The 2020 pandemic has accelerated companies’ digital transformation strategies by over five years and increased the adoption of digital technologies such as 5G and AI. 2021 shows no sign of our digital world slowing down, providing more opportunities for businesses and collaborative ways of working.
But which trends in ICT are predicted to be the biggest in 2021?
2021: Predicted trends in ICT
Internet of Behaviours (IoB)
The technology behind IoB uses any internet connection device to collect data that can give valuable insight into users’ behaviour, interests and preferences. It is expected that data reaped from IoT will become a powerful marketing tool, allowing companies to test the effectiveness of their campaigns and access data that will give a more detailed insight into customers’ buying habits. Companies should be aware that there are some ethical and social implications surrounding IoB, depending on how they intend to use the data.
5G underpins the capability of all technologies. It has the potential to affect every part of business operations and enhance the customer experience. As more companies embrace this technology, benefits are expected to include launching new products and services, moving into new markets and increasing productivity.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies have been a huge part of 2020. In 2021 these technologies are predicted to become key parts of sub-trends such as hyper-automation.
Hyper-automation has been described as the next step in digital transformation and is the idea that most things can be automated within a business. AI and machine learning help automate business processes and adapt to a change in circumstances. Freeing up employees from repetitive and low-value tasks will allow them to focus on more important jobs that can add value to a company. Organisations can expect to see benefits such as flexibility, improved productivity and ROI with hyper-automation technology.
Distributed cloud is described as the future of cloud technology.
Cloud services are distributed to several physical locations, whilst the operation, governance and evolution remain the responsibility of the cloud provider. The technology can reduce data costs and help businesses remain compliant with geographical data laws. It also means organisations can benefit from cloud technology without having to spend extra money managing their own private cloud.
It is predicted that by 2025, most cloud service platforms will provide at least some distributed cloud services.
Virtual and augmented reality (VR/MR)
Mixed reality technology brings together the real world with digital elements. It enables you to be immersed in a virtual environment and interact using your body.
The uses for virtual reality technology is expanding rapidly. Industries include:
- Healthcare – training for surgical stimulations
- Film and TV – to create unique experiences
- Travel – virtual trips to tourist attractions or museums
- Sport – to create training programs
- Gaming – Strategy games and role-playing adventures
As we adapt to a post-covid world, VR technology is expected to become an even bigger part of our future.
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