2021 Predictions: Eight Tech Trends You Should Know

Technology has always been a catalyst for change. With the backdrop of the COVID-19 global pandemic, technology trends that emerge in 2021 will leave a long-lasting and positive impact for generations to follow.

We asked our Appfire Co-founder and CEO, Randall Ward, to share his predictions for 2021. He sees the possibility of eight significant technology trends focusing on the cloud, remote work, virtual reality, and agile frameworks in 2021:

New agile frameworks to likely emerge

Lean, XP, Scrum, and Kanban arrived and evolved during backdrops and shifts in working behaviors. They self-evolved and scaled as adoption grew. A significant portion of the global workforce has been working remotely for nearly a year. Undoubtedly, this new pattern will drive new frameworks for building and creating.

Technologies developed that help humans and automation form partnerships

In 2020, automation seemed to be at the forefront of most technology manufacturers’ minds, with a somewhat nearsighted goal of automating “commodity tasks.” Leading experts warned us to “Beware The Automation Paradox,” yet we did not yield. In 2021, look to see technology advance beyond the automation of remedial tasks and allow for learned, behavior-based inputs.

Lines between the home and office will become more blurred

Look to see products introduced to create more efficient, portable workspaces for the knowledge worker at home. Pixelated background images, poor audio and lighting quality, and the lack of privacy will drive technological advancements.

Virtual Reality will stop being that space-aged thing that makes people TikTok famous

Look for VR manufacturers to appeal to the growing remote workforce to help with team collaboration, problem-solving, and workforce augmentation. One example of this might be companies looking to offer extensive training on their products, requiring proximity to physical access within a lab or training facility.

New technology products will emerge and attempt to emulate the office environment

It took 100 years to go from brick and mortar to shared office spaces such as Regus and WeWork, and now in a matter of months, the new normal is a workforce almost entirely working from home. Companies now more than ever need technologies that help bridge the strength that foundation walls once provided. Look for SaaS-based products that create the new intranet, which virtualizes your office space, making the new intranet gathering necessary collaboration and communication tools.

Technology that helps better protect customer data in the cloud will thrive

As more and more companies adopt cloud technologies, customers grow wearier about their data privacy. It’s no longer just about where my data resides while I’m using a product and more about what that company can share about my activities and my person. The so-called “digital dust” that exists for every consumer demands better protections.

New technology will emerge to provide better social proof around consumer-grade products

Influencers have dominated much of the past decade. Companies that can afford to buy influence can amass large customer segments. Fake news and propped up 100 million follower accounts are due for disruption. Consumers would rather pay to see products with social-proof than artificial bias. Technologies that replace influencers by more intelligently mapping consumers to products will dominate the next decade.

The search for a COVID-19 vaccine will fuel technology advancements for decades

Finding working vaccines is a case study in global collaboration and the power of science. It would not have been possible without advances in technology, AI, ML, and advanced collaboration platforms. In 2021, expect many of the technologies used to help solve our global pandemic be published and made available and adapted for wide-scale adoption. Greater adoption of business intelligence products that interface with collaboration products can also be expected, as the combination could complement and reinforce the value propositions of both.

What are your 2021 technology predictions? Let us know @appfire

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