When it comes to tech trends, expert lists are deep, wide and continually changing. In digital spaces, the introduction of a singular product to the market can change the landscape for years to come. But that volatility doesn’t negate the importance of planning for the year ahead.
With certainty, there are several tech trends for 2021 that were born out of 2020’s necessities. There are also exciting advancements on the horizon that can revolutionize the way we work and communicate. Our expert team of technology professionals compiled four tech trends you should note in 2021.
Working remotely securely
We can assert with confidence you know (or are) someone who transitioned to remote work in 2020. Many companies are still operating entirely on a remote basis, while others are pursuing hybrid or adjusted in-office schedules. Whether workers prefer it or not, remote work will continue to dominate the landscape for months to come.
The initial transition to remote working centered around getting people online, creating workflows and reimagining productivity. Now, remote workforces are operating at equal or increased efficiency levels compared to pre-pandemic office-bound conditions. With operations sailing smoothly, IT professionals are shifting focus to the large elephant in the room: cybersecurity in the remote work landscape.
Email phishing is still a sizable threat. With users on unsecure home networks and oscillating between personal and work-provided devices, there are more opportunities for attack. A guaranteed 2021 tech trend: IT professionals will emphasize and refine remote work practices to place a higher priority on cybersecurity.
An unfortunate tech trend: Ransomware
Large companies, especially those housing personal and sensitive data, must vigilantly prevent cyberattacks. Ransomware, or the process of illegally mining information and using it as leverage to collect a sum of money, is anticipated to increase 27 times over in the near future. The economic impact will be significant – it’s predicted to inflict $20 billion in damage.
This gives way to cyber liability insurance, an industry we expect to grow in 2021. Interested companies would pay a fee for coverage, and should a cyberattack occur, the insurance provider would help cover the recovery fees. Not all companies are great candidates for such insurance. But businesses requiring intense data security, like companies in the health care space, taking additional precautions may be wise.
Ready or not, prepare for artificial intelligence
The automated messages you navigate when calling the cable company are far from lifelike, but they will continue to improve in 2021. Artificial intelligence – from hotel couriers to smart home devices – will become increasingly responsive and offer more functionality to users. Many of these enhancements will make our lives easier and more efficient. But with the good also comes a drawback. In 2020, “deep fakes,” or falsified images and videos used to mislead audiences, appeared at an astonishing rate. As AI enhancements become more accessible to bad actors, these videos will become more realistic. Discerning what’s real and what’s fake will require greater scrutiny from consumers.
Technology as an extension of corporate culture
Access to tech resources and data security training will become a thread in the fabric of company culture. Increasingly, companies are realizing that investments in leading software and efficiency tools can alleviate burdens on their employees. These investments will serve as key selling points when recruiting employees, especially young professionals. Seamlessly, leaders will integrate online safety training into the rollout of these assets, making security a defining part of the process.
Mobile banking and digital money management rule as a tech trend
Money is dirty – and many retail establishments are switching to cashless registers. As a result, consumers are moving their money management practices online. Financial institutions are also encouraging utilization of their mobile apps.
Third-party apps like Venmo and Cashapp are also seeing record utilization. They are an easy tool for friends and family to send money and cover shared expenses. Unfortunately, this creates a new landscape for cybercriminals. Before downloading and connecting personal financial information to a money management app, ensure that app is widely used and verified by your application marketplace (Apple’s App Store, Google Play Store, etc.). When in doubt, read the reviews. The more positive interactions, the better.
The technology landscape is always shifting, and we’ll see advancements in 2021 as we have every year previous. No matter what changes come our way, ProTech will always be prepared to provide the best guidance in the industry. If you need support to make well-informed tech decisions for your business, contact us about partnership today.