2020 was an exciting year for tech. The commercial sector witnessed many revolutionary technologies and innovations, including successful 5G deployments, practical IoT applications, a new era of quantum computing, and cutting-edge automation. It’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago, some of the mainstream technologies we use today were the stuff of science fiction. That just goes to show how quickly technology evolves.
Here are some of the trends poised to influence the tech landscape in 2021:
1. AI and machine learning
AI is currently a big part of everyday life through consumer devices and applications such as Siri, Google Home, and Alexa. For businesses, AI and machine learning have useful applications in automated marketing, customer interactions, data analytics, cybersecurity, and product development. In a recent survey, 73 per cent of businesses said that AI was critical to their operations.
AI and ML technologies will only grow more complex, practical, and popular in 2021, thanks to advancements in computer vision, Big Data, and smart systems.
2. Cloud computing
Cloud computing is a convenient and cost-effective way for organisations to access and utilise powerful computing resources. The cloud services industry is currently worth about $371.4 billion and is expected to reach $832.1 billion in 2025.
The growing need for on-demand services, flexible workplaces, secure data centres, and low-cost IT solutions is the main driving force behind the ever-increasing cloud adoption. This trend will definitely carry forward into 2021 as cloud providers continue innovating newer cloud solutions such as server-less clouds, Kubernetes, and AI as a Service.
3. Customer segmentation and marketing hubs
Multi-channel marketing is a popular e-commerce approach, where marketers blend several promotional, customer outreach, and distribution channels targeting different audiences. Through such an extensive marketing model, businesses can generate leads from social media, storefronts, sales websites, email lists, etc.
The main problem with multi-channel marketing is keeping track of all the different channels. That’s where consumer segmentation and marketing hubs come in. Customer segmentation means dividing consumers into groups based on certain demographic or behavioural characteristics. Marketing hubs are intelligence-based software tools that analyse consumer transactions and behaviour across multiple channels.
Both techniques are highly automated and help businesses build effective personalised marketing experiences. Consumer-centric marketing efforts, such as automated emails, will continue to dominate digital marketing in 2021.
4. Image and video SEO for visual searches
Google returns image results for 19 per cent of all searches. Video searches and results are also popular across streaming platforms, search engines, and social media. The human brain is hardwired to perceive visual information. Marketers have realised the untapped potential of visual SEO and are now capitalising on organic video and image searches.
SEO becomes more competitive, year after year, forcing brands to take a more holistic approach to SEO marketing that covers even the least common optimisation techniques.
5. Interactive content
Interactive media has taken to a whole new level in the past few years with the advent of responsive online infographics, videos, quizzes, images, and utility tools. Unlike passive text, interactive media livens up web content, giving it more depth and making it more engaging.
Although they’re sometimes amusing, interactive web features are not just for fun and games. Some creative web designs heavily utilise interactive content to funnel sales, draw customer feedback, and enhance the shopping experience. In the competitive e-commerce world, 2021 should bring out more clever applications of interactive content.
Keep up with the trends
Now is not the time to be conservative about your IT posture. Many businesses are already ahead of the curve, taking advantage of the unique opportunities and capabilities presented by new technologies. There is no doubt that leveraging technical innovations sharpens an enterprise’s competitive edge.
You simply can’t afford to stand still as the rest of the world moves on to better, faster, cheaper, and easier ways of doing things. Stay ahead of the tech trends in 2021 and the coming years to bring your business at par with new and emerging standards.