Our Predictions for Information Technology Trends in 2021
This year we saw businesses undergo some form of digital transformation in a bid to reach more customers, continue selling products with minimal physical interaction and enable staff to work remotely.
While some factors like pandemic restrictions may eventually cease, there are certain behaviours that are bound to stay, whether previously present or not, like online shopping. This means that many organisations will have to adopt or double down on some trends to remain relevant.
With a focus on information technology, let’s talk about some the trends that may be prevalent in 2021:
This fifth generation standard for broadband cellular networks is set to improve connection between a wider range of devices.
5G wireless technology comes with much higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, higher availability, greater network capacity, ultra-low latency and a more consistent user experience.
With 5G’s economic effect projected to mature around 2035, supporting up to $13.2 trillion in trade and creating at least 22.3 million new jobs, many organisations will be rushing to get conversant with this technology and be well-prepared to take advantage of it.
From remote-controlled medical procedures to immersive shopping experiences, 5G will enable its adopters to gain a significant edge over their competitors.
AR and VR
While augmented reality and virtual reality are not entirely new, they are still in their infant stages when it comes to their use in different kinds of businesses. One of the most powerful attributes of this technology is the way it emulates some parts of a physical store shopping experience.
Many people selling goods online have been limited to product photos and videos, which are good for conveying information but cannot do it all. Through AR, shoppers can get a better idea of what a product would look like when occupying a certain space.
Virtual reality also enables users to do things like trying on shades of makeup and seeing how it would look like on yourself. These technologies will therefore serve as a decent substitute for the conventional face-to-face product demonstrations that salespeople use to win over customers.
Automation is steadily spilling over into various business operations such as customer support chats, email marketing and more.
Machine learning can be used to discover patterns in the behavior of subscribers and subsequently place them in the right categories to receive communication that resonates with them.
As many businesses continue to scale, the data surrounding new customers and sales can quickly become overwhelming. This means that business owners need to automate more of the day-to-day processes to free up more time.
We can see the growing shift towards AI and machine learning reflected in the number of applications and web services springing up to handle different activities like SEO, lead generation and social media campaigns among others.
From marketing, to supply chain forecasting, data is becoming a more valuable resource for those who want to make more informed and logical decisions.
But gathering, processing, storing and retrieving this data is complicated, especially since the sources and uses differ from one set to another.
Businesses are also resorting to the use of big data for a better understanding of both consumer and producer behaviour on an industry-wide scale.
Big data enables organisations to learn things like the intensity with which businesses are targeting certain demographics and the implied ceiling on impressions and conversions from promotional campaigns.
We can expect to see greater emphasis put on building applications and other tools that can be used to handle very large sums of data and monitor changes in real-time.
There are many more trends that will be gaining more popularity in 2021 such as crypto-currencies and Blockchain technology, quantum computing, cloud computing alternatives like edge and fog computing, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and more.
A lot of the innovation we’ll see will probably be driven by the desire to simplify payments, foster live collaboration between multiple participants, improve data security and reach more potential customers at a time.
We may also see a lot more use of open-source technologies and decentralisation of resource management across digital business networks.
Business owners should therefore take another look at their business operations and identify areas where more efficiency can be achieved, then research about off-the-shelf solutions or consult service providers for more customised solutions.