Call it smart work or lack of time; we are utilizing technology for most of our routine tasks. From doing chores to performing tasks at work, technology plays a significant role in our lives. Since we rely on it heavily to save our time and efforts, it’s essential to help it evolve and innovate.

Moreover, innovation in technology boosts business productivity and brings us new and better goods and services to improve our overall standard of living. Now that 2021 is here, everybody is curious to know what it has in store for us.

Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Instead of coming up with our list of 2021 tech. predictions, we thought we would compile a list of interesting predictions from various sources and give you our opinion.

“Cloud’s reign continues” – Entrepreneur

Cloud is already an established and widely used technology as it provides improved agility, scalability, and cost efficiencies across industries.

2021, however, is going to make a sudden shift in the working habits and culture much less disruptive making the application of cloud-based services much more obvious. In fact, the cloud computing industry is estimated to grow from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to a whopping USD 832.1 billion, at an impressive CAGR of 17.5 percent by 2025.

However, due to strong competition, cloud service providers will have to focus on enhancing and integrating security, compliance, and privacy into their offerings.

“By the time we hit 2022, AI will finally have entered the mainstream” – Marco Casalaina, Salesforce

According to IDC, worldwide spending on AI is estimated to double in four years, reaching a whopping USD 110 Billion in 2024. The 2020 Fortune Business Insights states that the AI market is expected to be worth USD 266.92 billion by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate of a whopping 33.2% from 2020 to 2027. Businesses all over the globe will deploy AI as part of their digital transformation efforts to remain competitive in the fast-expanding digital economy.

In fact, by the time we hit 2022, AI will much likely have entered the mainstream. 2020 provided countless new digital touchpoints for both B2C and B2B companies meaning there’s more data than ever before. So, companies and customers will, too, start to understand the capabilities of AI.

Businesses leveraging AI-powered solutions will be able to better integrate information, the capacity to learn, and the capability to deliver insights at scale. Delivering a richer customer experience and helping employees to get better at their jobs are two of the leading drivers for the adoption of AI.

“2021 is the year of the customer” – Forbes

2021 will see even more emphasis on customer satisfaction. Customer experience is going to drive major business decisions as businesses strive to make every portion of the customer journey seamless.

Intercom’s CX predictions for 2021 says that around 55% of customer support leaders will increase expenditure on smarter CX technology, 78% will move to a proactive approach, and around 50% will be investing in automation. Also, 30% will focus on measuring their team’s impact on customer retention. According to another study, 59% of consumers care more about customer experience post-COVID-19 peak as compared to 38% who care the same as they did before.

In 2021, businesses will focus on ensuring a rich end-to-end experience from order to delivery unlike the old distinction between the front office and the back office. The fact that customer service teams can easily communicate with customers from anywhere, brands will increase efforts to contact customers through digital platforms to provide order updates, offer support, or send promotions.

“Supply unchained” – Deloitte

In 2021, manufacturers, retailers, and others will be focusing on transforming their supply chains by enhancing them for resilience and risk. They will emphasize switching their supply chains from conventional back-office cost centers into value-adding operations. One of the common yet effective ways to do it is by using analytics to understand customers better and predict their behavior.

In a survey of supply chain professionals, 73% of respondents said their companies are planning major transformations in supply chain management and procurement. 57% of companies say that supply chain management gives them a competitive edge. As far as supply chain management software goes, experts say that the global SCM software market revenue will reach USD 8.5 billion by 2022. SCM software also seems to be an exciting prospect for companies as 50% of them believe that tech advancements have a significant impact on the supply chain, logistics, and transportation operations.

Businesses will start using robots, drones, and smart image recognition to make physical supply chain interactions more effective. AI will be widely used to make supply chain operations more efficient, reliable, and productive. Blockchain will also be significantly utilized for efficient traceability or to provide payment to linked supply chain partners.

“Blockchain is at a critical juncture” – Charles Hoskinson, Founder & CEO, IOHK

In 2021, Blockchain will slowly start moving into a wider range of economic sectors like healthcare, transportation, and logistics. Most importantly, it will be massively utilized in the financial market to streamline banking and lending services, minimizing counterparty risk, and shortening issuance and settlement times.

What caused so much hype around Blockchain is the fact that unlike other databases, it has no central authority and is operated by the people who use it. Moreover, the data it stores is almost impossible to be faked or compromised. The global blockchain market size is estimated to grow from USD 3.0 billion in 2020 to a whopping USD 39.7 billion by 2025, with an impressive CAGR of 67.3% during 2020–2025. The financial sector is the quickest to invest in blockchain, with around 60 % of the technology’s market value put in this field.

Based on the trends throughout 2020, it looks like 2021 will continue to see the growth of crypto-assets and blockchain technology – the use of blockchain, distributed ledger, and smart contract tools will also grow significantly in 2021.

“Security services will be the largest & fastest-growing segment of the security market” – IDC

According to IDC (International Data Corporation), worldwide security spending will reach up to USD 174.7 billion in 2024 with a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% over the 2020-2024 forecast period. Federal/Central Government (10.0%), State/Local Government (8.9%), and Telecommunications (8.5%) will be the top three spending industries. Analysys Mason expects mobile device security to be the fastest-growing cyber-security category.

The fact that new digital processes will be cyber-attack vulnerable, privacy and security will become more critical for organizations as they digitize their business processes. Three key areas leading to enterprise cybersecurity emphasis will be identity and access management, messaging, and network security.

Key industries where cybersecurity will be the most significant will be healthcare, banking and finance, technology and media telecom, and public and social sectors. AI and Machine Learning will also play a crucial role in equipping devices to self-heal and self-secure by as much as 80%.

“Remote work will rise to 300% of pre-COVID-19 levels” – Forrester

Remote work has almost become a usual practice in most organizations, and it is expected to continue and grow through 2021 and beyond. Leading market research company Forrester estimates that remote work will almost become mainstream in 2021 and will rise to 300% of pre-coronavirus crisis levels. It also expects companies to go for a hybrid work model – fewer people in the office and more remote employees.

According to Upwork, around 6.5% of households in America are planning on moving to a different area, due to the greater ability to work from home. In 2021, office spaces will also be transformed because most employees will still be working from home, so organizations will focus on thinking about ways to effectively manage the workforce.

“Virtual care is clearly here to stay” – Andrew Diamond, Chief Medical Officer, One Medical

The COVID-19 crisis guided the widespread adoption and availability of virtual healthcare services, and in 2021, too, we’ll see smarter healthcare solutions driven by widespread COVID-19 vaccination programs.

According to a Twitter survey by Health Tech Magazine, 28.8% of people believe that smart video surveillance will improve the physical security of their healthcare facility. Telemedicine and other telehealth technologies are also going to bloom as data shows that 50% of the patients had already utilized virtual appointments during the COVID-19 peak times. This made experts estimate that the telehealth industry is likely to break USD 185.6 billion by 2026.

With robust remote testing and monitoring technologies, virtual healthcare will evolve and benefit more people irrespective of their status. Virtual consultation and intelligent orchestration platforms will help guide patients to the right physical, virtual or digital care for their healthcare needs. AI will also be implemented in smart healthcare solutions which will assist patients in self-diagnosis and for assisting doctors in diagnosing patients.

“Digital remittances will most likely soar in 2021” – The New York Times

The COVID-19 crisis made people much more receptive to digital transactions for shopping and sending and receiving money. In 2021, this trend will grow even more. According to Statista, the transaction value in the digital remittances segment is expected to reach USD 106,925 million in 2021 with an annual growth rate or CAGR of around 11.0% amounting to a whopping USD 162,399m by 2025. Moreover, the average annual transaction value per user is estimated to amount to USD 10,568.4 in 2021.

Virtual commerce and digital payments powered by virtual assistants will gain traction backed by the necessary security and standardization of authentication and tokenization processes. As there will be a greater risk of cyber fraud, consistent efforts will be made towards creating awareness against sharing passwords and other sensitive information.

Companies will also be investing in risk protection software to create firewalls to protect against hacking and prevent cyber fraud.

2021 is going to be an exciting and fruitful year for technology and the ones leveraging the innovation in the technology world. Although 2020 did see a sudden and profound disruption in the way we work and operate our businesses, it did help with lessons about adaptability, creativity, and perseverance helping businesses around the globe evolve and mature. We hope 2021 will be much better.

So, which technology prediction do you think will turn out to be revolutionary and has the potential to change the world?

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