The pandemic indeed has been the time when we saw innovations and technology to fight the fatal virus. The unprecedented time also witnessed an increase in cyber-crimes and thefts, online learning, virtual offices, and so much more that would govern the technology trends 2021.

Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, has predicted that “operational resiliency” is the only way businesses will do businesses next year as the threat of COVID-19 still looms on us. According to Gartner, the need of the hour is to shift the focus towards architecting resilience and accept that disruptive change is the norm.

Gartner unveiled the top technology trends 2021 during its flagship IT Symposium/Xpo Americas conference. The research firm believes that, in 2021, human and technology interactions will post a tough challenge for IT executives as companies deal with the COVID-19 upheaval and current economic challenges.

Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner, stated, “The need for operational resiliency across enterprise functions has never been greater.” he further added, “As organizations journey from responding to the COVID-19 crisis to driving growth, they must focus on the three main areas that form the themes of this year’s trends: people centricity, location independence, and resilient delivery.”

With these ideas forming the base, Burke has identified Gartner’s top technology trends 2021. These are:

Internet of Behaviours (IoB)

Internet of Behaviours

In their strategic predictions for technology trends 2021, Gartner announced that IoB will indeed change the way organizations do businesses. Nowadays, the demand for technologies that use facial recognition, location tracking, and big data, and then connect the subsequent data to associated behavioural events, including cash purchases or device usage, is growing, . Organizations use the power of this data to change or influence consumers’ behaviour.

Gartner states that by the next 5 years, over 50% of the world’s population will unintentionally be subjected to at least one IoB program, whether it will be private, commercial, or governmental. Bruke said, “While the IoB is technically possible, there will be extensive ethical and societal debates about the different approaches employed to affect behaviour.” 

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Privacy-Enhancing Computation

Privacy is more important than ever. Gartner believes that by the end of 2025, nearly half of the organizations in the world would have adopted privacy-enhancing computation. This technology will help safeguard the crucial data in use whilst maintaining secrecy or privacy, especially when it is being passed through untrusted environments. He suggested that companies should now start working towards identifying the right candidates for privacy-enhancing computation by carefully assessing all the data processing activities that demand transfers of personal data, data monetization, fraud analytics, and other use cases for highly sensitive data.

Cybersecurity Mesh

The cybersecurity mesh technology trend allows users to access any digital asset security, irrespective of the location of the individual or the asset. “The cybersecurity mesh is really how we’ve really reached a tipping point or inflection point with security, and that’s causing us to decouple policy enforcement from policy decision-making. Those were coupled in the past. What that allows us to do is it allows us to put the security perimeter around the individual as opposed to around the organization,” he said. 

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the multi-decade process of turning the digital enterprise inside out,” Burke said. “We’ve passed a tipping point — most organizational cyber assets are now outside the traditional physical and logical security perimeters. As anywhere operations continue to evolve, the cybersecurity mesh will become the most practical approach to ensure secure access to, and use of, cloud-located applications and distributed data from uncontrolled devices”, Bruke further added. 

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Distributed Cloud

Distributed cloud is a technology trend that focuses on the distribution of public cloud services to different physical locations while the operation, governance, and evolution of the services remain the responsibility of the public cloud provider. Distributed cloud acts as a quick environment for organizational scenarios dealing with low-latency, data cost-reduction needs, and data residency requirements. This technology trend 2021 also addresses the need for customers to have cloud computing resources closer to the physical location where data and business activities happen.

Gartner has predicted that by 2025, most cloud service platforms will provide at least some distributed cloud services that begin at the point of need. 

Hyperautomation

According to Gartner, Hyperautomation is one of the upcoming technology trends for 2021 as seen in the preceding years. It involves the combination of multiple machine-learning (ML), packaged-software, and automation tools to deliver work. COVID-19 has now led to an increase in demand and need for hyperautomation as the world is now moving towards “everything digital.” He further added, “Hyperautomation is now inevitable and irreversible. The backlog of requests from business stakeholders has prompted more than 70% of commercial organizations to undertake dozens of hyperautomation initiatives as a result.”

Anywhere Operations

Anywhere Operations works as an operating model not only supports customers everywhere but also enables employees everywhere and simultaneously manages the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure. Burke held that by the end of the next three years, 40% of organizations would have implemented Anywhere Operations to ensure optimized and blended virtual and physical customer and employee experiences.

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Total Experience

In the trend report published in 2019, Gartner stated that through 2028, “the user experience will undergo a significant shift in how users perceive the digital world and how they interact with it, or a ‘multi-experience.’ It then said that the world will experience improved voice-driven conversational platforms with dialogue-management capabilities and will change the way people interact with the digital world. This year, the research firm has decided to take this idea one ahead with total experience (TX), a strategy that ties multi-experience “with customer, employee, and user experience disciplines,” Burke explained. TX strategy will become pivotal as interactions will become more mobile, virtual, and distributed.

Intelligent Composable Business

An intelligent Composable Business radically reengineers decision-making by accessing better information and responding more nimbly to it. For example, machines will enhance decision making in the future, enabled by a rich fabric of data and insights. The intelligent composable business will pave the way for redesigned digital business moments, new business models, autonomous operations, and new products, services, and channels. “Static business processes that were built for efficiency were so brittle that they shattered under the shock of the pandemic,” Burke said. “As CIOs and IT leaders struggle to pick up the pieces, they’re beginning to understand the importance of business capabilities that adapt to the pace of business change.”

AI Engineering

AI Engineering

It is predicted that AI will advance across multiple disciplines as the need for more automation grows. Gartner explicated that research shows only 53% of projects reach the final stage from AI prototypes. it is assumed that in the coming year, the world will turn towards AI Engineering, a technology trend 2021 which focuses on the governance and lifecycle management of different operationalized AI and decision models, including machine learning or knowledge graphs, etc.

Bruke concluded by saying, “We’re going to come out of the pandemic, but we’re going to move forward on a different trajectory. So really, trying to anticipate what that trajectory is going to be for your organization helps to guide you on how you’re going to emerge from the pandemic on that different trajectory. So these trends are focused on organizational agility because that’s what’s going to be successful as we step into a new future phase, hopefully sometime soon.”

Stay tuned to this page for the latest news and updates on technology trends 2021.