Upcoming technologies in business are leading the way in this new normal economy. We are seeing digital transformations on varying scales, from startups to big enterprises, to continue promoting touchless solutions amid a global pandemic.
Touchless solutions will continue to advance as we reel from the upending effects of this year’s crisis. When social distancing measures were implemented across countries, borders closed, businesses and other public utility establishments ceased operations, and businesses moved online for continuity amid lockdown.
But even before 2020, we have been seeing a surge in digital technology affecting communication and information, business and economy, education, and other sectors. It is the reason why we were able to quickly make adjustments when it was necessary to move most operations remotely because the technology was in place.
It will be no surprise if we see more of these cloud-based technologies flourish even more in 2021.
10 Technological Trends to Catch in 2021
1. Rising Demand for Ethical AI
Businesses are discovering that Artificial Intelligence (AI) doesn’t just increase solutions—it also increases risks. Data and AI ethics are therefore needed by businesses, and concrete plans to resolve the legal dilemmas behind AI technology.
Companies that embraced machine learning and other AI-powered innovations paid no attention to its ethical effects. Today, however, as AI impacts user experience more and more, values-based consumers and employees expect businesses to adopt AI with great accountability and transparency.
To build ethical AI, here are some steps that businesses can do:
- Identify the current resources that data and AI ethics systems should optimize.
- Build industry-specific data and AI-ethical risk systems.
- Shift your thinking on ethics by taking tips from healthcare milestones.
- Increase product managers’ instructions, tools, and support.
- Develop technology awareness within the organization.
- Incentivize organization members who identify ethical AI risks.
- Involve stakeholders.
- Track results.
Today, the world’s largest tech companies like Microsoft, Google, social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and many others—are setting up fast-growing teams to resolve the ethical concerns on AI use.
These concerns spring up from widespread data collection, analysis, and usage of big data, especially in training AI-powered machine learning models.
Since the market is highly demanding trust and transparency, we shall see businesses actively choosing to partner only with businesses that practice data ethics, pursue best practices in data handling and management.
2. 5G Will Go Mainstream
We shall see 5G technology become more mainstream in 2021. Increasing demands for mobile apps is fast-tracking the need for reliable and fast connections. During the pandemic surge, multimedia partnerships and remote work became rampant, as did videoconferencing and other mobile-driven practices.
Speed became a problem for most users who shifted to their own devices to carry-on with high-value tasks they used to do using their company’s devices and networks.
It is why the development of 5G infrastructures to accommodate all the 5G devices currently filling the market became a priority. We shall see more 5G infrastructures set in place in 2021. The deployment of 5G technology is also crucial for IoT (Internet of Things) devices. According to 51% of companies currently using IoT, the technology improved their insight into consumer needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Next-gen tools and apps will definitely benefit 5G advancements. It will also enable precise geolocation, reduced use of batteries, among other benefits.
Gartner research firm found that the overall cost of low quality of business data is between $9.7 million and $14.2 million annually. At the macro stage, bad data is expected to cost the US more than $3 trillion a year. In other words, bad data is bad business.
Customer data has become critical to businesses and marketing operations alike. Customer data is information that trails behind users on the internet. This data interacts with companies online and offline via websites, blogs, eCommerce portals, and the like. This data is crucial to businesses, but needs to be organized, properly tagged and made available in a very usable way.
This is where CDPs or Customer Data Systems can be used to address these issues. It is essentially a set of software that creates a persistent, centralized customer database that is open to other systems. Data is collected from different sources, cleaned and combined to create a single customer profile. The newly-structured data is then made accessible to other marketing systems.
4. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is similar to AI and Machine Learning that automates jobs. RPA is the use of software to simplify business processes including translating programs, processing orders, managing data, and even replying to emails. RPA automatically automates common activities people would normally do.
Although Forrester Research estimates RPA automation will threaten the livelihood of 230 million or more knowledge workers, or approximately 9% of the global workforce, RPA is also creating new jobs while altering existing jobs. As of current, Less than 5% of occupations can be totally automated, while 60% can be partially automated.
5. Internet of Behaviors (IoB)
Internet of Behaviors (IoB) will be more utilized and developed in 2021. Some of the effective technological tools it brings include location tracking, big data, and facial recognition. Companies and businesses are taking advantage of IoB technology to track consumer behaviors.
Gartner predicts that by 2025, half the world’s population will be under an IoB commercial or government program.
However, IoB makes consumers uneasy. So even if it is technically possible, there are mounting ethical and social concerns that surround it. We have yet to see how this technology will be properly managed and monitored so it serves the public rather than manipulate them.
6. Edge Computing
Cloud computing has once been a major development in technology, with major players dominating the market like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. But beyond cloud computing, edge computing is climbing up as the more upcoming technological trend between the two.
As more and more companies migrate to cloud technologies, the adoption of cloud services is also growing. Organizations that use cloud computing have discovered some of its flaws, as technologies are not all perfect and are constantly going through improvements.
Edge computing fills the gaps that cloud computing leaves behind, like bypassing latency generated by cloud computing and transferring data for processing in a datacenter.
Data can easily be accessed when it is stored on edge devices than all the way to cloud datacenters.
As a result, edge computing is useful in processing time-sensitive data in remote areas with minimal to no access to the datacenter. Edge computing then acts as a mini datacenter to store and access data from.
7. Cybersecurity Mesh
With a cybersecurity mesh, you can access any information security asset no matter where it is. The drawback of this technology is that it encourages people to position the security wall around individuals rather than the whole enterprise.
The unexpected growth in distributed workforce and cloud technologies has impacted the security of company resources beyond the company’s boundaries. Thanks to the aid of a cybertechnology mesh, the security perimeter extends beyond its physical location to secure even its remote workers.
8. Moving toward hyperlocal business operations
Over the next few years, big corporations will strengthen their capacity to operate hyperlocally. As a result, regional medium-sized enterprises can compete with global standards, increase their business, and even expand to other locations.
Businesses must design architectures that can geographically disperse customer engagement and business operations frameworks to key regional locations while keeping the benefits of centralized technology management.
9. Quantum Computing
The next remarkable technological trend we will see more of in 2021 and beyond is quantum technology. It is a method of computing that takes advantage of quantum processes such as superposition and quantum entanglement.
This impressive technology trend also helps avoid the spread of coronavirus by developing potential vaccines, thanks to its capacity to quickly query, control, interpret and respond on data, no matter the source.
Another domain where quantum computing is being used is in banking and finance, credit risk control, high-frequency trading, and fraud detection.
Quantum computers are a multitude times more efficient and faster than standard computers. Major brands are in a race to develop the technology for commercial purposes.
Projected revenues for the worldwide quantum computing industry is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2029. But to properly apply and benefit from this innovation, you need expertise in quantum mechanics, machine learning, linear algebra, probability, and information theory.
10. Total Experience
Total experience or TX, is the cumulative experience that goes seamlessly with customer experience, user experience and employee experience. It is important to use the TX strategy even more as most of the engagements today are virtual, distributed, and on mobile.
Total experience (TX) is a step up from multiexperience technology. TX is a strategy that connects multiexperience with consumers, users, and employees experience disciplines. Businesses that utilize TX will be able to perform better than their competitors in critical satisfaction metrics, so TX strategies need to be set in place.
TX strategies need to optimize mobile, virtual and distributed interactions amid the pandemic to preserve satisfaction continuity in business outcomes.
Conclusion: Adapting to the New Normal is Adopting New Technologies
The pandemic proved the importance of continued technology innovations. Businesses were quick to adapt to sudden adjustments because most businesses are already employing the latest technological advancements.
As we continue to adapt and head to a new normal, we will continue to fast-track towards more innovations. This is also the time for experts and those aspiring to retrain and upskill to be able to handle emerging technologies.
Although technologies are emerging and evolving all around us, these top 10 technology trends offer promising career potential now and for the foreseeable future.
And most of these trending technologies are welcoming skilled professionals, meaning the time is right for you to choose one, get trained, and get on board at the early stages of these trending technologies, positioning you for success now and in the future.
Adapting to the new normal is also adopting new technologies in 2021 and beyond.