This year, technological trends are divided into three themes: the people-centric approach, geographic independence, and business resilience.
The analysis firm Gartner presents its “Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021,” highlighting the nine technological trends which should thrive over the next year. After analyzing the data, Gartner highlights three main themes:
- The people-centric approach: people are always at the center of any business. They need new digital means to interact and work in the context of the current health crisis.
- Location independence: with Covid-19, many businesses and many employees have been forced to work at a different location. To work from any location, companies also need new technological means.
- Business resilience: businesses must adapt to all types of disruptions, whether it is a pandemic or an economic recession. Businesses need technologies that give them real flexibility.
1. The Internet of Behavior (IoB)
The Internet of Behavior (IoB) makes it possible to use data to modify behavior. This technological trend consists of implementing several approaches to capture, analyze, understand, and monetize all types of physical or digital behavior.
The IoB can collect data from many sources: customer data, citizen data processed by the public sector and government agencies, and social media data.
The IoB has ethical and societal implications depending on the goals and outcomes of individual uses.
Gartner takes the example of commercial vehicles; telematics can analyze driving behavior. Businesses can then use this data to improve vehicle performance and passenger safety. It can also be used by companies to check that employees wash their hands regularly, in the context of a health crisis where all precautions must be taken.
2. “The total experience.”
Total-experience concerns both multi-experience, customer experience, and employee experience. The goal is to improve the three occasions for a more satisfying overall experience.
For example, to deal with Covid-19, a company created an online dating system integrated into its application. When customers are around the store, they receive a notification guiding them through the process. The employees have a dedicated tablet to co-navigate with the customer without having to touch their smartphones. These new technological means promote experience for everyone, hence the term “total experience.”
3. Computer privacy
Computer privacy (Privacy-Enhancing Computing) is represented by three types of technologies that protect data and secure data analyzes:
- the first provides a trusted environment for data processing and analysis,
- the second can process and analyze data in a decentralized manner,
- The third ensures the encryption of data and algorithms before processing and analysis.
This technological trend aims to enable businesses to manage data across countries without having to sacrifice privacy. This approach responds to the growing need to share data while respecting privacy and security.
4. The Distributed Cloud
The Distributed Cloud is where cloud services are distributed to different physical locations. This enables businesses to have cloud resources closer to their physical place where data resides and business activities.
The Distributed Cloud is the future of the cloud, according to Gartner.
Companies benefit from the public cloud (operation, governance, and evolution) and, therefore, do not need to manage their private cloud, which allows them to reduce costs.
5. Accessibility of services anywhere
Gartner calls this trend “anywhere operations.” It’s a business model that can reach customers from anywhere. Businesses need to deliver their products and services from any location, which means relying on accessibility.
This model is based on “digital-first, remote-first.” This means that companies must equip themselves with digital technologies so that customers can purchase products remotely. For physical stores, this also means changing certain habits, for example, by promoting contactless payment.
6. The cyber security network
The cyber security mesh is an architectural approach to enable more flexible, scalable, and reliable cyber security control. This mesh defines the security perimeter around the identity of a person or an asset. This technological trend offers a more secure and responsive approach by centralizing the orchestration and application of policies.
7. Smart and flexible business
Intelligent compassable business is a technological trend that allows companies to adapt and reorganize themselves according to any situation.
Companies must offer better access to information and enrich it in a reactive and agile way. This requires autonomy and democratization of the company, allowing services to react to certain situations without going through tedious processes.
8. AI engineering
An AI engineering strategy will be needed for companies to encounter fewer maintenance, evolution, and governance issues. Responsible AI is also emerging to address trust, transparency, fairness, ethics, and compliance that may arise from technologies that use AI.
9. Hyper automation
Hyper automation is a business approach that consists of automating everything that it is possible to automate in a company. Many structures have a kind of “patchwork” of technologies that are not optimized or connected as they should, which can be extremely costly in the long run.
In this pandemic period, companies must take into account the acceleration of digital technology, which requires efficiency and commercial agility. To do this, they need to put in place automated processes to save time and money and to be able to remain competitive.