In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic saw businesses adopting information technology systems to continue work and operations. At a time when business disruptions were becoming common across the world, IT emerged as a solution that enabled business continuity everywhere.
Now, in 2021, the use of information technology is expected to continue. Certain kinds of IT technology, such as robotics and AR/VR were utilized in 2020 to continue offering products and services to consumers. Remote working and videoconferencing became popular, and the importance of cybersecurity was realised.
Here is how businesses intent to make use of information technology in 2021.
1. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing allows users to share data, files and resources online. If multiple users have a Google account, for example, then they can add files to Hope Drive or Google Dropbox. Then they can share those files with colleagues or management.
Cloud computing also stores data online, preventing loss or corruption of data. It’s possible to send and share files wit third party collaborators as well, without the fear that they can access more sensitive files. Most importantly, cloud computing frees up space on office hardware, which can then be utilised for other work.
2. Big Data
Big data allows businesses to collect data from various sources. This data can then be analysed to gain insights.
The agglomeration of vast reserves of data makes conducting market analysis, competition analysis, industry analysis etc. much easier. Big data also improves efficiencies within businesses by allowing for easier data storage and analysis of business growth and expansion.
3. Remote Working and Videoconferencing
Remote working will continue in 2021. Many businesses have adopted remote working, either completely, or a few days a week, as a new system.
This means that videoconferencing tools will continue to be used in 2021. From conference calls to team meetings, people will be interacting online more often.
Videoconferencing is also a new reality for business-client meetings. The telehealth and telemedicine sector has made use of videoconferencing to diagnose simple illnesses and provide over the counter medication to patients.
Videoconferencing will be a normal part of how businesses operate in 2021.
4. Artificial Intelligence
AI improves workflow management as well as operations. Businesses are turning to AI driven technology to replace labour.
This happened in 2020 when people couldn’t report to work, and this halted many workflow processes. AI provides accuracy, and delivers consistent results each time.
While businesses are not yet replacing people with AI technology, AI will play a bigger role in how businesses operate in 2021.
As businesses turn online, threats from hackers and other online malicious entities continue to grow.
This means that businesses will have to reinforce and improve their existing security systems. Cybersecurity will play a huge role in the adoption of information technology as well.
Aside from software and firewalls that protect equipment, cybersecurities will also need to be encrypted to protect potentially sensitive information.
6. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Immersive technologies gained prominence in 2020, much like many other information technology system. From video games to eCommerce, people are now more comfortable with VR/AE technology.
These also have applications outside entertainment and online shopping. Education, medicine, and other businesses will also start utilizing VR/AR to improve communication and disseminate information.
Robotics is at the nascent stage of adoption by businesses. But that doesn’t mean that is hasn’t been inducted yet.
‘Cobots’, or collaborative robots are already in production. Robots make operations easier, and allow businesses to be more productive at the end of the day. Cobots in particular, are designed to work together with humans to complete duties at work. The kind of duties the are expected to perform primarily include menial labour tasks, such as doing inventory, finding supplies from the warehouse etc.
Information technology is now becoming an important part of how businesses fiction. In 2021, existing technologies will be tested out further and their benefits evaluated. IT is on the way towards becoming a normal part of running businesses, and 2021 is a year that will set IT on that path. If you want to learn more or want to avail business insurance, then you can click here.
- Emmer, ME, November 30th 2020, ‘Technology trends facing businesses in 2021 and beyond’, viewed February 14th 2021, https://www.vistage.com/research-center/business-financials/economic-trends/20201130-technology-trends-facing-business-in-2021-and-beyond/
- LeMarco, NL, October 23rd 2018, ‘Information Technology in Business Management’, viewed February 14th 2021, https://smallbusiness.chron.com/information-technology-its-uses-business-management-51648.html
- Staff, ‘The 2021 State of IT’, viewed February 14th 2021, https://swzd.com/resources/state-of-it/
- Uzzaman, AU, December 15th 2020, ‘Top Business and Technology Trends in 2021’, viewed February 14th 2021, https://www.inc.com/anis-uzzaman/top-business-technology-trends-in-2021.html