TOP STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR 2021: WHICH TRENDS ARE HERE TO STAY?
Every year, Gartner produces one of the most comprehensive reports on the most relevant and upcoming technology trends. But 2021 is a special year with unexpected velocity caused by unprecedented socio-economic challenges. Digitization has already made us more flexible throughout recent decades – we are used to change – however, the Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed how we live and work together. Some of these changes are here to stay and will last long after the pandemic has passed, so it’s better to address them and plan ahead.
According to Gartner, these major trends include three main areas of action for leaders: people-centricity, location independence and resilient delivery.
Brian Burke, vice president of Gartner said at the last IT Symposium: “CIOs must now strive to rapidly adapt to changing conditions to compose the future business. This requires the organizational plasticity to form and reform dynamically as business conditions change.”
- Firstly, people-centricity impacts the way technologies are used, focusing on behaviors, experience and privacy.
- Secondly, location independence stresses the remote cooperation of people involved, not just employees, but suppliers and customers too, with cloud and security acting as drivers.
- And thirdly, resilient delivery means that technology can speed up adaptation towards new challenges and processes.
Figure 1. Gartner – Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021
Overall, organizations will come to focus more on the individual, enabling and engaging people more than in the past: the Internet of Behaviors (IoB) combines existing technologies that focus on individuality to capture and influence people’s actions. Following this direction, it is worth rethinking the total experience strategy to improve the journey of our customers, partners and employees.
According to Gartner, “By the end of 2025 over half of the world’s population will be affected by at least one Internet of behaviors program, private, commercial or governmental.”
Organizations will build further on the multi-experience towards a more ‘total experience’, connecting customer and employee experiences.
Gartner predicts that “by 2024 organizations providing the total experience will outperform their competition by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both customer and employee experience.”
Privacy and privacy protection will continue to be a major issue.
Gartner believes that “by 2025, half of large organizations will implement privacy-enhancing computation for processing data in untrusted environments and multiparty data analytics use cases.“
Location-independent services increase their value exponentially, as many people will continue to work remotely in a digital-first mode: cloud services enable and streamline operations from anywhere and today’s cybersecurity allows anyone to eventually access any digital asset securely.
New regulations, data residency rules and technologies such as edge computing are beginning to move towards distributed cloud.
Gartner says that “by 2025, more than half of the organizations will use a distributed cloud option at the location of their choice, enabling transformational business models.”
“Through 2023, 40% of organizations will blend virtual and physical experiences, leading to increased workforce productivity and customer reach,” says Gartner.
Securely enabling access to any digital asset – no matter where the asset or people are located – is key.
Gartner says: “By 2025, the cybersecurity mesh will support over half of digital access control requests.”
“The need for operational resiliency across business functions, technology and service delivery has never been greater. Organizations that deliver highly digitized business capabilities in a composable and modular way have the biggest opportunities. They will gain competitive advantage by using artificial intelligence (AI) engineering techniques to operationalize AI,” says Gartner.
Improved information, data analytics and applications need to work together better to create more flexibility and re-engineer decision-making.
According to Gartner, “By 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.”
Organizations will require AI engineering to create sustainable AI operations at scale.
“By 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyper-automation technologies with redesigned operational processes,” suggests Gartner.
Lowering costs, creating value and innovating by combining these trends is key.
Here is our take at a glance on Gartner’s recommendations for all leaders responsible for technology innovation:
Ensure stable and consistent IoB deployments and engage people and customers with a total experience; identify use cases, remove barriers to using distributed cloud, and drive business model innovation using a digital-first, location-independent strategy. Promote the use of the cybersecurity mesh and automate everything that can be automated. Each of these trends reinforce one another to enable organizational flexibility.
Digital innovators and IT leaders have never been this challenged and are requested now to transform organizations significantly. By taking advantage of these challenging times and demonstrating bravery and wisdom, you will enable your business to stay ahead of competition. Shape teams, processes and products for the future by leveraging people-centered, data-driven, cloud-based, automated and smart technologies.
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