Technology and business go hand in hand, and the two play off of each other spectacularly. While this has been the case since time immemorial, modern technology has reached a level of advancement that seems like pure sci fi. AI in particular has advanced to the point of seeing widespread use in the home and at the office, albeit to varying levels of success. Here are the business technology trends to look forward to in 2021.
Artificial intelligence has long been the dream for computer engineers, and many iterations of AI have inched closer to that dream while ultimately still falling flat. Even consumer grade AI such as virtual assistants leave something to be desired. However, machine learning and natural language processing are reaching a point at which AI is starting to manifest in earnest. Sentiment analysis is a particularly potent example of what modern AI is capable of, because it clearly demonstrates that artificial intelligence can, under the right conditions, parse human text and speech in order to intuit meaning. The primary caveat, however, is that a given AI needs to be groomed for that specific purpose in order to achieve those results.
It’s with that in mind that services like MLOps integrate machine learning directly into the software development cycle itself, which can theoretically improve upon the time it takes to teach a computer how to perform a given task autonomously. You can also see machine learning and natural language processing at play in consumer grade AI, mostly notably search engines that can learn about user preferences based on their history, as well as approximating search results based on words similar to the given search terms. Because it has applications for businesses themselves and their end user products, there is a vested interest in funding further research and development into this branch of technology.
Self driving cars are already being developed, many of which have encountered problems in the prototype phase and have hit major delays. Despite these setbacks, the technology is almost universally appealing and will continue to be given great consideration and, more importantly, R&D funding. Moreover, the dream of autonomous drones is potentially much closer to fruition. This is largely due to the fact the low altitude air travel presents fewer logistical problems and safety risks. The same is true of the fact that, all things considered, the market and consumers alike will benefit more immediately from autonomous delivery drones, albeit less directly.
Remote work has quickly taken root as a way for businesses to save on the costs associated with on site workers, and it has likewise become a much needed way for certain demographics to make a living. Generally speaking, remote employment is the best of both worlds, albeit with a steep learning curve, especially for the workers themselves. However, the COVID-19 has driven an increase in remote employment opportunities in the name of public safety, so it’s safe to assume that it will quickly become even more of a staple among employers and employees alike.
The potential benefits to both parties are demonstrable, and more businesses and workers than ever before are seeing those benefits firsthand. Therefore, logic dictates that the prevalence of remote employment will only increase with time. This is especially true because of Google’s standing remote employment policy that extends to July of 2021. A business tech leader like Google will certainly inspire similar policies, which will then likely evolve into more permanent arrangements in the face of the savings on behalf of businesses and the changing personal preferences of workers.
As companies continue to implement state of the art technology into their business models, that same technology will continue to advance. Likewise, the current, prevailing design philosophies will continue to see growth in the coming years. These are just a few of the business tech trends that 2021 will bring, but you can also expect to see the expansion of smart homes and offices, among many more evolutions of the current status quo.