The last 18 months have been marked by unexpected advances in technology as the world has adapted to the demands of a new reality. But are these innovations simply a product of the pandemic or are they here to stay? Here are five tech trends that experts say are here to stay.
Medicine without borders video thumbnail
In 2018, Erik Ekudden, senior vice president and chief technical officer of the Ericsson Group, cited “the realization of contactless” as the top technology trend to follow . Little did we know how true his words would turn out – but not quite the way he thought they would. The global pandemic has forced people and businesses to quickly adapt to a new reality. But over the past year, we’ve also seen technological innovation fill those voids.
Advances in areas such as artificial intelligence , e-commerce , and the Internet of Things (IoT) were already high on the radar of tech trend analysts. What we didn’t expect is that areas such as education and healthcare , some of the most conservative in adopting new technologies, would suddenly take center stage – and progress within months. in a way that would usually have taken years. But we never expected that
Now, as vaccination becomes more widespread and many of us eagerly await the return of discussions around the coffee machine in the office, I wonder: which of these new technologies will stand the test of time? Here are five 2021 tech trends that experts say are set to stick around for years to come.
Trend 1 – The digital workplace: The digital workplace
At the end of June 2020, 42% of the U.S. workforce worked from home full-time . As we struggle to find the best ways to work remotely , collaboration software has seen a real boom. In 2020, the global video conferencing market reached $7.87 billion , more than double the previous year.
Generally speaking, employees have reacted positively to the flexibility offered by working from home, and employers are also noticing the benefits – reduced office rental and maintenance costs, for example. According to our report on the future of business , 60% of respondents are very satisfied with the possibility of reducing office space, and 43% are convinced that they will have no office at all by 2030. Early analyzes also show that remote workers are up to 40% more productive than their corporate counterparts.
Come into my (virtual) office
According to the global survey featured in our Industry Lab report on the cloud office and the outlook for the future workplace of 2030 , half of respondents said they want a full virtual presence at work, wherever they are. Imagine digital workspaces where you can greet your colleague across the room, hand them an important document, or even share coffee and cake (with tantalizing digital flavors and flavors) without even leaving your home – or even your favorite getaway spot.
While many tech giants, including Twitter and Facebook , have announced plans to implement more permanent work-from-home arrangements post-COVID, it is generally accepted that the future of work is remote and the traditional work will never be what it was.
Trend 2 – Online learning
Digital workspaces and dematerialization will not only benefit workers. At the height of the COVID pandemic, more than 1.6 billion children in 195 countries around the world were sent home as classrooms closed.
Along with video conferencing tools, other digital services such as language learning apps, virtual tutoring, and e-learning software have all seen a surge in demand.
At the same time, initiatives such as Keep America Running have shown how quickly our society can connect – both digitally and with empathy – for a common cause, such as enabling more students without an internet connection to access to distance learning and reduce inequalities and the educational gap .
Rutland behind the scenes – Keep America running
With the quality of education being a key component of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Human Development Index (HDI), there is no doubt that education must be well-resourced and accessible to all.
According to the OECD , 95% of students in Switzerland, Norway and Austria have a computer to do their homework, compared to only 34% in Indonesia. And in the United States, virtually all 15-year-olds from privileged backgrounds said they had a computer for work, while almost a quarter of those from disadvantaged backgrounds did not.
As we continue the important work of improving opportunities in education through technology, we must ensure that we reduce inequalities in education, not just contribute to it.
While it is unclear to what extent online learning will continue once students return to their classrooms, the need for connectivity for education has become very clear. And as 5G networks enable faster internet and more reliable connectivity than ever before – even in remote locations – these possibilities will only grow.
Trend 3 – Telemedicine
The healthcare sector has traditionally been one of the most resilient when it comes to adopting new technologies. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the enormous potential, and real-world functionality, of telemedicine technologies as essential tools to help prevent the spread of viruses through tracking, testing and treatment. .