Technology is always changing, but know what’s around the corner and what could revolutionize the next decade can help you take meaningful action.

Here are two tech trends to keep an eye on for the New Year, and for a few years to come.

Edge Routing & Cloud Computing Changes

Cloud computing is already old news. Even if you ignore the old mass storage capabilities and digital lockers that came before it, the concept of running apps and collaborating across networked resources–a cloud of many devices, connections, and resources–is the normal way of business. It’s also slow.

Think of how a computer works, and think of what you need to do to upgrade it. New programs demand more Random Access Memory (RAM), more processing power, more storage space, and often faster internet connections.

Cloud computing isn’t much different from that. As people create new ways to work with the cloud, apps need to grab resources faster. Instead of traveling across copper, gold, or platinum contacts or light, many cloud systems cross mixed connections of various speeds.

If your cloud app or automated cloud tasks hit a networking hiccup–a drop in speed or congestion that an internal computer or server system doesn’t often deal with–your apps may crash or generate bad data.

Edge routing is a growing solution to that problem. It’s a step back in cloud computing while helping cloud computing, allowing high priority cloud tasks to happen on powerful servers on the edge of a cloud system.

What does that look like up close? Cloud computing replaced a lot of services that ran on a few specific, powerful servers because clouds were cheaper. These powerful servers are coming back, but are more affordable and can be tied into a cloud computing plan.

The biggest tasks that can’t handle delays are sent to stronger servers at the edge of the cloud network–the first place you see in the cloud. Anything that can tolerate network delay (lag) will go deeper inside–past the edge and towards the core–of the cloud.

Extended Reality

First was Virtual Reality, where people wore headsets or connected to looking-devices to see 3D worlds that they could interact with.

Next came Augmented Reality, with games such as Ingress, Pokemon Go, and various medical devices that could overlay maps and documents for medical procedures and consultations.

As both VR and AR come together with new games such as Star Citizen and even better medical information delivery, the Extended Reality term has come. XR is a catch-all term for various VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR) concepts.

From sci-fi desires of holograms to diagnostics, XR will be all about helping users interact with digital environments with as little disturbance as possible. It’s not just about getting lost in realistic VR, but also enhancing real life.

It’s about being able to pick out specific points in the real world and getting more information. Not just knowing what a sign says in the distance, but being able to see data on the color, construction, and other deeper details.

If the data can be documented, it can be delivered to VR and tagged. With automation and artificial intelligence, that data can be tagged on-demand or sent to a manual professional who can handle the request later.

Speak with a new technologies professional to talk about other trends that will shape the world.

Photo by Julian O’hayon on Unsplash.