Every year, many tech websites make ‘2021 Predictions’, covering what they think is going to be the hottest tech, where the industry is headed, and what people should look out for.
One thing we have taken from 2020 is, let’s face it, the future is rather hard to predict! Although many companies had to make radical adjustments to their plans for the year and beyond, these changes have become a driver for change in the technology industry. More than ever, social media has permeated the life of nearly every person. Artificial Intelligence has come on leaps and bounds. Remote working has shifted business perspectives for good. But whether we’ll ever make it to a meeting in a self-driving car remains a mystery…
All the cited websites include common themes and insights from a breadth of people across the industry – a research leader at Microsoft, the CEO of an international data company, the list goes on.
The biggest developments
Most articles agreed that embracing cloud-first platform strategies was going to be at the forefront of decision making. With an increase in remote working, accessibility has become key, along with speed and adaptiveness, none of which can be achieved with as much ease when your platform is based in a little-used office. The Forrester article suggests that remote working could reach 300% of pre-COVID levels, thus requiring a need for work from home tech support, as well as cultural support.
Another huge theme across all articles was the predicted rise in the social responsibility of the industry. Nurturing a workplace culture will be challenging in the new normal: social medias have exacerbated the divide between many people. It is going to become the responsibility of companies now more than ever to encourage diversity and inclusion with their employees. In turn, this will need to be reflected in the development of technology – ‘the days of building tech for techs sake are gone’, according to the CEO of an AI Institute in the Geekwire article, who points out the ethical responsibility of the technology industry to the world as well as to its people.
Another popular opinion was the predicted return to the office, in some extent, by the summer. No doubt this will go hand in hand with a flexible or managed working from home policy, but the prevalence of this suggestion shows people’s desires to go back to some form of pre-COVID in person interactions.
Hot or not?
Nearly everyone agreed that the ‘hottest tech’ of this year will be AI, as it improves in both accessibility and agility. Increased data can only benefit their algorithms, making them more sophisticated and therefore more useful to a broader range of industries. Similarly, many agreed that virtual reality and self-driving cars were being overhyped, citing uselessness and tighter budgets as the reason for their decision.
With all this in mind, it seemed prudent to ask our own experts for their take on a 2021 prediction...
Paul White, Executive Chairman
I think Twitter/Facebook/other social media will be forced to pay (much more) for the creation of balanced local news. I’ll attribute some of that prediction to a Radio 4 show I was listening to, but still, I do think it’s important to save local news. It’s the only counter to some of the recent madness!
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the likes of Amazon and Google get into business apps. It only seems natural, given their involvement with nearly all other aspects of technology. Also – SAP and Salesforce will be in play…. But who knows?
Matt Dredge, Sales & Marketing Director
My prediction is that businesses will finally see the value of the data they have and will focus on evolving their insight capability and using data science to better improve their businesses.
Ian Humphries, Managing Director
I’ve got plenty of ideas. For example: The lockdowns have forced retailers with a less than optimal web presence to step it up. 2021 will see companies get serious about making their web presence exceptional, not just through user experience but by leveraging the stock held in their retail estates by improving click and collect options, visibility of stock at store in their ‘in stock’ calculations and providing better returns processes – especially for products bought in store and returned via online. Helping customers help themselves by providing customer service portals to supplement the purchasing experience will complete the story of a great online experience.
Ian’s extended his predictions… keep an eye out for his own 2021 predictions post!
Based on the insights of these 3, who knows what could happen! But we do know that at TNP we have managed to adapt well to the changing world – we’ve moved all our training online and completed an implementation project with international business H+H during the first lockdown. We can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for 2021 for your Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central solution regardless of the direction the world takes.