetics could lead to Alzheimer’s or heart disease can help you prepare your whole life to fight or prevent that issue. Companies and medical organizations can use DNA mapping to run clinical trials on people with specific genetics that would help them better research their products. But DNA mapping also poses some considerable controversy and questions. For some people, spending their life thinking they might be more likely to get cancer or Alzheimer’s can be terrifying. The largest question is how this information will be used in the future and what role science will play in it.


One of the biggest concerns about technology and the internet has always been the management of privacy. Consumers are constantly asked to give information online, and there is always a need for that information to be protected from thieves who would want to take it and use it.

-True online privacy.

Zero-knowledge proof allows individuals to keep their information private, while demonstrating their credentials for a process. For example, you can prove to a computer that you are a certain age, without giving your birthday. Or demonstrate you have enough funds for a transaction without showing all your finances. This privacy helps keep information secure, and makes hackers less likely to find information that could compromise you.

-Ongoing cybersecurity.

Complex cryptography is being used to keep sensitive data secure across computer systems. Quantum computers are crucial for continued encryption and cryptography because detailed math is needed to help develop it. Cybersecurity programs need to be worked on and updated continually to keep up with the constant changes needed in software. Encoded data used in quantum computers helps make sure that personal information and company information is safeguarded as hackers get more sophisticated in their methods as well.

Consumer interactions.

While large-scale industries are being impacted by IT innovation, regular customer interactions that happen every day are also prone to advancements. Science is rapidly evolving, enhancing how products and services impact consumer behavior.

-Customer conversations.

By 2020 it’s predicted that 85% of customer interactions will be conducted without a human agent. IT innovations make it possible for bots to continually learn and communicate with customers about their services. AI technology is pivotal in this customer service process; machine learning allows an AI bot to have a way to develop and understand what a customer needs and help them, rather than just follow a script. Artificial intelligence is already in place for many retailers, helping make their customer interactions go smoothly. While there are still kinks to work out, most find that customer service is headed in the direction of automation across the board.


Retailers utilize new IT innovations to help with their marketing techniques. From being able to learn about consumers from their internet activity, to geotargeting, there’s a whole new arena when it comes to marketing strategy. Continued IT advancements also serve up new opportunities to show ads. Smart home technology is just entering the world of advertising and now retailers find themselves able to show ads on smart refrigerators or assistant devices. Marketers are constantly on their toes to keep up with new tech innovations and reach their customers in the most effective way.

Smart phone and IT innovation

Everyday life.

Your everyday life has huge potential to be impacted by new tech innovations in the not-so-distant future. Your new normal could potentially include far more technology than you ever could have imagined.

-Smart cities.

Entire cities are currently being developed around the idea of technology innovation. From robots doing chores, to constant monitoring of infrastructure, the potential for these cities is hugely convenient and exciting. Researchers are working to create these areas from the ground up, with hopes to help transform urban life as we know it. Smart vehicles, robot mail delivery, and the ability for companies to build services specifically for this kind of city are all just pieces of this tech puzzle.

-Smart home conversations.

As conversational devices continue to advance, their potential skyrockets. Rather than just giving the weather, advanced conversational devices could be used in industries like law enforcement or medicine to help ask or answer questions, and solve problems. As the technology grows, the devices are able to better understand the conversation and recognize what to say in return. The more robust the technology for conversational devices gets, the more likely it is that we will start seeing the tech in everyday life, and in everyday conversation.

How IT innovation works on paper

Why study computer science?

For many computer enthusiasts, the idea of being in the front-seat of IT innovation is an extremely exciting prospect. The question is, how do you get involved with all of this amazing technological advancement? The first step is to study computer science and get a degree. While many computer science degrees, including the ones from WGU, won’t include quantum computing courses or IT innovation classes, the basic structure students get from computer science degrees will help prepare them more advanced learning down the road. The courses of computer science bachelor’s or master’s degrees will help you be prepared for jobs at innovative companies that are at the forefront of technological advances. The technological resources and building blocks a computer science degree can provide crucial to starting any kind of career in IT. The application of what you learn about computer engineering and computer security can increase your opportunities and be of great value to society, no matter where you start working. The programs at WGU are equipped to help you get started on your path to an exciting future in IT innovation, so you can be in the middle of great technological advances in the years ahead.

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