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The future of tech: Predictions for 2021

Discover three critical technology trends to look for as organisations aim to strategically elevate their business in 2021

March 16, 2021 | Ricardo Madan

Hands holding global network

We’re only a few months into 2021. We didn't expect that the flip of the calendar would solve the business challenges faced in 2020. But we know strategic vision will. The question is: where should you focus in 2021? We're seeing companies move beyond the present, re-evaluating their efforts and simply dropping initiatives that aren't helping them compete or adapt in the face of disruption.

This year, we expect to see three tech trends driving change: accelerated business transformation through reimagined enterprise ecosystems, elevated customer experiences and strategies, and deeply integrated cybersecurity investments. Here, we share some predictions and perspectives as businesses look future-forward.

1. Business transformation will shift to the forefront

Visions for the year ahead will stem from the ability to be agile and flexible, at a time when the world is rapidly changing. Businesses must create digital experiences that are adaptive to each end user, backed by the agility to customise quickly. With this, legacy technology and technical debt will be a priority to resolve. Cloud and DevOps technologies will be the main capabilities that will allow enterprises to reimagine their technology ecosystem as they undergo enterprise transformation, with a focus on multicloud and distributed cloud as a major workstream.

2. The future of customer delight lies in digital transformation

Companies will continue to completely shift the way they interact with customers, building their strategies around customer insights and evaluating them to adapt. We’ll see organisations thinking of new ways to remain relevant and connect with customers—and not just wait for things to “return to normal.” We’ll see a major focus on automation in terms of self-help and chatbots. Seamless, convenient and personalised customer experiences are expected, and organisations will be looking to leverage big data and predictive analytics to deliver customer insights and improved services.

We predict that organisations will hold customer insight as the most significant value on which to build their corporate strategy. Understanding the customer has always been important, but it has never been more critical to translate customer knowledge into digital transformation strategy and driving agile capabilities.

Looking toward the future, we’re going to experience a new space where enterprises will experiment with a blend of digital and physical as they evaluate the core of their brand and figure out what it means to pivot or be a pioneer in the new normal.

3. Cybersecurity will be an integrated focus

As organisations prioritise a digital-first mindset, security across customer data, collaboration tools and remote locations is paramount. We expect that data privacy laws will continue to push personal data management to be built within data management architecture and technology systems.

In terms of design, security, data privacy and accessibility must continue to move to the forefront and be integrated into the development process. From mobile applications to your desktop, there are increasingly more surfaces prone to bad actors, requiring stronger security and more complex guardrails. Accelerating more digital transformation pieces will require us to consider building security upfront in the next year—and beyond.

Accelerating value as we move to the future

As the calendar rolls on, this year will be a turning point for organisations to embrace future-facing solutions and power customer-obsession that maximises revenue opportunities and improves experience. Digital tech-enabled technology and services will be focused on customer engagement in 2021 with businesses demanding broader vision and capabilities. Cloud modernisation and business transformation will underpin the ways organisations must digitally adapt, as well as lead the surge in cyber-resiliency. For organisations rapidly moving forward and carrying over new behaviours and digital approaches, 2021 promises to be a year of continued hypergrowth.

Ricardo Madan is an executive leader of TEKsystems Global Services with 20 years’ experience developing people, serving customers, designing and building technology services/products, and driving a seismic array of growth venues, all with the goal of significantly improving the lives and circumstances of his team, customers and community.