As IT leaders prepare their organizations for the year ahead, we’re offering insights into the five technology trends we predict will have the biggest impact in 2021.
Technology today is evolving at such a rapid pace, enabling faster change and progress, causing an acceleration of the rate of change, until eventually it will become exponential. However, it is not only technology trends and top technologies that are evolving; a lot more has changed this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 – making IT professionals realize that their role will not stay the same in the contactless world tomorrow. And an IT professional in 2020-21 will constantly be learning, unlearning and relearning (out of necessity if not desire).
What does this mean for you? It means staying current with new technology trends. And it means keeping your eyes on the future to know which skills you’ll need to grow your business. All bow to the worldwide pandemic; most of the global IT population is sitting back, working from home. And if you wish to make the most of your time at home, here are the top-5 technology trends you should watch for and make an attempt at in 2021!
The following are predictions that stand out the most for us in 2021
1. IoT finally gets unleashed
In Randstad’s report on the state of digital transformation today, 63% of technology leaders stated that COVID-19 pushed their organizations to embrace digital transformation sooner and faster than they had ever expected prior to the pandemic.
This may not be surprising for many, but the overwhelmingly positive impact they’re reporting across the board is. In fact, 64% indicated that their companies have seen ROI from recent technology investments, according to one survey.
This suggests the conditions may finally be ripe for IoT to go mainstream
Data show that reducing costs is the primary driver of IoT investments, and as the economy slowly bounces back it’s going to remain top of mind for many business leaders. Add to that the fact that the number of connected IoT devices is rapidly increasing. The total number of devices is expected to grow to 75 billion by 2025, according to Statista Research Department.
McKinsey also expects US$4 – US$11trillion in business value to come from IoT in 2021
And the number of potential applications for IoT is effectively limitless. They include connected healthcare, remote asset monitoring, employee productivity and engagement assessments. It is therefore imperative that your organisation includes the application of IOT in its Business strategy
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will grow
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has already received a lot of buzz in the past decade – but it continues to be one of the new technology trends because of its notable effects on how we live, work and play are only in the early stages. AI is already known for its superiority in image and speech recognition, navigation apps, smartphone personal assistants, ride-sharing apps and so much more.
Other than that, AI will be used further to analyze interactions to determine underlying connections and insights, to help predict demand for services like hospitals enabling authorities to make better decisions about resource utilization, and to detect the changing patterns of customer-behaviour by analyzing data in near real-time – driving revenues and enhancing personalized experiences.
Machine Learning, the subset of AI, is also being deployed in all kinds of industries, creating a huge demand for skilled professionals. Forrester predicts AI, machine learning, and automation will create 9 percent of new U.S. jobs by 2025; jobs including robot monitoring professionals, data scientists, automation specialists, and content curators, making it another new technology trend you must keep in mind, too!
3. 5G technology will trend
Whereas 3G and 4G technologies have enabled us to browse the Internet, use data driven services, increased bandwidths for streaming on Spotify or YouTube and so much more, 5G services are expected to revolutionize our lives by enabling services that rely on advanced technologies like AR and VR, alongside cloud-based gaming services like Google Stadia, NVidia GeForce Now and much more. It is expected to be used in factories, HD cameras that help improve safety and traffic management, smart grid control and smart retail, too.
Just about every telecom company is now working on creating 5G applications. 5G services are expected to launch worldwide in 2021, with more than 50 operators offering services in about 30 countries by the end of 2021 – making it a new technology trend you must watch out for, and also save a spot in.
4. Remote collaboration will be king
According to a large-scale survey by KPMG, 70% of organizations reported that collaboration between teams was actually stronger during the pandemic. This is a testament to the ways in which digital tools can unlock new capabilities for organizations. Given that the same leaders said employee productivity was the top factor fuelling tech investment in 2020, it’s clear that tech-enabled collaboration is going to be one of the major themes in the year ahead.
What is all of that going to look like in action? Probably not so different from it does today, as many business leaders say they expect pandemic-related work-from-home arrangements to outlast the pandemic itself.
In 2020, several companies also witnessed the impact of low-code platforms – another driver of innovation – and its ability to significantly truncate the average deployment timeline for new apps. This will only further drive innovation, as low-code, cloud-based tools can enable non-tech business leaders and developers to work collaboratively.
5. Human capital concerns escalate
A return to traditional, co-located work environments in 2021 may be feasible for some companies, but it’s not expected to be the same as the workplace pre-pandemic. In fact, the prognosis from many forecasters is for more people to be working remotely in 2021 than in 2020. For example, Forrester predicts the figure will be three times pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2021.
Regardless of how it ultimately shapes up, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future and will remain an option for most employees. In theory, it could open up a more diverse, geographically unbound talent pool to employers – but the reality for most will be that tech-hiring is just as difficult as ever.
Finally, as the pace of change continues to accelerate, reskilling and upskilling employees is going to be more important than ever. Organizations actively investing in ongoing talent development stand to gain an edge on their competitors, retain more of their most valuable contributors and position themselves for success over the long haul.
Disruptive Technologies, the Future – and You!
We humans have made gigantic leaps in the use of technology and are living through times when almost everything is possible. The moment has come to wonder about the limits – if any – in the use of these technologies and what the future (of now) will be holding for us, since, at the end of the day it’s not the machines that are learning… but us. It’s not Machine Learning but how we, the people, teach machines the right way.
· What technologies do you expect to see in the future?
· How will they impact your world?
· How will they affect you?
· How will you use your skills to address the high-tech world of the future?
· Are you concerned about the impact of technology and digital transformation?
The writer is a UK-based Enterprise Information Security & Business Continuity Consultant. Currently, Del Aden focuses on helping customers prevent security breaches, implement Digital Transformation and advice on Business Continuity Strategies and Exercises. In addition, Del also provides security education to businesses and consumers by distilling complex security topics into actionable advice. Contact: [email protected] | WhatsApp:+44 7973 623 624 | Web: www.delta3.co