Do we have a clear vision of 2020?

We're asking what the industry sees in the future, and will report on what you have to say.

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The industry of which you are a vital part, referred to by many as the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, is evolving steadily to meet the growing and increasingly complicated demands of its users. In fact, the universe of ICT systems users itself is evolving, as more building systems gather under the umbrella of information technology. As they do, these building systems become subject to the advantages and idiosyncracies of ICT.

While there is wide acknowledgement that the sphere of ICT responsibility and influence is growing, this growth is happening in the midst of some technopolitical uncertainty. On the "political" side of that phrase, the United States continues to wage a trade battle that affects far more than just Huawei and its direct customers. Tariffs are more than just a boogeyman, even if many of us are still working to sort out and quantify their effects. Companies in our industry have gone to great expense to relocate manufacturing operations away from China.

More directly on the "techno" side of technopolitical uncertainty, it may be as difficult now as it ever has been to plan for your, or your customer's, communications needs beyond the short term. I was reminded of that when Apple introduced the iPhone 11 and everybody was talking about the novelty of its camera. It took a few days for most people to realize that the iPhone 11 won't be 5G-capable. Just when you thought you knew what to expect.

In light of this technopolitical uncertainty, we're conducting an industrywide survey to find out what your plans and expectations are for the next year or so. We're soliciting input from you and your industry peers, and we're gathering information from all segments of the value chain, from product and system manufacturers to consultants, design professionals, installers, and end-users of installed ICT systems.

We're asking about a broad range of topics that affect your work, from labor availability to the trade war, from 5G to AV and a bunch of topics in between. Once we gather and analyze this information, we'll publish what you have told us about your current situations and future plans. Look for it in our December issue.

It won't be possible to obtain a perfect 20/20 vision of what lies ahead for ICT systems in the year 2020 and beyond. But we'll gather information from the people who know it best ... you ... and report the results to you. Thanks for reading.

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