The COVID-19 pandemic has been harsh to the world in several forms. The way individuals, business, economic conditions, and tech world has responded due to the virus’s impact; there hasn’t been such a case in history. However, the shadow of technology has helped people worldwide overcome the effect of the global crisis to some extent.

For example, streaming media and the internet delivering timely news from health advisories to market closings tells us how technology plays a significant role.

I’m sure you can relate when I say –

Microsoft Teams and Slack helped teams stay connected throughout the pandemic and beyond. It helped many businesses from drowning due to maximum connectivity and fast responsiveness. And Zoom made it possible for corporates and educational institutes to host virtual events while teaching and talking easily. Add to it; some families got reconnected after a long time because of Zoom and WhatsApp.

One can call pandemic as the catalyst for tech adoption and say that it will continue to drive innovation in the new normal. Now, the question arises- whether 2021 will witness equal or more tech adoption with respect to tech experts and business leaders.

Rising edge AI

Probably the next wave of artificial intelligence is “edge AI” or “AI on edge.” It is a network infrastructure that makes it possible for AI algorithms to get processed locally on a hardware device.

A device using Edge AI need not be connected to work correctly; it can independently make decisions without seeking any connection. The rise of edge AI suddenly became a rage because of the sudden or dramatic changes in the network traffic, which has been caused due to people shifting to work from home. Also, edge computing has visible benefits, such as preserving bandwidth and sending information to users and devices that require it the most.

Everlasting cloud

Before the coming of 2020, cloud had established its value for many businesses by improving agility, scalability, and cost efficiencies. In the year 2020, it has also helped people stick to and follow the pattern of work from home by making working habits less disruptive. It has also sealed the place of the cloud as an essential piece of enterprise tech. Now that cloud computing has become stable in the tech world, 2021 will focus more on managing the cloud cost better and looking forward to unifying the cloud environments.

“Cloud computing is empowering, as anyone in any part of world with internet connection and a credit card can run and manage applications in the state of the art global datacenters; companies leveraging cloud will be able to innovate cheaper and faster.” – Jamal  Mazhar, VP Infrastructure and DevOps, Sprinklr

Constant IoT

Seeing all the digital transformation and increased online activity in 2020, it is expected that there will be a spike in the generation of data. The amount of data created and handled by businesses is going to skyrocket.

It is also likely that COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by mid-2021, meaning that a lot of industries may start seeing some growth again.

So, during all of this, what will make a company stand out is its ability to use data better and become a vital deciding factor for many customers. Therefore, IoT (Internet of Things) will play a significant role in automating processes and making more information readily available for businesses. It is the IoT devices that fetch data from different sources and makes it ready for further processing.

“A large portion of marketing dollars are wasted when the wrong offers are made to the wrong people at the wrong place and time… The IoT will generate an enormous, truly unprecedented amount of precise information about buyers and their needs. It’s a marketer’s dream come true.” — Jon Gettinger, Chief Marketing Officer, Pipe17

Automation throughout

The world during the pandemic has seen increasing investments across technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), and robotic process automation (RPA). So, the use of these technologies in the business world will continue to rise. This will help them move toward automation for routine and repetitive tasks while unlocking tactical benefits.

The automation in the tech world will improve operational efficiencies, increase the accuracy of platforms, and enhance user experience. Also, when the money is saved by the reduction of manual efforts, there comes intelligent repurposing of savings for working on the right innovations.

“Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder, Microsoft Corporation

Summing it up

As we take small steps toward adopting technology, we ensure getting well-versed with each of the technology’s pros and cons. Businesses continue to gravitate toward solutions that are more resilient and agile. In the past as well, companies have gained benefits by adopting technologies such as cloud, IoT, and AI and their proven strategies. In 2021, the tech experts will see a prolific change in how these technologies erupt.

With the hope to bid goodbye to COVID-19, we also hope to see cloud, edge AI, automation, and IoT leading a transformational journey for employees, businesses, and customers.