What will be the most important technologies in 2021?

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, 5G and IoT are said to be the most important technologies next year, according to a new report from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

The study, which surveyed CIOs and CTOs in the UK, US, China, India and Brazil, also found that manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and education are the industries that most believe will be impacted by technology in 2021. 

Not so surprising is the statistic that more than half of CIOs and CTOs think that dealing with the Covid-19 recovery in relation to business operations will be their biggest challenge next year. 

Pandemic response
This year has forced us to find new ways to work and accelerated the remote working trend. The report states that 22% of CIOs and CTOs will be looking at a permanent hybrid remote and office work structure for next year, while 17% will be working on reopening their offices and facilities. Thirteen percent will be looking at managing permanent remote working.

In response to the pandemic, many CIOs and CTOs have sped up adoption of some technologies to allow safer and more productive remote working. More than half of those surveyed have accelerated the adoption of cloud computing, while 52% have accelerated 5G adoption. AI and machine learning are also being adopted faster, along with IoT, AR and VR, and video conferencing technologies. 

One in four of those surveyed thinks that AI and machine learning will have the greatest impact on global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Security concerns for remote working
One of the biggest challenges that companies had to overcome at the beginning of the pandemic was the issue of cybersecurity for employees working from home. 

The survey found that the two biggest concerns regarding cybersecurity for their organisation were the security issues surrounding the mobile workforce bringing their own devices to work, and the other is ensuring the IoT is secure. 

Just over a third of respondents said they are currently able to track and manage 26-50% of devices connected to their business, while 26% said they could track and manage 51-75%. 

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