Technology Trends to Watch in 2021

It’s hard to think about predicting what’s going to happen in 2021 after the unexpected events of 2020 but we decided to give it a try.  Here are some of the technology trends that will have an impact in 2021.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence or AI is definitely one of the most notable tech trends of 2020. In 2021 we predict that it will become even more impactful. With digital assistants like Siri and Alexa reshaping the way we interact with technology, AI now plays an increasing role in customer service. Companies will continue to explore ways they can use AI to streamline business and improve the customer experience. The growth of AI will impact our lives from what we do for entertainment to how we shop, how we hire and what we eat. It will be powered by masses of data that use powerful computing capabilities. We will need to monitor AI closely as time goes on to make sure we use it for positive purposes.  This will likely be a joint effort of industry and government. AI has existed for several years, but due to recent developments in machine learning, this technology is rapidly increasing its reach and we will likely see it scale even faster in 2021. 

Voice Activated Command 

3 years ago, most people would type their search queries into Google using the keyboard on their computer or phone. Since then we’ve seen a major transition towards voice-activated searches. More and more people are speaking their queries into their microphones because it provides a quicker and easier way to search. This change is transforming marketing strategies when it comes to how queries rank in search engines. Previously, you would type in a few search terms, and digital marketers would simply sprinkle these keywords throughout their website to boost their search engine optimiztion or SEO. Now, people are speaking fully-formed questions and sentences into their device. People who speak are also sometimes searching for different kinds of content than those who type. Often fast answers rather than complex articles. Marketers are going to have to consider different methods of content delivery such as chatbots to remain effective in 2021. As voive activated command technology develops throughout 2021, we will see people utilizing it for more purposes, including making online purchases entirely through voice. 

Deepfake Technology 

Another inovation to watch in 2021 is deepfake technology.  This technology uses artificial intelligence to convincingly replace a person in an existing photo or video with another person’s likeness. This technology had gained criticism for it’s use in hoaxes and explicit content without the concent of the people whos likenessed are represented.  It presents a danger because it can be extremely convincing. In this era of fake news, it’s going to be harder than ever to discern fact from fiction. Some positive uses for deepfake technology are to edit movies without needing costly reshoots and to create fictional worlds in entertainment. All the same, it’s a good idea to be wary of this technology as we move into 2021.

 Working From Home 

Workers have been asking for more flexibility for a while now, but a company allowing remote work at scale used to be considered radical. That all changed this year when the covid 19 lockdowns suddenly made working from home the only viable option for many companies.  Even as the economy reopens and employees are allowed to return to work, companies may find  that this newfound flexibility benifits their employees. Many big tech companies like Google and Facebook have extended their work from home policies through 2021 and smaller companies are following suit. Part of what made this possible was the rapid deployment of work from home technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.  We have also seen growing PC sales as well as more investment in new secure connectivity like SD-WAN. Companies have now successfully equipped their employees with the technology they need to be productive despite physical distance. Although the pandemic caught us off-guard, it also proved that work can still happen effectively with remote employees, and sometimes can result in improvements in productivity and lower operational costs. This is why we predict that we won’t see companies rushing to return to onsite work models in 2021.

Cybersecurity 

With the changes the pandemic has brought, cybersecurity will become more important than ever for businesses in 2021. Hackers have taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to increase their attacks against businesses worldwide. We saw a 238% rise in attacks on banks, and a 600% increase in attacks on cloud servers from January to April 2020 alone. We expect software, cloud and hardware makers to be increasing efforts to make their products more secure in order to deal with these growing threats. With fewer employees in the office working on the same secure network, companies increasing their cybersecurity to include home networks and mobile work-from-home devices will become critical in 2021. 

At Onsite Techs of Rhode Island, we provide cyber security solutions for small businesses.  We would be happy to help you upgrade your business’s cybersecurity strategy. Contact us today to set up a consultation at 401-773-7766 or reach out online.

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