Information and communications technology (or ICT for short) has more or less helped bridge the world over the last year. Furthermore, the world predicts similar trends in the year ahead. Here’s a broad overview of how and why some technologies will be of greater use in 2021.

Connectivity is vital to expand upon

Right before hard lockdown last year, government designated certain work sectors as essential services. It was not surprising when the country placed the majority of ICT-based technologies on the essential services list. What’s more, workers in these service fields obtained a much greater degree of mobility, in order to continue onboarding people and businesses so that they had access to these services.

Connectivity (i.e. Internet access and telecommunications in general) is probably chief among these services. This is because communicating information is, now more than ever before, critical to overcoming the challenges we face. The fact that connectivity is primarily a commodity these days does not lessen the impact that it has. And this will not change anytime soon.

Connectivity has such a profound impact on everyday lives, and an even more profound one during crises. Consider a simple list of things you can achieve when you are connected:

  • Receive important news updates (e.g. Covid-19 information)
  • Communicate with and reassure friends, family members and colleagues (think of technologies like VoIP, teleconferencing etc.)
  • Manage your finances (e.g. online banking, investments and the flow of money in general)
  • Shop for food and medicine (particularly useful for those at high risk when coming into contact with others)
  • Obtain a myriad of other services

For those already connected and familiar with these, consider how much easier they made your life last year. And now spare a thought for those not connected, and who had to brave lockdown schedules and contact with others to achieve the very same results. Bridging digital divides is what connectivity does best. In developing nations, during difficult times, one cannot underestimate the effect that it has.

For 2021, connectivity will ensure we’re up to date. We will also use it to discover new opportunities for improvement, employment and social growth.

R&D, manufacturing and supply chain processes are improving…and so are the technologies they’re based on

If you have a good hard look at the world right now, there is one overriding goal: manufacture and distribution of enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to inoculate billions. It isn’t hyperbole to say that we’ve never faced a situation like this before as a modern group of societies. Given this, it’s natural that we’ve seen tremendous advances in all the processes associated with combatting the pandemic. Just one example of this is how software vendors have adopted a whole new category of workplace safety.

Of course, all of these processes demand more resources, particularly digital ones. Technology such as cloud and hosted services will continue to grow at unprecedented rates, in terms of both scope and capabilities. Also tied to this are advances in AI and machine learning, which are already invaluable in the current climate. Finally, all these resources will require expert support to provide and maintain. This requirement means we should also see a rise in the use of Managed Services, particularly in cases where distance is a factor. This is because you can, in an ideal situation, leverage Managed Services remotely once you complete the initial onboarding.

Data security and privacy no longer an option

For the past year, you could barely tune in to technology news without hearing about another ransomware attack. Many instances of new datasets created worldwide also meant a large rise in malware attacks. Unfortunately, even critically important sectors such as healthcare were not immune. For 2021, we thus expect to see a meteoric rise in the use of technologies to curb the threat of malware attacks. This is particularly because the predictions for 2021 are far from rosy.

On the local front, perhaps this revolution couldn’t have come at a better time, for two reasons. Firstly, with the impending go-live date of the Protection of Personal Information Act only a few months away, it’s the perfect opportunity to revise and upgrade good data processing practices side by side with your digital security practices. These two dovetail more often than not, and it makes sense to have the upgrade processes complement one another. That way, you’re more likely to spot gaps and inconsistencies, and you’re also making use of a larger skill pool, which means a better overall result.

Secondly, digital security, or cybersecurity, is already touted as a crucially advantageous skill to learn for 2021. Developing these skills not only contributes to a safer and more stable digital environment, it also makes you a better prospective candidate for employment in any field. With unemployment soaring and infosec skills highly prized, we’re very likely to see a large uptake in the relevant training and qualifications in the months ahead, so make sure you and your organisation don’t miss out.

Adept is a long-standing provider of the skills and technologies set out above, and we’re proud to be a contributor, no matter how big or small, to helping take steps towards the betterment of people and society. All the best for 2021 to all!