Technology Trends for 2021

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The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the digital transformation. Companies are building new products to take advantage of the post-pandemic world. Speed and accuracy are trends that will continue to be developed in all sectors that use technology. Most of the technology trends that perpetuate have already started as the pandemic’s spread has created a new normal that will likely continue into 2021. 

Artificial Intelligence on the Edge

Artificial intelligence has been around for decades. Producers want to increase the efficiency of artificial intelligence. To accomplish their goals, manufacturers are creating “edge computing.” Edge computing in artificial intelligence allows the device to process information. This scenario preserves bandwidth and increases efficiency by processing information closer to users and devices. 

By embedding artificial intelligence into a device, manufacturers can increase the speed at which they respond to new information and accelerate the generation of insights while lowering cloud services usage and cost. Connectivity cost also drops, as processing part of the data locally reduces bandwidth and cellular data usage. If a manufacturer can run artificial intelligence locally, users in remote areas with poor communication infrastructure are less subject to connectivity losses. AI Edge steals some artificial intelligence from the cloud and brings it to the devices that use it. 

Banks and Insurance companies will increase their demand for AI in 2021. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, banks and insurance companies expect an 86% increase in AI investments by 2025. For financial companies to take advantage of AI, employees with no computer science background need to use it to increase their operational performance. AI needs to be smart enough to allow users to create applications without knowledge of programming. 

5G Output Accelerates

The need to generate technology that works quickly at the device level should accelerate the need for speed. According to IHS Markit, 5G output will reach $13.2 trillion and generate 22.3 million jobs by 2035. The global wireless standard is expected to accelerate the shift toward artificial intelligence. 5G intelligence is expected to increase output by approximately 100-times. This increase in speed will reduce costs and efficiency at the device level. It will also allow consumers to share information at higher rates. 

Cyber Security Demand is on the Rise

The Covid-19 crisis has created an unprecedented opportunity for cybercriminals. Unfortunately, few companies added to their defenses in 2020. According to a Bain study, only 24% are meeting the bar. In 2020 some of the most prominent technology and communication companies saw their applications raided. In July, hackers verified Twitter accounts of many high-profile figures and celebrities. Zoom is an application that became a household name in 2020. The need for face-to-face virtual meetings became a necessity in 2020 due to the spread of the virus.  In April 2020, Zoom did experience a data breach. More than 500,000 Zoom passwords were stolen and available for sale.Despite the breach the information did not impact online share trading of Zoom. In early 2020, Marriot announced that 5.2 million guests’ data being compromised. The announcement came in March of 2020.

Hackers compromise a company’s active directory infrastructure, which controls user authentication rights and company network access. Cybercriminals use devices like a users phone to steal their identity and access confidential internal information. 

Workforce Management Will Increase Efficiency

Workforce management technologies are poised to gain traction, especially in the retail space. This arena is dependent on face-to-face interactions. Workforce management can help retailers substantially enhance workforce agility by quickly responding to activity peaks and employee absenteeism.

Health Data is Crucial

According to Bain Management, Healthcare’s data could rise to nearly $70 billion in 2025, almost six times its 2016 value of $11.5 billion. Smart use of health data has the potential to improve patient care dramatically. Healthcare professionals can use mobile applications that can be used to treat of hard-to-heal wounds. 

The Bottom Line

The spread of the pandemic has accelerated digital technology. Trends that started in 2020 are likely to continue in 2021. Artificial intelligence at the edge is expected to be a driving force behind mobile devices’ new directions. This movement will help reduce costs and drive industries such as healthcare. The speed of the information will also play an important role. 5G, which will move nearly 100-times faster than 4G, will help devices make decisions in the blink of an eye. 

Cyber Security will become more critical globally. Attacks on computers that run infrastructure and secure user data will become more prevalent. In 2020, some of the highest-profile communication companies experienced hacks. While much of the hacks were user data, an attack on utilities or transportation could be devastating for an economy. Healthcare will also be a key driver as data become more prevalent, and the technology that captures this data continues to make headway.