By Arindam Mitra
The technology world has been witnessing rapid and disruptive changes. With the rapid acceleration in technology penetration across all the sectors in the recent past, the changes are happening at a lightning speed. Here is a throwback to the year 2021 and the key technology trends witnessed by the world.
The impact of digital technology, tools and their applications for business continuity and growth that was felt earlier, especially with the first lockdown, has been further emphasized in 2021. Today, leveraging new age technologies is vital across industry verticals, be it, BFSI, Retail, Healthcare, Education, Government agencies or others, with the majority of the IT spending going into Digital Transformation. However, organisations, irrespective of the sector they function in, are at different stages of evolution in digital adoption and innovation leveraging technological tools.
The dramatic transformation with digital technologies was clearly seen in 2021 across all sectors to ensure business continuity and meet the evolving customer expectations.
The democratisation of AI was evident
The pandemic that was driving the adoption of AI in 2020 in a few industries became more commonly used across sectors this year. AI, ML and Big Data technologies were used to scale production, enhance efficiency and customer experience, besides enabling an increase in business revenues.
With AI-powered platforms that provide suggestions on Netflix or to buy online on Amazon, the technology has become a part of our lives too. AI solutions are easily accessible and commercially available with their applications to boost employee productivity, improve customer experience and innovation.
ML, Deep Learning, Computational power and Cloud-native architecture are the key drivers in AI adoption across industries. However, the supply of skilled data scientists required for AI implementation is not able to meet the growing demand. Organisations should facilitate the training of their employees to develop the required skill sets. The democratisation of AI can also liberate data scientists to perform higher-value tasks rather than just focusing on data preparation and data engineering.
Cyber-security and Privacy among top business priorities
With the exponentially increasing number of cyber-attacks on the IT and Networking infrastructures, in addition to the security challenges of Remote Working and adoption of BYOD practices have driven cyber-security to become a business function.
Cyber-attacks are more in number, sophistication, frequency and becoming more targeted. Phishing, Malware, Social Engineering, Ransomware and DDoS attacks were some of the top cyber-threats in 2021.
Organisations rushed to put in place cybersecurity practices by improving their threat management capabilities. Efforts were made to reduce the time for remediation and eliminate human errors. Automated orchestration was used to address security vulnerabilities. Enhancing the existing Identity and Access Management Systems, securing the remote working environments and monitoring through User and Entity Behaviour Analytics were other priority areas in the space. With cloud adoption increasing, securing cloud computing technologies is a key aspect for organisations.
Customer Data Platforms saw a surge in growth
Today’s businesses are increasingly becoming customer-centric and getting further personalised, far from the traditional product-centric approach. Delivering a better customer experience has been the key business objective across organisations of all sizes and industry verticals. For this, organisations have to rely heavily on the customer data which is found scattered across various channels and in different formats. The omnichannel customer of these modern times uses the brand’s websites, e-commerce platforms, physical stores, social media and other channels to research the product and buy it. Gathering relevant information about customers with data from so many sources is a humungous and time-consuming task to de done manually by businesses.
This is where Customer-Data Platform (CDP) plays an important role by aggregating and arranging real-time data from various sources and translating it into customer profiles that are unique.
This year saw the growing demand to study the buying behaviour of consumers across various touchpoints, driving the growth of the CDP market. A research report from ReportLinker shows the Global CDP Market size is expected to reach US$20.5 billion by 2027, at a growth of 34% CAGR during the forecast period 2021-2027.
Adoption of virtualisation technology on the rise
Large, Medium and Small businesses opted to go for virtualization technology in 2021 for the benefits of business continuity, better efficiency in operations and a significant reduction in overall costs. Furthermore, this environment provided more agility, flexibility and scalability of the IT infrastructure.
Another key aspect of virtualization was, data could be managed from a central location and hence more secure. Maintaining and upgrading the environment were easily managed to lead to better productivity with resources and manpower leveraged optimally. Backing up and restoration of data which is key to any business environment could be easily achieved in such an environment, especially when data breaches are increasing by the day. This minimises IT downtime too and can be used for product development and testing, besides consolidating server and IT management. It also plays a crucial role in the extensively used hybrid environment of today.
Going forward, Technologists and businesses are certain that more progress will be experienced as compared to the current times, reshaping industries further for efficiency and faster growth. Organisations that adopt them and upgrade on an ongoing basis will stay ahead of the curve.
Also Read: Future of cloud technology in banking
(Arindam Mitra is the co-founder and CTO of ProcessIT Global.)
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Autofintechs.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)