Top Technology Trends That We Expect To See in 2021

November 13, 2020 Comment:0 Business Strategy

No one could have expected where 2020 would take us. The last 8 months have alone brought about more digital transformation than the last decade with every transformation effort already started finding itself accelerated, and at scale. 

The pandemic without a doubt has been the time in which we saw technological developments and innovations to battle the deadly virus. The unusual time also saw an expansion in cyber-crimes and thefts, web based learning, virtual workplaces, and more that would govern the technology trends in 2021. 

The world’s leading research and advisory company- Gartner has predicted that “operational resilience” is the only way organizations will do business one year from now as the danger of COVID-19 actually lingers on us. As indicated by Gartner, the need of the present time is to move the focus towards architecting resilience and acknowledge that disruptive change is the standard. 

Gartner revealed the top tech trends for 2021 during its flagship IT Symposium/Xpo Americas meeting. The research firm accepts that, in 2021, human and technology collaborations will post an intense challenge for IT professionals as organizations deal with the COVID-19 change and current financial difficulties.

Brian Burke, Research Vice President at Gartner, acknowledged, “The need for operational resiliency across enterprise operations has never been greater.” he further added, “As organizations journey from responding to the COVID-19 crisis to driving growth, they must focus on the three main areas that form the themes of this year’s trends: people centricity, location independence, and resilient delivery.” (Source: Gartner)

As identified by Burke, here are the top digital transformation trends for 2021 that are set to restructure business landscape and society in the near future: 

Internet of Behaviors (IoB)
In their key predictions for technology trends for 2021, Gartner declared that IoB will undoubtedly change the manner in which enterprises do business. These days, the demand for technologies that use location tracking, facial recognition, and big data, and afterward connect the resulting data to related behavioral events, including device use and cash purchase is increasing. Organizations utilize the power of this data to change or impact buyers’ behavior. 

Gartner states that in the next 5 years, over half of the total population will inadvertently be exposed to at least one IoB program, whether it will be private, business, or administrative. Bruke stated, “While the IoB is technically possible, there will be extensive ethical and societal debates about the different approaches employed to affect behavior.”

Privacy-Enhancing Computation
Privacy and security is given higher priority than ever. Gartner believes that before the end of 2025, almost 50% of the organizations on the planet would have adopted privacy-enhancing computation. This technology will help shield the significant data in use while maintaining secrecy, particularly when it is being passed through untrusted conditions. 

He recommended that organizations should now begin working towards recognizing the right candidates for privacy-enhancing computation via cautiously surveying all the data processing activities that requests transfer of personal data, fraud analytics, data monetization and other use cases for exceptionally sensitive data.

Cybersecurity Mesh
This technology trend lets users access any digital asset security, no matter what is the location of the person or the asset. “The cybersecurity mesh is really how we’ve really reached a tipping point or inflection point with security, and that’s causing us to decouple policy enforcement from policy decision-making. Those were coupled in the past. What that allows us to do is it allows us to put the security perimeter around the individual as opposed to around the organization,” Burke said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the multi-decade process of turning the digital enterprise inside out,” Burke said. “We’ve passed a tipping point — most organizational cyber assets are now outside the traditional physical and logical security perimeters.

As anywhere operations continue to evolve, the cybersecurity mesh will become the most practical approach to ensure secure access to, and use of, cloud-located applications and distributed data from uncontrolled devices”, Bruke further added.

Distributed Cloud
Distributed cloud is the latest technology trend that lays emphasis on the distribution of public cloud services to diverse physical locations while the operation, control, and evolution of the services remain the accountability of the public cloud services provider. Distributed cloud acts as a quick environment for organizational scenarios dealing with data cost-reduction requirements, low-latency, and data residency necessities. 

This technology trend in 2021 also attends to the need for clients to have cloud computing resources nearer to the physical location where data and business activities occur.

Gartner has forecasted that by 2025, most of the cloud service platforms will offer at least some distributed cloud services that commence at the point of need. 

(Source: Gartner)

According to Gartner, Hyperautomation is one of the top upcoming technology trends for 2021 as seen in the previous years. It involves the combination of several machine-learning (ML), automation tools and packaged-software to deliver work. COVID-19 has now led to a boost in demand and need for hyperautomation as the world is now moving towards “everything digital.” 

Bruke stated, “Hyperautomation is now inevitable and irreversible. The backlog of requests from business stakeholders has prompted more than 70% of commercial organizations to undertake dozens of hyperautomation initiatives as a result.”

Anywhere Operations
Anywhere Operations is an operating model which not only supports customers universally but also allows employees everywhere and concurrently manages the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure. Burke held in the next three years, 40% of companies would have put into practice Anywhere Operations to ensure enhanced and blended virtual and physical client and employee experiences.

AI Engineering
It is believed that AI will advance across numerous disciplines as the demand for automation grows. Gartner elucidated that research reveals only 53% of projects reach the last stage from AI prototypes. It is believed that in the approaching year, the world will rotate towards AI Engineering, a technology trend in 2021 which focuses on the control and lifecycle management of diverse operationalised AI and decision models like machine learning or knowledge graphs, etc.

Total Experience
In the trend report published in 2019, Gartner revealed that through 2028, “the user experience will go through a major shift in how users see the digital world and how they relate with it. It then held that the world will experience enhanced voice-driven conversational platforms with dialogue-management capabilities and will transform the way people connect with the digital world. 

This year, the research firm- Gartner has decided to take this notion one step ahead with total experience (TX), an approach that ties multi-experience “with employee, customer, and user experience disciplines,” Burke explained. TX strategy will become fundamental as relations will become more virtual, mobile, and distributed.

Intelligent Composable Business
An intelligent Composable Business completely reengineers decision-making by retrieving better information and responding more agilely to it. For example, machines will improve decision-making in the future, driven by a rich fabric of data and insights. The smart composable business will pave the path for redesigned digital business moments, autonomous operations, new business models, and new products, services, and channels. 

Burke said, “Static business processes that were built for efficiency were so brittle that they shattered under the shock of the pandemic.” “As CIOs and IT leaders struggle to pick up the pieces, they’re beginning to understand the importance of business capabilities that adapt to the pace of business change.” He added. 

These are some of the latest technology trends in information technology as pointed out by Burke. Bruke concluded by stating, “We’re going to come out of the pandemic, but we’re going to move forward on a different trajectory.

So really, trying to anticipate what that trajectory is going to be for your organization helps to guide you on how you’re going to emerge from the pandemic on that different trajectory. So these trends are focused on organizational agility because that’s what’s going to be successful as we step into a new future phase, hopefully sometime soon.”