Features, Insight, Opinion

Tech opportunities in a post-COVID-19 era

By Christoph Dobler, Head of Region Middle East & Africa, Dynabook Europe GmbH

COVID-19 has had an era-defining impact on both our personal and professional lives. The acceleration of remote working has seen businesses of all sizes turn to technology to meet the needs of a newly distributed workforce and maintain efficiency. 2020 accelerated many technology trends already in motion. In 2021, we’ll see these trends continue to take off at speed, with new internet-of-things (IoT) applications, technologies, and solutions reaching every sector.

Remote business will open up new, unexpected use cases for wearables and mixed realities

The unprecedented working environment created by the pandemic has propelled technologies like assisted reality (AR) forward beyond proofs of concept and demonstrating the potential of wearables in driving collaboration amongst remote teams. Smart glasses provide a vehicle for interactive remote communication through document retrieval, workflow instructions and real-time data capture. COVID-19 has provided a unique opportunity for business leaders to re-assess and re-imagine their need for a traditional four-walled office, paving the way for 2021 to be the year that digitally savvy businesses double down on smart technologies to enable remote business.

2021 will bring quicker proof of concept to roll out

In this extraordinary time, businesses have learnt how to adapt, and progress more quickly than ever expected. As we move into 2021 and beyond, we expect this trend to come with us as businesses continue at an accelerated rate of learning. Yet while proof of concepts for new technologies will be much quicker from experimentation to roll out phases, businesses will need to keep an eye on three key factors: data security, scalability and usability.

2020 has highlighted the need for accelerated automation in 2021  

Unsurprisingly, 2021 will see a new and changed workplace, and technology will be needed to support it. Automation has been on the business agenda for years now, but as social distancing rules remain in place going into 2021, automation and robotics will likely become a core competence of multiple sectors in the foreseeable future.

IoT in healthcare will continue to increase, but not without stumbling blocks

While IoT in the medical sector has been on prediction lists for some years now, it will see a renewed importance in 2021. A number of people stayed home in 2020, leaving long-term illnesses untreated. In 2021, the rise of telemedicine and remote diagnosis will see healthcare professionals able to proactively monitor, support and provide care for these patients’ health at home. That said, IoT infrastructure, a lack of industry expertise, and security will remain a challenge.

As we enter 2021, and businesses look to establish the next “normal”, it’s likely that we’ll continue learning and innovating at an accelerated pace. Now, more than ever, we will see technology transform businesses in almost every sector.

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