2020 was a year of firsts: an unprecedented number of people worked from home for the first time, kids tried out online learning, and most of our social activities were done behind a screen. And while it wasn’t always positive, we had to think on our feet to adapt to a new way of doing things. It created opportunities for innovation and new research in the tech world.
We’re expecting to see a lot of these new trends and innovations grow even bigger and better in 2021. We’re definitely going to be seeing more video calls and virtual visits, but what about in the business world? Here’s what we’re expecting to see in 2021:
The Future of AI –
Artificial Intelligence sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie, but it is becoming more functional for data and analysis. Financial markets are using AI to monitor potential changes and predict their own trends. AI is also allowing employees in all fields to build models and examples to test possible outcomes. AI is becoming very user friendly, and we’re probably going to be seeing it used in multiple applications this year.
Growth of 5G –
5G itself isn’t necessarily new, but this year showed us a need for speed in data transfer. 5G also helped people sat connected to family and friends on their phones and smart devices, and since it might be a while before we can go back to in-person conversations, speed and connectivity are at the top of the list for 2021. We’re also finding more uses for 5G in manufacturing for equipment monitoring and maintenance, so we expect that to continue this year as well.
We’ve talked about cybersecurity before, but with so many people shopping online due to COVID-19, we’re more aware of identity protection. Companies are also reworking their network security features as employees continue to work from home, using more AI to block threats and monitor activity on their internal and external networks. Cybersecurity companies like Alsid are helping companies of all sizes protect their information.
Staffing Optimization –
Retail stores that remained open this year faced a lot of staffing issues, so we’re seeing more companies creating programs to more easily manage scheduling and store-to-store transfers of employees to help keep them on track.
Health Data –
This trend started off with a bang last year as hospitals tried to organize contact tracing efforts for COVID-19. Now we’re seeing more AI in potential technology solutions, creating new apps to help identify symptoms and use photos to find possible conditions. We’re also seeing new programs that are able to help develop treatments by sharing data between hospitals.
Human Resources –
Like we mentioned above, there was a large percentage of employees working from home this year. On top of that, the majority of the workforce will soon be millennials, so businesses are adapting to more tech-friendly programs, including digital recruitment and hiring processes, virtual training, and remote work capabilities.
Zero Waste –
Technology is becoming more eco-conscious in 2021 and looking for ways to create less waste. We’re seeing programs to help decrease food waste by finding ways to redistribute leftover food, create better monitoring and stocking in stores, and even apps to help people find and buy excess food before it becomes waste.
We have some exciting things coming at Wisper too! We’ve talked about some new features in the Wisper Home app, like device priority. You can go back and watch our show on that one from last week. We have even more announcements coming in February, so stay tuned for those!
2020 might have felt like a setback, but we’re hoping it will bring new innovations and opportunities to 2021!
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