In 2020, a pandemic-stricken world found itself heavily relying on technology to continue social functions and solve daily tasks. For instance, academic institutions had to implement distance learning en masse, and the majority of businesses had to switch to remote work setups to maintain operations.
More than ever, IT has become intertwined with our everyday lives. And in the coming year, we can only expect a stronger coexistence with technology. Here’s what IT looks like in 2021.
A 5G-powered world
While still inchoate and only available in limited areas, 5G promises an unprecedented transmission speed. This has many ramifications, including one that will affect millions of users. With 5G, smart devices will be able to process tasks that require heavy computing resources: what once could only be done by a computer could now be done by mobile devices. 5G technology also offers seamless interconnection among internet of things (IoT) gadgets and a better way to control drones and autonomous vehicles.
Experts predict that by 2024, almost half of the world will have 5G network coverage, and 35% of the world’s global mobile traffic will be on it. This technology is also expected to create jobs for over 20 million people around the globe, helping economies that got badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to recover.
Voice-controlled user interfaces
Millennials were the first generation with a strong digital influence — and they are getting older. In ten years, the oldest millennials will reach an advanced age, and many of them will have physical limitations in using screens and keyboards.
Because digital services and solutions will continue to be part of the future, it’s necessary to think about how a generation used to digital technology can keep using it in their old age. Thus, experts are looking at leveraging voice-powered user interfaces to accommodate an aging population of digital technology users.
Three-dimensional business models
With the earth’s natural resources depleted and the threat of global warming imminent, it’s becoming clear that advancements in technology should not cost us the world. Better mobility, faster internet speeds, or more intelligent automation should not endanger the planet. Sustainability is now a growing concern among consumers, as they’re becoming more and more environmentally conscious of the products they use and the brands they support.
In 2021 and beyond, IT must not only be economical but also socially and ecologically conscious. This challenge will give rise to new business models that will benefit not only businesses but also consumers and the ecosystem. Introducing repairable products like the Fairphone and developing apps that support sharing economy activities like ridesharing are just a few steps in the right direction toward developing more sustainable business models.
As 2020 has shown us, agility is no longer just a business trend but a necessity. When the need arises, organizations must be able to quickly respond to market changes and seize emerging opportunities by using innovative business solutions. Digitally transforming your business can make it more agile.
Adopting digitized processes — especially in sales and marketing — will be necessary to reach wider audiences, deliver better customer support, and keep businesses thriving. Internal monolithic IT structures and silos should also be discarded in favor of more accessible and shareable architectures.
However, digital transformation is not just about using the latest technology but also about shifting the organization’s mindset. In our article “Why culture change is essential to digital transformation”, we discuss why passive technology adoption isn’t enough to digitally transform a business.
Cybersecurity will remain a focal point of IT. And with more workloads being migrated to the cloud, cybercriminals have more opportunities to steal, tamper with, or withhold data. Not only will they take every chance they get to exploit weak cybersecurity defenses, but they will also continue to launch greater numbers of sophisticated cyberattacks.
While businesses of all sizes must prepare for a data breach, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face higher risks. Per Verizon, 61% of data breaches target SMBs as they usually have weak protection against cyberthreats.
Investing in cybersecurity is a must in 2021. Any business that uses the internet must have cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions to safeguard their data against malicious attacks. Their personnel must also undergo security awareness training programs so that they don’t fall for phishing attacks or commit mistakes that can compromise data security.
The landscape of IT is changing. Keep up by partnering with business technology specialists like SpectrumWise. Call us at 704-703-9579 or send us a message today.