With this unprecedented year coming to an end, you are probably looking forward to what’s next. And with our Technology predictions for 2021, we will do just that.
Whether you’re looking to be on top of the wave, to improve your business, or even if you just like being informed this is a must-read for you. We will explore where the world is headed in 2021 in terms of work culture, education, technology, economy, and more.
Let the 2021 forecast begin.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021
You are probably already well aware of the impacts this worldwide pandemic has had and continues to have on the world this year. From health to education, the economy, social life, almost everything has changed. But what will happen in 2021?
Although we would like this pandemic to be over as soon as the clock hits midnight on the 31st, that is not going to happen. And the consequences covid had in 2020 will follow along into 2021.
The game has changed and so have businesses. We have seen digitalization happen in all areas of our lives over the past years, but this year it was exponential. Businesses have suffered and even the skeptics were forced into digitalizing their operations if they wanted to keep up with the rapidly changing circumstances.
Whenever something changes, especially in such a drastic way as it has, new opportunities arise. There was an appearance of new business models mostly digital-based, that saw the newly surfaced needs and took advantage of the opportunity.
Social distancing is here to stay and the ones who still don’t take digital as seriously as they should, need to change. Our economy is being forced into this digital change, now more than ever, and businesses need to keep up with the expectations.
Top 3 Predictions for 2021
Now that we have an overview of the impact of Covid-19, let’s explore its impacts on our multi-category technology predictions for 2021 along with the rising trends.
1. Remote work is going mainstream in 2021
Still in line with the pandemic and the new business opportunities comes remote work. Although not a new concept, this year it came to its peak since most businesses were forced to operate remotely. For a lot of people, it was their first time hearing about remote work and they had to jump straight into it.
With a lot of countries going into lockdowns, the ones who hadn’t yet experienced remote work had to rapidly and abruptly adjust to this new remote work life.
If you have experienced this abrupt change you are probably familiar with its consequences. Employers were worried about the productivity changes and how they would change their operating procedures. They relied on using some new, now widely known, software for continuing their operations.
Naturally, this came with a learning curve even if the software was easy to get accustomed to. However, despite concern from employers, there have been documented boosts in productivity since the beginnings of remote work. Without transportation times, there was a smoother start to the working periods for most people.
The biggest challenge was and still is learning how to separate work from personal life since for most, they happen at the same place (home). This unclear separation without physical barriers generated stress and anxiety amongst workers.
What can we expect for remote work in 2021?
Remote work is here to stay. Due to its positive impacts, the remote work culture is going to continue in 2021. However, also considering its downsides, it is expected that a lot of companies will adopt a hybrid method. Meaning a combination of remote work and in-person work at the office.
This is already happening as some countries started coming out of lockdowns. We do expect this hybrid system to become the standard in 2021 as well.
However, a lot of workers could not work remotely at all due to the nature of their job. Whether due to it being based on physical or manual activities or it requiring fixed specific equipment. Therefore, completely remote work will never be accessible to everyone.
Despite this fact, the cultural breakthrough remote work made on those who could adopt it is going to continue in 2021. Likely through hybrid systems as we have mentioned, so if you have not yet perfected your remote methodology this year, you can continue working on it in 2021 (literally).
2. Cloud gaming is going mainstream in 2021
As some of us are forced to become digital and work from home, it’s only natural we become more digital in other aspects of life as well. Specifically, when it comes to our entertainment sources, the shift is increasing more and more. Whether it is streaming a movie, series, or in this case gaming, things are moving towards the digital space, with emphasis on cloud systems.
Flexibility is becoming more and more appreciated by people and that’s exactly what cloud gaming provides. Cloud gaming means you don’t need some powerful hardware to play your favorite game. Nor do you need to have an expensive new console, you can game online from your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Users get to stream high-end games on their devices with simply a good internet connection. There is no need to upgrade their console or PC hardware to play games. Cloud gaming provides smaller costs, the same gaming fun, multidevice experience, and flexibility. What else could you want?
Due to its benefits, the cloud gaming industry has seen an increase in its reach and revenue. The cloud gaming markets in the US was valued at 0.17 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 and is predicted to reach up to 4.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.
The major players in the cloud gaming market are NVIDIA, Intel, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Advanced Micro Devices, Sony, IBM, Tencent, and Alibaba.
Companies, like Tencent, are partnering with other tech giants to build bigger and better cloud gaming services. This was also the case with Microsoft and Xbox that developed xCloud and made it accessible to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members at no additional cost in September 2020.
Initiatives like this promote awareness and growth for the gaming cloud industry and they are becoming more and more common.
What can we expect from cloud gaming in 2021?
Our technology predictions for 2021 when it comes to cloud gaming is that it will definitely continue its growth and reach more and more consumers.
Not only does cloud gaming have amazing characteristics that make it stand on its own, but it has also been impacted in a positive way by the pandemic. These trying times have reignited a passion for gaming in many consumers.
Consoles and mobile games have especially increased their sales during these times, but not everybody wants to (or has the means to) buy expensive PCs and consoles. This is why cloud gaming has been a safe and smart choice for these consumers.
Cloud Gaming is also becoming, even more, a way to connect with your family and friends in times where social distancing is necessary. People do not need a specific console and they can all game together. Due to this even more users and demographics are exposed.
The rising trend of social media games is also believed to have a positive impact on market growth, as it creates casual gamers that are more likely to want the convenience and cost-effectiveness of cloud gaming.
Another trend we believe will continue to grow cloud gaming in 2021 is smartphone gaming. With the increasing adoption of smartphones all over the world and the increasing penetration of internet services, many companies are introducing cloud gaming for 5G enabled smartphones.
These factors indicate that smartphones are the future for mobile gaming and will continue to contribute to cloud gaming growth.
3. Cryptocurrency is becoming mainstream in 2021
Continuing the digital ascent, we get into the financial side of things. This year’s global pandemic and the social distancing that came with it facilitated and drove the rise in popularity when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Not only that but people are also becoming increasingly more aware of the problem centralized services entail. These are the perfect factors to make cryptocurrency thrive and grow even further.
Cryptocurrency is a fully decentralized, secure, digital currency with blockchain technology behind it. This new way of money is not issued by central banks and their value does not depend on bank policies.
The first and most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which created in 2009 but now there over 5000 alternative cryptocurrencies, called Altcoins, such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.
Since cryptocurrency prices are purely based on supply and demand, they are characterized by high volatility. If you add that to its rapid growth and complexity you can see the potential it has for facilitating illicit activities.
The governments across the world are trying to face the uncertainty cryptocurrencies entail when it comes to their regulations and are revising the existing systems to fit them. Despite this uncertainty, the adoption of blockchain for financial services, identity, trade, and other markets is continuously increasing.
What can we expect for cryptocurrency in 2021?
Cryptocurrency is a lot of times compared to how the internet started. The majority of people did not understand it but now we use the internet for almost everything. Now, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are also becoming mainstream topics making headlines on a regular basis similar to what happened with the internet.
Blockchain, the underlying technology behind many cryptocurrencies, has spread out way further than the digital currency industry and is likely to see new applications this year.
Governments and regulators will continue to debate how to best control digital currencies and all the new developments such as increased interest, pending ETF approval, and the popularity of stable coins suggest continued growth.
Many popular companies have recognized the value of the crypto market, specifically PayPal, one of the world’s largest digital payment firms. They announced that they would offer all 200 million-plus US users the ability to buy and sell four of the largest cryptocurrencies (including bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and bitcoin cash).
Plus Paypal also said that they would enable crypto as a funding source for purchases in 2021, allowing users to use their Cryptocurrency holdings to make purchases at its network of more than 26 million merchants. This is a big step towards mainstream adoption since it has the potential to more than double the crypto investors.
Whether you have heard of Cryptocurrency or not, its credibility is growing and it is definitely not going away. It is now seen as having the potential to disrupt the current monetary models and reaching the masses in 2021.
Software continues to eat – and feed – the world in 2021
As you are already fully aware, Software is Feeding the World. Digital transformation acceleration is real and was taken even further by the covid-19 pandemic. Many companies have urgently adopted remote work from home policies and a lot of them are looking to have an online digital presence.
Naturally, this digitally transformed world leads to increased importance and growth for cloud services and software that improve productivity, agility, and more.
As software development becomes a more significant aspect of business today, developers also become even more of an asset to businesses to help them innovate, evolve, and grow. Everything from problem-solving to informed decision making depends upon the skill and expertise of developers.
From startups to well-established companies, they are all relying on software to manage their operations. This means the software growth trend is bound to continue its path. If you want to know more about software growth take a look at our free ebook and prepare yourself.
What can we expect from software in 2021?
As we have talked about, Software facilitating remote collaboration and management will be the most valuable. In our predictions for 2021, this software will incredibly increase its offer and reach more companies and people. With this new paradigm software, developers will gain an increased responsibility when making decisions on how data will be used.
The development teams will need to take ownership of their security early on in the development lifecycle. What used to be an afterthought now, is becoming one of the first steps taken, as sectors with sensitive information digitalize their operations.
On our predictions for 2021, we also see AI and machine learning continue to impact more and more software. As the computing power and larger datasets become more accessible to developers the adoption of these technologies will grow even further.
Another hot topic in the software development landscape for 2021 is Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). By offering the functionality of native apps along with website accessibility but without involving app stores or taking up storage space they are bound to grow.
If you are looking for a reason to develop your next software idea, this is it. Ride the wave of software growth as it continues to rise in 2021.
It’s been an interesting year and an eye-opening one for many as the technology was put further into the spotlight. The need for technology to deliver has never been so critical since almost everyone relies on it to continue business operations.
With digital transformation put on high gear, the demand for developers and experts such as digitally-based consulting firms is increasing. Although there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, we do know that digital transformation will keep moving forward. It is the only way for most businesses to thrive.
Hopefully, you now have some insights into what 2021 can bring you and can take advantage of that.