2021 Digital trends to watch out for

None of us predicted that 2020 would be like it was! This entire year was responsible for more digital transformation than the decade combined and at an accelerated rate. While many of the technologies anticipated more advances in AI, VR, cloud computing, etc., it is still questionable which of these technologies will dominate our lives or if any newer technologies take the lead. This only time will tell, but here are our seven digital transformation predictions for 2021.

1) 5G

We have aware of 5G technology coming to our routine life, but in 2021 we will use it for real. With the need for better, faster, secure ways of staying at home and working remotely, reliable connectivity and more bandwidth have become a prerequisite. Humans have been more relying on their gadgets like phones, laptops, tablets than ever. Today businesses cannot manage to stay disconnected at all and, 5G deployments have become a critical part of being the solution. As we collectively continue to work and manage school from our homes, the value of 5G will become increasingly mainstream in 2021. Meanwhile, major telecom device brands like Samsung, Apple, Sony are prepping up for this enormous change and help make 5G affordable to as many smartphone users as possible next year.

2) Cybersecurity

Never losing its importance philosophically, with the pandemic, cybersecurity has become more relevant than ever. Hackers have exploited the coronavirus pandemic to expand their campaigns of attacks against businesses worldwide. A total of 600% increase in attacks on cloud servers was observed this year. With fewer employees working on-site on the same secure network, it is imperative that companies shore up their networks and upgrade their cybersecurity strategies, and expand them to home networks and mobile work-from-home devices.

It may be AI and Machine Learning for this trend as we continue to see the increase in attempted nefarious activities require more sophisticated tools and algorithms to fish out. It will prove to be a colossal opportunity for companies like Cisco for firewall, and intrusion detection companies like Splunk and IBM for security identify and event management (SIEM).

3) AI

The novel Coronavirus and the pandemic have triggered spurring in the use of AI and data. Virtually overnight, companies, governments, and other agencies found themselves needing to work together to create a faster solution to stop the spread of the virus. Data, AI, and machine learning were the tools that they turned to naturally. The same shall continue into 2021 and will likely expand to a breadth of pressing opportunities that these types of groups are now uniquely equipped to tackle, like solving global and market problems faster and in a well-equipped way.

While AI may sound like a “Future” trend, it is very much a part of our everyday lives.

4) Folding and multi-screen devices

With the focus being to be connected, customers across the globe want devices that are lighter, smaller, more compact and versatile. Instead of carrying several devices, users are interested in hybrid devices that can double as phones and fold and unfold depending on their needs. The year 2021 will see the return of folding phones smarter than before. They can provide the same high quality and connectivity as their non-folding companion. Aside from fitting more snugly in a pocket, the crucial factor for storage is also there. Leading mobile manufacturing brands focus is on making phones that have increased storage and raised security.

5) Data Privacy

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) dominates the dimensions of data privacy and will continue to do so, even in 2021. According to a recent survey conducted online, CEO's tend to rank data privacy among the top 3 policies most impactful to their business. Most of which are "very actively" looking to shape data privacy policy. There are, however, few issues in data privacy -

- Increased consumer awareness about company practices on collecting and using personal data

- Trust has become a core element of brand protection

- More data and applications are shifting to the cloud— the majority of the businesses expect to be cloud-only by the end of 2021

- Identity management functionality gains importance

6) IOT

There are several Internet of Things (IoT) trends that will make an impact in 2021.

The first is security.

With hundreds of millions of attacks on IoT, the efforts to increase security in IoT is heavily underway by 2021.

The second is Software as a Service (SaaS).

It is becoming popular with the customers enjoying cost reduction and service providers being able to develop and sell more sophisticated solutions on large scale.

The third is smart homes.

Devices with voice interfaces are becoming more widespread, cementing the rising trend of home automation.

Lastly, the Healthcare sector can benefit from IoT via new drugs and implants, chronic disease and post-surgery monitoring, early warning systems for risk groups, smart tricorders and wearable devices, and medical and diagnostic smart tools for clinicians.

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is expected to grow in billions by 2021.

7) Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR):

2020 has been the eventful year for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality; from entertainment usage to business applications, these immersive technologies have made their way into every aspect of life. The outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly prompted these technologies adoption as businesses turned to work from home or remote work models. The use of AR and VR allows companies and individuals to work, talk, socialize with others. These technologies can create large simulation environments. Few AR and VR trends in 2021 are:

Indoor Navigation -

AR is used to see the object users want before purchase. AR indoor navigation is available for diverse practices at home, college, and business and is even helpful for hospitals, museums, and airports.

Remote Assistance -

AR can help technicians or engineers to see on-site situations in real-time using their mobile phones or laptop. Through this, they can assess everything and send the files with proper notes to remote locations, which will remain locked on the shared scene.

Virtual Sports Events -

COVID-19 pandemic has forced authorities to postpone sports events AR is entering the mainstream as broadcasters, owners, sponsors, and teams look for new ways to reach fans and generate new streams of revenue.

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