Information technologies have become paramount for companies in many industrial sectors and spheres of life. By monitoring the latest technology trends, businesses get valuable insights for keeping up with the competition and shaping their digital journey in the years ahead.
In this article, read about the disruptive tech trends that may inspire new achievements in 2021.
How the Pandemic Impacts the Technology Trends
Coronavirus appeared out of the blue and turned the world upside down. Various changes and transformations that have been launched as a response to the pandemic will outlast the current crisis and will have long-lasting consequences, including a significant impact on the global tech industry.
It’s evident that digital transformation has become a driving concern for many, and we can anticipate the ever more rapid development of various technologies in 2021 and further.
More business models will be based on technological innovations in the post-pandemic world to meet customer expectations and preferences.
We have analyzed statistics to forecast which information technologies and digital solutions will be in high demand in the years to come.
1. Cybersecurity Is Everyone’s Concern
A survey by Statista reveals what technology directions IT vendors will increase their spending on, and the list is topped by cybersecurity.
84% of IT vendors intend to increase their spending on cybersecurity in 2021.
Is it really such an urgent problem? Unfortunately, it is.
Security processes were significantly weakened in 2020. While companies have been switching to long-term remote work and increasing the digitization of their business processes due to the pandemic, numerous security breaches have appeared, making businesses vulnerable targets for cybercrime. They did so rapidly and without due attention to security.
Cybercriminals seized the opportunity to increase their attacks manyfold. According to cybersecurity experts from SonicWall, in the third quarter of 2020, there were:
- 199.7 million ransomware attacks globally, which is a 40% growth
- 3.5 trillion intrusion attempts, which is a 19% increase
- 32.4 million IoT malware attacks, which is a 30% rise.
Expected Trends Aiming to Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks
- Reassessed security strategies
Organizations are forced to prioritize building secure digital infrastructures, which implies developing thoroughly devised strategies.
There should be a shift from reactive to proactive security strategies in the light of aggressive growth in cyberattacks.
- The increased role of CISOs
Top managers of most companies have realized the dramatic importance of cybersecurity not just as a technical aspect but also in a business context. That’s why the role of the Chief Information Security Officer is becoming more prominent at the executive level.
CISOs have got a seat at the table.
100% of large corporations globally will have a CISO or equivalent position in 2021 (up from 70% in 2018), according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
It may turn out that many such positions will be difficult to fill due to a lack of experienced candidates.
- Growing demand for security talent
Highly experienced specialists are required to address new security challenges.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing career areas in the country and predicts growth of 31% through to 2029, which is over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%.
2. New Technologies Extend Cloud Computing
Dictated by the pandemic and the necessity for remote work and education, the demand for cloud services is rapidly increasing. Unlike most industries, including the IT sector, that were severely hit by the global crisis, cloud services have grown by 6.3%, and the trend will continue.
74% of IT vendors intend to increase their cloud spending in 2021, according to Statista.
Interestingly, new technologies based on cloud computing are coming to the forefront. They extend the capabilities of cloud computing and address its drawbacks.
The technology of fog computing is a distributed system serving as an intermediate between the cloud and devices that generate data. It was invented to simplify the storage and processing of huge amounts of data, which is particularly important for IoT systems.
Statista predicts a high-speed growth of the global fog computing market, forecasting that the transportation sector using this technology will reach about $3.3 billion in revenue by 2022.
Another alternative technology is edge computing. Instead of sending data to clouds and faraway data centers, edge computing allows for data processing in the device itself, or near it. As a result, you increase the response time and save bandwidth, getting real-time data analysis.
The edge computing market is growing fast:
- The global edge computing market size is forecast to reach $15.7 billion by 2025.
- The capital expenditure on edge computing devices and infrastructure is projected to amount to $104 billion by 2028. (Statista)
The wider adoption of fog and edge systems is stimulated by the rapid development of 5G networks and the Internet of Things.
3. Automation Means Efficiency
Automation has become the pillar of successful digital transformation. By automating repetitive tasks, organizations achieve better efficiency and free time for employees to be innovative and do more creative work.
66% of IT vendors intend to increase their spending on automation in 2021.
The research by Automation Anywhere reveals the following key findings:
- Office workers spend more than three hours a day on manual, repetitive computer tasks.
- 87% of office workers would like their employers to automate more manual repetitive business processes.
- Over 75% of respondents say workers shouldn’t spend time on tasks that can be automated.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is based on the usage of bots or software programs empowered by artificial intelligence (AI). RPA is applicable in many spheres, including banking, e-Commerce, mortgage and lending, and more.
4. More Data Needs Smart Analytics
Volumes of data generated in many areas are growing exponentially. The potential benefits of data are priceless, when it is analyzed correctly.
But humans are unable to cope with this task alone. That’s why smart analytics is gaining momentum.
63% of IT vendors intend to increase their spending on smart analytics in 2021.
Currently, companies miss lots of opportunities by not analyzing available information.
- Less than 50% of structured data collected by IoT devices is actively used in decision making.
- 99.5% of the collected unstructured data is never analyzed or used at all. (Cisco)
At the same time, smart analytics leverages AI and ML technologies and can be used to predict and respond proactively to future events. Implementing predictive analytics in retail and e-Commerce, manufacturing, healthcare and other industries brings tangible results.
- Companies that analyze Big Data can make decisions five times faster than those that do not work with data analysis.
- 50% of companies that have implemented smart analytics have boosted company growth and gained the ability to better understand consumer demand. (Chakray)
5. Artificial Intelligence Penetrates All Spheres
The growth of AI use cases across industries is explained by the benefits provided by the technology: more informed decision-making, streamlined processes, improved customer experience and expedited outcome.
59% of IT vendors intend to increase their spending on artificial intelligence (AI).
AI chatbots are growing in popularity as they can provide personalized services in real time in spheres such as e-Commerce, healthcare, telecommunications, banking, insurance.
- The AI market is predicted to reach $190.61 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 36.62% since 2018.
- The major driving force behind the AI market is increasing Big Data, high demand for cloud services and customer engagement. (MarketsandMarkets)
Computer vision is also among the leading AI-based technologies. Its ability to interpret the visual world is successfully applied in manufacturing, automotive, retail, healthcare, agriculture.
6. 5G Networks Are Here
A breakthrough in mobile internet connectivity, 5G networks have become a reality.
49% of IT vendors intend to increase their spending on 5G in 2021.
Though the technology is still available only in certain areas, it is worth investing in:
- By 2024, 5G networks are predicted to cover 40% of the globe. (FinanceOnline)
- 5G offers unprecedented speed, 100x faster than 4G.
- An average 5G network will support millions of devices per square miles compared to thousands of devices per square miles supported by 4G networks.
The greatest potential of 5G technology will be reflected in edge computing and IoT systems, as it will empower devices to perform complex operations (that only computers could do previously) and interconnect with each other seamlessly.
7. IoT Isn’t Slowing Down
The Internet of Things has settled down in many spheres and continues to build up its presence despite the ongoing pandemic.
43% of IT vendors intend to increase their spending on IoT in 2021.
At home, on your body (wearables), in automobiles, hospitals, manufacturing plants and on city streets — you can find IoT devices anywhere.
- The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide is forecast to almost triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to more than 25.4 billion in 2030.
- In 2020, China accounted for the highest number of IoT devices — 3.17 billion. (Statista)
- In 2020, for the first time, there were more IoT connections (e.g. connected cars, smart home devices, connected industrial equipment) than non-IoT connections (smartphones, laptops and computers). (IoT Analytics)
- Projected global IoT spending by 2023 is $1.1 trillion.
- 58% of retailers have active IoT projects, while 30% are planning to start utilizing the technology within the next two years. (PWC)
The new reality will also make telemedicine and digital health flourish, and IoT will become the core driving force behind it.
The Technology World Is Moving Forward
Technology development in 2021 will continue to gather momentum with adjustments for the global crisis. New challenges and behaviors will drive information technology trends we’ve described in the article.
In this primarily digital world, the emphasis will be on cybersecurity and the necessity to analyze huge amounts of data generated by billions of IoT devices.
Automation will strengthen its presence in many enterprises, improving the efficiency of business processes.
The demand for cloud services will grow with the entrenchment of remote work and education. In addition, cloud alternatives such as edge and fog computing will gain popularity as they open up new opportunities for IoT systems.
Artificial intelligence is no longer a science fiction concept: it penetrates all spheres of our life and will continually improve.
The developing technology of 5G will probably become a game-changer for many businesses due to its enormous potential.
Many more technologies will play a significant role in reshaping our future: blockchain, virtual reality, augmented reality, contactless services — the work is in full swing.