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Foresight Is 2020: Predicting the Future of Open Source

by Josh Linard
January 9, 2019

Remember all the predictions over the years that started with “By 2020….?”  With that milestone now only a year away, I thought it would be interesting to look back and see how some of those predictions are tracking. 

As you might expect, there are a ton of BOLD predictions for 2020 (after all, it is the year that Gartner Predicts projected that 85% of our “relationships” will be managed without speaking to a human being). Here are just a few: 

By 2020….

  • We’ll be able to vote from the comfort of our living rooms
  • Telepathy and teleportation will become possible
  • Robots will serve as best friends and therapists
  • Humans will walk on Mars (FYI, the movie, “Mission to Mars,” was set in 2020)
  • International space stations will sell timeshares
  • 20% of brands will ditch their mobile apps

Most of these feel a bit out of reach to me, but then again, Alexa and I did have a few good conversations over the holidays….

So what has come to fruition? 

  • Data analytics shifts to the Customer Experience
  • Open Source technologies are being used is being used for game development
  • Computing is going serverless
  • Drupal - the Enterprise Open Source Content Management System - upgrades to Drupal 9
  • Retailers can now monetize the electric car market

Data analytics is shifting to the customer experience

It’s been well-established that Customer Experience is heavily weighed on the trust that the consumer has in the organization. But how do you build that trust? Mediacurrent’s client partners in government are really embracing this. Let’s face it, Government has a wide audience to cater to. As they thought long and hard about how to meet the needs of all of these users, they developed data strategy to “score” the content on their website. This score is visible to content editors who then use the score to make website content more accessible - from understanding the reading level of the user, to ensuring the content can be accessed via voice commands and those with disabilities. What else is coming in 2020? What if when a content editor is creating a web page they can see how that page will rank on Google? (Yes, we’re working on that).

Open source is being used for game development

This one jumped off the page for me because Mediacurrent recently decided to develop our own video game that will be unveiling at DrupalCon Seattle 2019. How awesome is that? Speaking of gaming, Mediacurrent has had the opportunity to work on digital assets for an eSports league, which has been completely eye-opening for me. Not only does eSports have its own section at, but it also appears that in 2020, hours and hours of gaming in front of the screen can indeed be a productive use of time and lead to a great (high-paying) career! So much for my PS2 days...

Drupal enterprise open source content management system upgrades to Drupal 9

While not a prediction per-say, we learned that Drupal 9 will be released in 2020 and as a Drupal practitioner, this news is very relevant. However, it raises the question of when to upgrade from Drupal 8. Do we make the upgrade now or wait for Drupal 9? Feel free to message me if you’re interested in how Mediacurrent is advising our clients to get the most value out of their Drupal dollar. 

Computing has gone serverless

This is disrupting the traditional infrastructure requirements for developing an application. Instead of setting up a Linux or Windows server to run your application or microservice applications, you can use services like Twilio with Functions as a Service (FaaS). This moves the business logic into a managed system on the application level. You no longer have to be concerned with the server. The provider of the FaaS does that for you. It allows us in web and application development to focus on the time functions to run vs. the hours your server would be running while Idle. Mediacurrent’s Bob Kepford talked about this at Decoupled Drupal Days if you are curious about learning more, and he is speaking about it at DrupalCon this year as well.

Retailers can monetize the Electric car market

Many information sources that I reviewed were predicting self-driving cars in 2020 (which I think is safe to say they were right at this point), and some of these sources also anticipated that electric cars would be the new common purchase in 2020. While Electronic vehicles’ consumption isn’t quite to 10% of the total market yet, we are seeing an impact around town with more and more charging stations for electric vehicles. The next step is being able to grab your phone and see which charging stations are in use, when they will be available, and where you could potentially spend your time while your car is charging. Using API-first CMS applications like Drupal (mentioned above), you can push this type of content to any number of related websites to help steer traffic (no pun intended) to shopping and entertainment venues in close proximity to the charging stations. 

2019, 2020, and Beyond 

Predictions aside, one thing that I’ve learned in my 20 years in web and open source technology is we innovate and invent with each new day. I’m looking forward to being a part of these new advancements with our valued clients!  


Meet team member, Josh Linard

Josh drives ROI and integrated, cross-functional benefits for Mediacurrent’s clients and partners. He loves working with organizations to expand their reach and impact in the market and is passionate about taking great care of his client's objectives and investment in Mediacurrent.

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