Technology today is evolving at a rapid pace, enabling faster change and progress, causing an acceleration of the rate of change. However, it is not only technology trends and emerging technologies that are evolving, a lot more has changed this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 making IT professionals realize that their role will not stay the same in the contactless world tomorrow. And an IT professional in 2020-21 will constantly be learning, unlearning, and relearning (out of necessity if not desire).
What does this mean for you? It means staying current with emerging technologies and latest technology trends. And it means keeping your eyes on the future to know which skills you’ll need to know to secure a safe job tomorrow and even learn how to get there. All bows to the worldwide pandemic, most of the global IT population is sitting back, working from home. And if you wish to make the most of your time at home, here are the top 9 emerging technology trends you should watch for and make an attempt at in 2021, and possibly secure one of the jobs that will be created by these new technology trends, that includes:
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Edge Computing
- Quantum Computing
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Cyber Security
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has already received a lot of buzz in the past decade, but it continues to be one of the new technology trends because its notable effects on how we live, work, and play are only in the early stages. AI is already known for its superiority in image and speech recognition, navigation apps, smartphone personal assistants, ride-sharing apps and so much more.
Other than that AI will be used further to analyze interactions to determine underlying connections and insights, to help predict demand for services like hospitals enabling authorities to make better decisions about resource utilization, and to detect the changing patterns of customer behavior by analyzing data in the near real-time, driving revenues and enhancing personalized experiences.
Machine Learning the subset of AI, is also being deployed in all kinds of industries, creating a huge demand for skilled professionals. Forrester predicts AI, machine learning, and automation will create 9 percent of new U.S. jobs by 2025, jobs including robot monitoring professionals, data scient
ists, automation specialists, and content curators, making it another new technology trend you must keep in mind too!
2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Like AI and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is another technology that is automating jobs. RPA is the use of software to automate business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, and even replying to emails. RPA automates repetitive tasks that people used to do.
Although Forrester Research estimates RPA automation will threaten the livelihood of 230 million or more knowledge workers or approximately 9 percent of the global workforce, RPA is also creating new jobs while altering existing jobs. McKinsey finds that less than 5 percent of occupations can be totally automated, but about 60 percent can be partially automated.
3. Edge Computing
Formerly a new technology trend to watch, cloud computing has become mainstream, with major players AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform dominating the market. The adoption of cloud computing is still growing, as more and more businesses migrate to a cloud solution. But it’s no longer the emerging technology trend. Edge is.
As the quantity of data organizations is dealing with continues to incre
ase, they have realized the shortcomings of cloud computing in some situations. Edge computing is designed to help solve some of those problems as a way to bypass the latency caused by cloud computing and get data to a data center for processing. It can exist “on the edge,” if you will, closer to where computing needs to happen. For this reason, edge computing can be used to process time-sensitive data in remote locations with limited or no connectivity to a centralized location. In those situations, edge computing can act like mini data centers.
4. Quantum Computing
Next remarkable technology trend is quantum computing, which is a form of computing that takes advantage of quantum phenomena like superposition and quantum entanglement. This amazing technology trend is also involved in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and to develop potential vaccines, thanks to its ability to easily query, monitor, analyze and act on data, regardless of the source. Another field where quantum computing is finding applications is banking and finance, to manage credit risk, for high-frequency trading, and fraud detection.
Quantum computers are now a multitude of times faster than regular computers and huge brands like Splunk, Honeywell, Microsoft, AWS, Google, and many others are now involved in making innovations in the field of Quantum Computing. They project the revenues for the global quantum computing market to surpass $2.5 billion by 2029. And to make a mark in this new trending technology, you need to have experience with quantum mechanics, linear algebra, probability, information theory, and machine learning.
5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
The next exceptional technology trend – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (ER). VR immerses the user in an environment while AR enhances their environment. Although this technology trend has primarily been used for gaming thus far, it has also been used for training, as with VirtualShip, a simulation software used to train U.S. Navy, Army, and Coast Guard ship, captains.
In 2021, we can expect these forms of technologies to be further integrated into our lives. Usually working in tandem with some of the other emerging technologies we’ve mentioned in this list, AR and VR have enormous potential in training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury. Either could be used to train doctors to do surgery, offer museum-goers a deeper experience, enhance theme parks, or even enhance marketing, as with this Pepsi Max bus shelter.
Although most people think of blockchain technology in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain offers security that is useful in many other ways. In the simplest of terms, blockchain can be described as data you can only add to, not take away from or change. Hence the term “chain” because you’re making a chain of data. Not being able to change the previous blocks is what makes it so secure. In addition, blockchains are consensus-driven, so no one entity can take control of the data. With blockchain, you don’t need a trusted third party to oversee or validate transactions.
Several industries are involving and implementing blockchain, and as the use of blockchain technology increases, so too does the demand for skilled professionals. From a birds-eye view, a blockchain developer specializes in developing and implementing architecture and solutions using blockchain technology.
7. Internet of Things (IoT)
Another promising new technology trend is IoT. Many “things” are now being built with Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning they can be connected to the Internet—and to each other. Hence, the Internet of Things, or IoT. The Internet of Things is the future and has already enabled devices, home appliances, cars, and much more to be connected to and exchange data over the Internet.
As consumers, we’re already using and benefitting from IoT. We can lock our doors remotely if we forget to when we leave for work and preheat our ovens on our way home from work, all while tracking our fitness on our Fitbits. However, businesses also have much to gain now and in the near future. The IoT can enable better safety, efficiency, and decision-making for businesses as data is collected and analyzed. It can enable predictive maintenance, speed up medical care, improve customer service, and offer benefits we haven’t even imagined yet.
The next technology trend that follows the IoT is 5G. Where 3G and 4G technologies have enabled us to browse the internet, use data-driven services, increase bandwidths for streaming on Spotify or YouTube and so much more, 5G services are expected to revolutionize our lives. by enabling services that rely on advanced technologies like AR and VR, alongside cloud-based gaming services like Google Stadia, NVidia GeForce Now and much more. It is expected to be used in factories, HD cameras that help improve safety and traffic management, smart grid control, and smart retail too.
Just about every telecom company like Verizon, T-Mobile, Apple, Nokia Corp, Qualcomm, are now working on creating 5G applications. 5G Networks will cover 40% of the world by 2024, handling 25% of all mobile traffic data making it an emerging technology trend you must watch out for, and also save a spot in.
9. Cyber Security
Cyber security might not seem like emerging technology, given that it has been around for a while, but it is evolving just as other technologies are. That’s in part because threats are constantly new. The malevolent hackers who are trying to illegally access data are not going to give up any time soon, and they will continue to find ways to get through even the toughest security measures. It’s also in part because new technology is being adapted to enhance security. As long as we have hackers, cybersecurity will remain a trending technology because it will constantly evolve to defend against those hackers.
As proof of the strong need for cybersecurity professionals, the number of cybersecurity jobs is growing three times faster than other tech jobs. According to Gartner, by 2025, 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk as a primary determinant in conducting third-party transactions and business engagements.