Covid-19 almost forced us to rethink the business strategies and set new bench mark for customer experience. From working remotely to zoom meetings, logging in to a specific technology or using all features of virtual meetings, workshops to limit the spread of virus we are experiencing to keep business stay afloat.
Technology development in 2021 will be somewhat of a continuation of 2020 and to some extent we have adopted to the new normal in 2021, helping drive major technological and business innovations.
As per Delloite’s 12th annual tech trend report various organizations are accelerating their digital transformation efforts not only to make their operations easier but sustainable and more efficient. The new normal helped organization according to Deloitte’s 12th annual Tech Trends Report.
So we can say 2021 will see rapid changes in technological and business innovations and all these will be based on various experience organizations have faced during the lockdown. Leaders will continue focussing on addressing concerns and make well-being a priority, while stabilizing productivity under the current circumstances.
Trends observed by Deloitte include the future of the workplace, the industrialization of AI initiatives, upgrades for the critical core, and technology that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Here are a few technology and business trends we will see in 2021.
Trend 1: Expansion of remote working
This area has seen rapid growth during the pandemic, and it will likely continue growing in 2021.
Zoom, became a household name during the pandemic. Other existing large corporate tools such as Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft’s Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, and Verizon’s BlueJeans are also providing state-of-the-art videoconferencing systems, facilitating remote work across the globe.
Many new ventures are emerging in the remote working sector. Startups Bluescape, Eloops, Figma, Slab, and Tandem have all provided visual collaboration platforms enabling teams to create and share content, interact, track projects, train employees, run virtual team-building activities, and more.
The pandemic ensured creation of virtual office that replicates working together in person by letting colleagues communicate and collaborate with one another easily.
Trend 2: Contactless delivery and shipping remain as the new normal
No-contact delivery is the new normal. DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart all offer drop-off delivery options, reportedly borne from customer desires to minimize physical contact. Grubhub and Uber Eats also grew their contactless delivery options and will continue to do so in 2021.
The U.S. has seen a 20% increase in preference for contactless operations, with various industries implementing alternative processes.
Organizations are tackling this problem using robotics and artificial intelligence-based applications.
Trend 3: Telehealth and telemedicine flourish
Institutions, especially in health care, are working to lower the exposure of Covid-19 to patients and workers. Many private and public practices have started implementing more telehealth offerings such as doctor-patient video chats, A.I. avatar-based diagnostics, and no-contact-based medication delivery.
Research says there has been 50% growth in telehealth services compared with pre-pandemic levels. IHS Technology predicted that 70 million Americans would use telehealth by 2020. Since then, Forrester Research predicted the number of U.S. virtual care visits will reach almost a billion early in 2021. Various start-ups have contributed towards the growing needs in 2020 and will continue offering creative solutions in 2021. Beyond telehealth, in 2021 we can expect to see health care advancements in biotech and A.I., as well as machine learning opportunities to support diagnosis, admin work, and robotic health care.
Trend 4: Online education and e-learning as part of the educational system
Covid-19 fast-tracked the e-learning and online education industry. During this pandemic, 190 countries have enforced worldwide school closures at some point, affecting almost 1.6 billion people globally.
There is a major opportunity with schools, colleges, and even coaching centers conducting classes via videoconferencing. Many institutions have actually been recommended to pursue a portion of their curriculum online even after everything returns to normal.
Byju’s in India are some of the top online learning platforms that have served the global community during the pandemic and will continue to do so in 2021 and beyond.
Trend 5: Increased development of 5G infrastructure, new applications, and utilities
There is no doubt that demand for higher-speed internet and a shift toward well-connected homes, smart cities, and autonomous mobility have pushed the advancement of 5G-6G internet technology. In 2021, we will see new infrastructure and utility or application development updates both from the large corporations and startups.
Development of 5G and 6G technology will drive smart-city projects globally and will support the autonomous mobility sector in 2021.
Trend 6: A.I., robotics, internet of things, and industrial automation grow rapidly
In 2021, we expect to see huge demand and rapid growth of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and industrial automation technology. As manufacturing and supply chains are returning to full operation, manpower shortages will become a serious issue. Automation, with the help of A.I., robotics, and the internet of things, will be a key alternative solution to operate manufacturing.
Trend 7: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies usage rises
Augmented reality and virtual reality have grown significantly in 2020. These immersive technologies are now part of everyday life, from entertainment to business. The arrival of Covid-19 has prompted this technology adoption as businesses turned to the remote work model, with communication and collaboration extending over to AR and VR.
The immersive technologies from AR and VR innovations enable an incredible source of transformation across all sectors. AR avatars, AR indoor navigation, remote assistance, integration of A.I. with AR and VR, mobility AR, AR cloud, virtual sports events, eye tracking, and facial expression recognition will see major traction in 2021. Adoption of AR and VR will accelerate with the growth of the 5G network and expanding internet bandwidth.
Trend 8: Demand for autonomous driving and innovation
We will see major progress in autonomous driving technology during 2021. Honda recently announced that it will mass-produce autonomous vehicles, which under certain conditions will not require any driver intervention. Tesla’s Autopilot not only offers lane centering and automatic lane changes, but, from this year, can also recognize speed signs and detect green lights.
COVID-19 disrupted our assumptions and forced us to become more adaptable and responsive than we had previously thought possible. Organizations will focus on simplicity and practicability and use the experience from current situation to test agile approaches and already prepare for the “new” normal after the crisis is over. The pandemic provide the required setting to re-think collaboration culture and workforce flexibility.
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