Tech Trends in 2021

The tech space has consistently been one of the most innovative industries. New developments come to the fore each year. Thanks to accelerators and the tech industry's focus on user design, many new technologies are often quickly adopted, making them influential from an early stage.

In this blog, we're exploring the most significant emerging tech trends of 2021. Some will be familiar, some might not be, but all have the capacity to impact the way we lead our lives both in and out of the office.

Here's what new tech looks like in 2021.

Digital workspaces

We look forward to the day we can publish a blog without alluding to a global pandemic, but today is not that day. The world went digital in 2020, thanks to a certain C-word.

Workspaces became digital practically overnight, and we all transformed into video conferencing experts, bar a few initial technical difficulties. OK guys, I'm just going to share my screen. Can you all see that? Debbie, I think you're on mute....

A hybrid workforce is now commonplace, largely due to the popularity of remote working: 60% of remote workers report a better work/life balance and 74% would like to continue in a digital workspace according to recruitment company Robert Half (via Deloitte).

A flood of new technologies have rushed to meet that demand. Scalable cloud computing software, project management technologies and of course, video conferencing software like the ubiquitous Zoom have all grown much more sophisticated in recent months: a trend that will continue, with further integrations and a focus on streamlined user experiences on the horizon. 

As PayPal's Dan Torunian recently noted: “With most or all employees operating from their homes, it’s incumbent upon employers to optimize remote worker experiences, intentionally evolving them to be as efficient and delightful as onsite experiences are.” (Deloitte)



Online learning


It's not only adults that work from home. At the peak of recent Covid restrictions, more than 1.6 billion children were forced to leave the classroom. (Ericsson

Online education supplemented in-person learning with help from video conferencing software. While the traditional in-class experience isn't going away anytime soon, the temporary hiatus did reveal the potential of hybrid learning methods. 

This in turn is leading to new developments within Edtech. Online homeschooling and eLearning platforms are becoming more sophisticated meaning we may soon see a combination of in-class/at-home learning patterns in the near future.

This trend is corroborated by educators. 71% of school principals "support the increased use of digital and online learning", while 80% of UK teachers "agree that traditional teaching and technology will be seamlessly combined in the future." (Mark In Style)

 

Increasing demand for chatbots

We want answers, fast. Businesses were forced to reduced their call centre staff teams during the pandemic, leading to exorbitant waiting times to speak to an operator - not a great solution for customers or businesses themselves. 

While chatbots used previously to be able to answer standard FAQs, now, their AI-powered counterparts are coming close to replicating the same level of experience as a human interaction. 

Greater personalisation is being made possible through AI-generated content. We may soon even see a proliferation of 'voice bots' where customers can 'speak' with a deep fake, a "digitalised [person] who may not exist". (Ericsson)

Consumers are certainly not averse to using chatbots, provided they can give answers quickly. Hubspot reports that "71% of people are willing to use messaging apps to get customer assistance."

 

Carbon neutrality

Practically every organisation now has sustainability on the brain. New net neutrality targets are being set by tech companies, likely in anticipation of soon-to-be more stringent government regulations.

Microsoft has pledged to become carbon negative, meaning "that it is actively removing more carbon dioxide emissions than it produces", while companies like Intel and Quickbooks are setting similar targets by 2030.(Forbes)

We're set to see cleaner technology solutions developing throughout the next year. Tech companies will look at "the impact of both power consumption and CO2 emissions," in their products, according to Rackspace Technology's Simon Bennet. "This is especially true in the public sector, however private sector organisations are increasingly taking note of their power output." (Information Age)

 

Hyperautomation

Tech that enables automated processes has been part of practically every tech trend list for the best part of a decade. The cost and time savings associated with automated tech speak for themselves. 

Automated technology is now going one step further, with 'hyperautomation' soon set to take the business world by storm. According to Gartner, roughly 70% of tasks usually relegated to managers will become automated by 2024. Examples including assigning tasks and collecting performance feedback. 

Hyperautomation will allow businesses to save time and resources, while allowing employees to focus on areas that can't be supported by automated tech, like strategic planning and creative development. 

 

Software integration 

As new technology tools are embraced by businesses, there is a need for different software platforms to 'speak' to each other. You might already have noticed more integrations available for things like your task management software, CRM, timesheets, invoices or emails.

The purpose of more software integration is to make your work experience seamless. Technology shouldn't hold us back; rather it should empower us to become more efficient in our work so that we can enjoy more time away from the desk. 

Growth Force suggests: "With the growing demand for a unified software solution, be on the lookout for new platform integrations that will save time and increase accuracy across your company's department."

 

Final thoughts

The world of tech is ever-progressing at a pace that's hard to keep up with.

Adam Bell, Moment's MD and Technical Director offers some words of wisdom when it comes to tech trends: "It's easy to feel overwhelmed by new technology, especially if your business prides itself on being at the cutting edge of new developments. 

"While progressing with the times keeps you relevant, be sure to only invest in the solutions that offer genuine value. Technology for technology's sake won't help you achieve your strategic business objectives. Identifying roadblocks within your organisation and selecting the right technology to navigate them will."

Next steps

Want to work with a marketing agency with its finger on the pulse? Get in touch with Moment.