19 Changes That Will Impact How The Web Is Built, Managed And Used
Technology tools are ever-evolving. That’s even true of the one tool most of us use every day: the World Wide Web. Indeed, most tech industry pundits say we’re on the threshold of the next generation of the Web, noting that significant changes are coming to how it will operate as well as to the online “balance of power” between large and small businesses (and even consumers and businesses).
But what, specifically, will these changes mean in terms of how businesses and creators will build and manage websites and how users will interact with them? Below, 19 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss some of the changes they see coming to the Web within the next five years and how businesses and consumers can prepare.
An Enhanced Focus On Privacy And Security
The focus on privacy and security throughout the Web is only going to grow. Businesses will need to invest in additional measures to protect their customers’ data and protect their websites from cyberattacks. Consumers are also becoming more concerned about their privacy, so an organization’s decisions about how it uses its customers’ data could influence consumers’ future purchasing decisions. – Neil Lampton, TIAG
The adoption of Web3 will have a significant impact on businesses. It will disrupt traditional business models and revenue streams as decentralized apps and platforms enable peer-to-peer transactions without the need for intermediaries. This can lead to more direct relationships between businesses and their customers, as well as new opportunities for monetization. – Dr. Milan Kumar, ZF Commercial Vehicles
The Expansion Of The Metaverse
The metaverse is the next big change coming to the Web. It’s going to touch the majority of industries—retail, healthcare, education, finance and others—by further augmenting the last-mile user experience and ensuring a more immersive experience. It will result in better brand penetration, a better customer experience and better services (especially in the healthcare and education sectors). This in turn will result in added revenue. – Munish Gupta, Inspira Enterprise
Chatbots Powered By Generative AI
Generative artificial intelligence will transform online customer service chatbots to the point that you won’t be able to tell whether you are talking to a chatbot or a human. When generative, conversational AI is combined with AI trained on historical customer interactions and brand-specific language and guardrails, it can respond like a human. Customers will be able to resolve any issue online without ever having to talk to a human agent. – Barry Cooper, NICE
Portable identities and individuals’ ownership of their data in the Web3 era will change the dynamics of how we do business on the Web. I think a big change will be the democratization of power, with more equity for smaller businesses. The ownership and portability of our digital identities, along with secure, decentralized payment systems, will enable us to safely carry out transactions as never before. – Abhik Biswas,Prakat Solutions Inc.
Changes To TLS Certificates
A radical change is likely coming within a year in how organizations manage Transport Layer Security certificates, following Google’s March announcement reducing the current maximum validity of 398 days to 90 days. Expiring certificates can be a security risk, so prepare now by examining new methods and services to automate, wherever possible, the various stages of the TLS certificate life cycle. – Lila Kee, GlobalSign
As we move to a more decentralized Web3, we’re going to see consumers’ expectations in terms of their data evolve. Solutions such as blockchain will give consumers more control over their data, shifting the power from big businesses to their customers. Businesses need to work to understand, now, the role data plays in their customers’ experience and how decentralized data will impact it. – Edwin Huertas, Shockoe | Mobile by Design
The End Of The Third-Party Cookie
Google’s Chrome and other Web browsers are phasing out third-party cookies, which means businesses and advertisers will need to find new ways to effectively target consumers with ads and measure response to campaigns. Companies will need to adapt to these changes and use alternative technologies, such as location intelligence, to ensure ads remain effectively targeted while staying privacy-friendly. – Jeff White,Gravy Analytics
The need for enhanced experience and engagement is clearer than ever before. Personalized content and targeting will transform how we approach and engage with content on the Web. With the help of AI, tailored content will usher in a new era of data-driven strategic targeting. – Gergo Vari, Lensa, Inc.
WebGPU is a low-level API that enables more immersive 3D Web apps by accessing the GPU more efficiently. This leads to advanced augmented and virtual reality and AAA-game-quality metaverse experiences on mobile devices, fundamentally changing the way the Web is experienced. Combined with AI, this creates entirely new ways for businesses to engage customers and create unique experiences. –Alexander El-Meligi, Demodern
The Tokenization Of Real-World Assets
The tokenization of programmable real-world assets such as property, bonds and goods will allow users to buy, trade and sell holdings in a high-liquidity environment. This is in contrast to the illiquid, challenging-to-sell nature these products have had in the past. As these products become available on online exchanges, a disruptive new industry will emerge to improve upon and replace legacy financial services. – Sheraz Ahmed, STORM Partners
Voice User Interface
Voice user interfaces will become mainstream on the Web in the next five years. Businesses should focus on building Web applications that provide an intuitive voice experience and support seamless conversational interactions with users. Further, search engine optimization strategies must be refined to support voice queries. – Selva Pandian, DemandBlue
AI User ‘Assistants’
We use ChatGPT for fun and to help with minor tasks, but AI capabilities could change the way we operate online. Imagine a Web platform that doesn’t need search functionality as it is now; sorting and filtering will be done for the end user. AI will be able to read a long terms and conditions document and highlight everything that looks abnormal. AI will compare your social media photos to those of other users and “style” you better. –Nadya Knysh, a1qa
We will live on the edge—edge AI. This involves processing AI algorithms on edge devices such as smartphones and Internet of Things sensors instead of in the cloud. For businesses, edge AI can offer new opportunities for innovation and cost savings by enabling new applications and services that would be difficult or impossible to implement using cloud-based AI. – Emmanuel Ramos, OZ Digital Consulting
The Shift Of More Functions To The Web
The Web is becoming an even bigger net that catches all types of other interactions. Applications launch from a website, immersive AR experiences can run in a mobile browser and businesses are almost entirely run through a series of software as a service platforms. Connectivity and privacy are paramount for businesses to consider—not only for their employees, but also for their customers. – Luke Wallace,Bottle Rocket
The Need To Balance Privacy And Personalization
Together, privacy and personalization are the bedrock of Web3. These two trends are in constant tension with one another, yet they have the opportunity to spur innovation. Defining the “value proposition” to consumers in terms of why and how they are asked to share their information can help brands deliver on the promise of personalizing interactions. It’s also an opportunity to strengthen relationships between brands and consumers. – Neerav Vyas, Tredence
17. The Decline Of Traditional Browsers
The widespread use of generative AI such as ChatGPT will gradually supplant traditional search engines such as Google and Bing. Generative AI’s conversational interface and ability to process inputs more intuitively than search engines will lead users to gradually abandon search engines for faster access to research, fact-checking and tools for content creation and copywriting. – AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits
The widespread adoption of space-based internet provided by companies such as SpaceX and Amazon will greatly benefit businesses in remote areas with limited access to traditional broadband, as well as those in urban areas with high internet traffic. It may also lead to increased competition among internet service providers, potentially driving down costs for businesses and consumers alike. – Shelli Brunswick, Space Foundation
WebAssembly is a new low-level binary format for code that can run in a browser, improving the performance and functionality of Web applications. It will enable businesses to deliver more complex and immersive Web applications directly in a browser, potentially reducing the need for expensive hardware or software licenses. Businesses need to adapt their architectures to take advantage of this. – Jagadish Gokavarapu, Wissen Infotech