2021 will be a big year for businesses still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic starting last year.
We can expect to see more businesses adopt new technologies and begin what is commonly referred to as a digital transformation to ensure their processes are as efficient and agile as possible so that they cannot be caught off guard again by a large scale event such as the pandemic.
Read on to find out the top ten business technology trends for 2021 and the future world of business.
Predictive Emotional AI
Artificial emotional intelligence is a technology that has seen vast research and development over the past few years and in 2021 we’re closer than ever to reaching a point where AI can assess a customer or client’s mood and emotions to come up with a response that is the best fitting for the situation.
This will prove useful for chatbots and interactive phone systems that direct customers to different departments. Alongside the research and investment (discussed in more detail further down) that is going into improving AI’s understanding of the human language and voice commands, these systems can direct a customer straight to a manager or a designated escalations team should it detect anger or frustration in a customer’s tone or language.
Financial Investment Decentralisation
As finance decentralisation continues into 2021, we will see a shift from traditional trading and investment models towards individual investor empowerment.
Amateur investment, particularly amongst millennials, has become increasingly popular in comparison with more traditional brokering so we can expect more businesses to source funding from individual amateur investors with services like Robinhood, which allows people to dabble in investing with their commission-free service.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies for Transactions
The rise in popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrencies as trends have gone hand in hand with each other in recent years.
With cryptocurrencies, businesses can send and receive payments with increased efficiency and avoid falling victim to hackers or fraudsters with the improved security that using blockchain creates.
We can expect more businesses (even smaller businesses) to take advantage of the added speed, safety and security benefits brought by these technologies in 2021.
Enhanced Data Security and Control
All businesses, no matter how small or what industry they operate in are vulnerable to cyber attacks so organisations must invest in protecting the personal and financial data entrusted to them by their customers. In fact, research shows that 43% of cyber attacks happen to small businesses (Simply Business).
Software developers are beginning to leverage AI to assess and react to potential threats, much more effectively than humans ever could.
As well as this, deep learning is and will continue to be used more to improve the complexity of encryption algorithms, making it even harder for cybercriminals to access or leak data.
We can expect a majority of businesses to improve their data security measures in 2021, especially with more business communications taking place online as a result of increased remote working.
Autonomous Vehicle Research & Investment
The development of autonomous vehicles is a topic that is constantly being discussed and is highly anticipated due to the benefits they can bring to several aspects of life – especially the business world.
This is expected to continue into 2021 and the future as advancements and innovations progress closer each day to a safe, usable finished product.
For example, the newest Mercedes-Benz models released in 2021 will feature some, albeit limited, road-safe autonomous driving capabilities.
For suppliers, the main application is the creation of autonomous fleets that can travel greater distances than their human-operated counterparts who face journey length restrictions due to health and safety reasons.
Over the coming years, experts predict businesses will move more towards a combination of cloud-native technologies and edge computing architectures to reduce latency and improve security and privacy measures.
Businesses will seek out innovative ways to benefit from both of these technologies such as reduced latency and improved data security and privacy, increasing efficiency across operations.
Smarter Natural Language Processing
This technology teaches software how to process and reproduce language that is comparable to the way humans communicate, it’s most common applications are for smart speakers and smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.
At present, the commands you can give smart assistants such as these are limited to fairly simple ones. However, with further development businesses will soon be able to use this technology to find answers to complicated business data questions, which will be displayed simply.
For example, a business owner could verbally ask how much enquiries have increased this month compared to the last and have the data collated and displayed in a simple, easy to understand format.
Businesses in 2021 will largely approach operations with a view to automating wherever it’s possible and makes sense to. The benefits of automation include greater efficiency and more time freed up for staff to pursue more time-consuming, important tasks.
However, businesses should be aware of lowering customer experience standards as too much automation can result in a decrease in personalisation, which may not sit well with loyal customers and clients who value that personal touch in business.
To address this, experts suggest that automated processes should be reviewed from time to time and adjusted if needed, for example, automated email marketing processes should be reviewed and updated in line with the most current buyer personas established by research.
Continued Remote Working
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a sharp increase in the number of people working remotely from their homes in 2020.
This trend is expected to continue well into 2021 whilst many remain unable to return to their offices for the foreseeable future.
Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have become household names in the past 12 months and we can expect many new business ventures to emerge within the remote working sector as large corporations and startups alike remain eager to capitalise on the new normal we are all now living in.
Tools that assist remote teams with communication, planning, collaboration, training, team building and more in both small and large businesses are expected to become more common in 2021.
Big Data Powered Analytics
Armed with more data than ever before and the most advanced analytic tools to date, we can expect much more astute observations and insights to be gained from analytics in 2021.
For businesses this can mean:
- Improved market research to better understand consumer behaviour
- More accurate competitor research
- Big data-backed marketing initiatives which produce better results
- Better business forecasting based on a variety of data sources
- Complex risk assessment and damage mitigation ahead of organisational or procedural changes
Cognitive Science and Gamification in HR
Technological innovations combining cognitive science research and gamification will help to improve the productivity and success of HR teams searching for the best candidates to fill roles.
Companies can offer candidates custom games that leverage cognitive behavioural science research to evaluate their technical expertise, soft skills, whether they’d be a cultural fit for the company and much more.
Candidates whose scores correlate with the company’s ideal candidate can be identified quickly and fairly.
This makes the recruitment process much more objective, promoting diversity and inclusion as no candidate can be ruled out due to race, gender or age biases within the HR team.
Do you have an idea for an app or software that could compete or contribute to these business technology innovations?
At Coderus, we pride ourselves on creating successful, long-lasting business relationships with our clients and we are always striving to bring the most exciting innovations to the people who need them most.
Get in touch with us here if you have an idea for an exciting new project.