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Nobody knew how 2020 would end when it started. The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to adopt digital transformation more than ever before. The number of businesses that have moved online in the past six months alone is more than those in the last decade.

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There’s a lot at stake for 2021. The question is whether mainstream technologies such as data analytics and AI will remain a force. Or will we see newer forms of technology dominating the year? Even if time is the sole judge and determinant, here are possible technology trends we believe will dominate 2021:

1.      5G Will Go Mainstream

All that talk and hype around 5G will become real in 2021. The need for a reliable and fast connection became urgent only a few months earlier. When digital collaboration, remote work, and videoconferencing became a part of our lives, we had to get ways to boost speed.

It was already clear enough for telecommunication companies that 5G was the way to go. The deployment of this technology will be important for different tools like IoT. About 51% of companies using IoT have noted an improved insight into customer needs, behaviors, and preferences. The value of 5G, therefore, will skyrocket in 2021.

2.      Customer Data Platforms (CDP)

In the last few months, we have witnessed a rise in customer data platforms (CDP). It’s not easy to organize fragmented data from multiple sources. To operate efficiently, you’ll need well-curated and timely operations.

In a recent study, an estimated $3 trillion goes down the drain annually due to bad data. Therefore, it’s quite imperative that you address this problem early as a company. Luckily, CDPs help to solve this problem by collecting data from all sources. They then organize it, tag it, and make it usable.

3.      Internet of Behaviors(IoB)

IoB is an upcoming trend that you’ll hear more of in 2021. Companies and businesses are taking advantage of technology to monitor consumer and customer behaviors. Some of the effective technological tools here include location tracking, big data, and facial recognition.

According to a prediction by Gartner, more than half of the global population will be under an IoB tool by 2025.

4.      Cybersecurity Mesh

With the cybersecurity mesh, you can access any digital security asset – no matter its location. The benefit of this technology is that it allows people to place the security wall around individuals rather than the entire organization.

The sudden rise in remote workforces and cloud technology has affected the security of company assets outside the company’s perimeter. Thanks to the help of the cybersecurity mesh, the security perimeter goes beyond and covers individuals working remotely.

5.      Total Experience

Often abbreviated as TX, the total experience goes side by side with the customer experience, user experience, and employee experience. As most of the interactions today are virtual, distributed, and mobile, it’s important to use the TX strategy even more.

Already, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a new norm in collaborations. And that’s why you need to bring together the customers and employees.

6.      Intelligent Composable Business

This trend focuses on taking advantage of packaged business capabilities. You can develop it through vendors or do it in-house. ICB helps to bring different things together, including better access to changing data, better decision making, and application delivery.

7.      Hybrid Cloud

Most businesses are moving towards the hybrid cloud model. The reason is simple – the hybrid cloud is more convenient. It helps businesses to strike a balance for their distinct cloud infrastructural needs.

Most of the giant public cloud providers have started focusing on the hybrid cloud. Some of them include Amazon Web Services(AWS), Google Cloud, Azure, Oracle, and IBM. All of this aims at dealing with different customer challenges including:

  • Privacy
  • Security and compliance.
  • Exponential data growth.

8.      Privacy and Confidential Computing

It involves the encryption of the entire computing process and not only the data. This creates extra layers of security that help to protect sensitive information. We should expect more of privacy and confidential computing in action come 2021.

9.      Smart Work from Home Technologies

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted the way we do things and carry out business. Initially, it would be radical to allow employees to work from home on a large scale. Even when employees were asking for enhanced work flexibility, it was never to be.

The current lockdowns have led to the common acceptance of the work from home formulas. And many pundits argue that this work-from-home policy will outlast the pandemic. We have seen many tech giants extending the work from home flexibility to their staff. Some like Twitter have even given their employees the option of working from home entirely for the rest of their working careers.

Part of what made all this a reality is the deployment of smart work from home tools such as WebEx, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Such apps have witnessed massive usage over the past few months, and this is expected to continue even in 2021.

10. Artificial Intelligence

AI has continued to improve operations for many companies and businesses. The pandemic even made its usage more common. AI, data, and machine learning have played an unmatched role during this coronavirus period.

We have seen how AI has helped in the suggestions customers get when shopping on Amazon, or even when they are watching movies on Netflix. More companies will benefit from AI since the cloud continues to enable access to the rising computing power, software, and frameworks. It’s estimated that 45% of companies using artificial intelligence have increased their total spend per customer, and their ASPs.

11. Hyperautomation

Robotic process automation(RPA) was a major technology tool that companies have had their focus on. Now, it has moved from task-based automation to process-based automation. The magnitude of automation is set to go even higher as Hyperautomation increases in the coming year.

12. Distributed Cloud

This involves the spreading of public cloud services to different physical locations. However, the evolution, governance, and operations of the services remain at the public cloud provider. By 2025, Gartner predicts that most cloud service providers will provide a number of distributed cloud services.

13. Device Form Factors

The current customer needs include small, light, and effective devices. Therefore, manufacturers are heading to the call by providing hybrid devices that double up as phones and tablets. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 does this quite well. 2021 will see a return of stronger and more efficient folding and unfolding devices.

14. Quantum Computing

Quantum computing has helped in the management of COVID-19 in terms of managing the spread, looking for possible vaccines, and the development of therapeutics. As people continue to realize the power of quantum computing, we are more likely to witness its application in many industries in 2021 and beyond.

15. Anywhere Operations

This IT operating model supports customers everywhere. It also enables employees anywhere in addition to enabling the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure.

Conclusion:

Technology Trends 2021 might have just gotten started. But, you will see major changes this calendar year. Look to see how these new technologies could impact you for the better.

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