Based on reports published by research companies like Gartner, Forrester, Bain, Deloitte, there are numerous technology trends predicted for 2021. This article summarizes the top ten technology trends common across their reports.
#10 – Zero Trust Security & Privacy Computation
- Security has always been a key focus area for enterprises and the advancement towards zero-trust principle (never trust & always verify) will continue to be the trend in coming years.
- Gartner has predicted focus on privacy computation platforms, which can be categorized into three areas:
- Platform providing a secure environment for processing or analyzing sensitive and Personal Identifiable Information (PII) data
- Platform providing processing & analytics in a decentralized manner
- Platform providing encryption & algorithms before analysis or processing (e.g. Homomorphic encryption)
#9 – Remote & Digital Workspace Technologies
- Gartner defined it as “Anywhere Operations”, which has been a key trend particularly during the times like COVID-19 pandemic. Technologies focusing on the following areas will rise:
- Collaboration & productivity
- Secure remote access
- Cloud & edge infrastructure
- Quantification of digital experience
- Forrester predicts continued movement towards hyperlocal business operations. It enables organizations to expand to new geographies supported by technology.
#8 – Human-centered Digital Experience
- UI/UX technologies & human-centered experience design will remain the key focus area. Usage of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to augment experience is the new trend.
Gartner defines digital experience as:
- Multiexperience development platforms (MXDP) and Low-Code Development Platforms will continue to be on the rise, which helps to build apps & products for user interaction as part of their digital journey across various touchpoints (e.g., touch, voice, and gesture).
- MXDP/Low-Code Platforms: Google’s Firebase, Microsoft Power Apps, Salesforce Lightning Platform, Appian, Mendix, Amazon Honeycode, etc.
#7 – RPA & Hyperautomation
As defined on Wikipedia:
Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies like RPA, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and Process Mining to augment workers and automate processes in ways that are significantly more impactful that traditional automation capabilities.
- Business & IT process automation using technologies, such as AI, ML, event-driven architecture, and RPA will continue to be the key trend.
- Platforms: UIPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, etc.
#6 – Internet of Behaviors (IoB)
- Internet of behaviors was coined by Gote Nyman (Researcher) in 2012 as part of his research. IoB does have social and ethical implications that need to be clearly understood.
- Technologies to use digital data captured from Internet of Things (IoT) devices to change human behaviors.
- For example, telematics data for driving behavior, social media data for trend analysis, facial recognition data for security, data from wearables for health, etc.
#5 – Intelligent Business Processes & Vendor Platforms
- The nimble organizational process to adjust as per market or environmental situation. Pandemic like COVID-19 has made it essential to put strategy and technologies available for supporting processes flexible.
- It includes quicker decision making, technology platforms supporting change, application vendors providing flexibility to provide collection of business capabilities, etc.
- Platforms such as Customer Data Platform will continue to be focus area for enterprises.
#4 – 5G
- 5G promises 100X reduced latency and provide the technology to build novel solutions.
- Sharing data with higher data, greater transmission, and lower latency will elevate connected devices experience.
#3 – Cybersecurity
- With remote operations on the rise, cybersecurity is of utmost importance for enterprises.
- Gartner identifies Cybersecurity mesh as the technology focus area for 2021 in terms of security. Building security resilience to protect the identity of persons and things (devices) will continue to be the key trend.
Gartner’s definition of cybersecurity mesh:
A cybersecurity mesh is a distributed architectural approach to scalable, flexible and reliable cybersecurity control.
#2 – Distributed Cloud
- Public Cloud Vendors recognized the need to support on-premises computing & edge computing. The continuous demand paved the wave for distributed cloud.
Distributed Cloud the distribution of public cloud services to different physical locations, while the operation, governance, updates and evolution of the services are the responsibility of the originating public cloud provider
3 key characteristics of distributed cloud:
- Primarily runs services on network edge (IoT edge, 5G mobile edge cloud, global network edge cloud)
- Extend cloud services to customer data centers (on-premises public cloud)
- Operation & governance (even though at remote data centers) remains responsibility of cloud providers
#1 – AI Engineering & AI for All
- AI Engineering is on top of the list with the rise of continuous business value generated by the technology.
- Organizations will focus on increasing the maturity level of AI with operationalizing AI using DataOps, ModelOps (MLOps) and DevOps.
- AI for All has been recognized by Bain consulting, which will allow business and teams to build models quickly and trust their output.
- Usage of AI on the Edge will rise, which enables to use AI algorithms to be executed on the edge of network (closer to devices collecting data).
- Platforms: Databricks, Snowflake, Azure Machine Learning, Amazon Sagemaker, etc.
The journey will continue, and these top technology trends will continue to evolve further. Keep reading industry insights reports and align your technology strategy or roadmap as per your business proposition.
- Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021
- Forrester Emerging Technology Trends 2021
- Bain Technology Trends 2021
- Deloitte Macro Technology Trends
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