Emerging Technology Trends to Watch in 2021

Introduction

2020 has been a year that saw the adoption of new technologies, especially with regards to working from home.  As an IT professional, it is important to stay up to date on the emerging trends with regards to technology, and to adapt your skills accordingly. In this article, we will review some of the most important and exciting emerging trends.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence has already received a lot of interest in the past 10 years, but this is likely increase as the technology becomes even more influential on the ways we work, live and play.  AI is already known for its superiority in image and speech recognition, navigation apps, smartphone digital personal assistants, ride-sharing apps and more. The AI market is predicted to grow into an industry valued at $190 billion by 2025; with the market expected to reach a value of $57 billion in 2021.

With the growing influence of AI across multiple sectors, such as software development, programming, testing, support and maintenance, there are likely to be many high-earning salaries available to professionals in these sectors.

Edge Computing

In the past, cloud computing was merely an emerging technology and has since been widely adopted by many businesses. However, cloud computing may not be sufficient where time-sensitive data is important due to the latency shortcomings that cloud computing has. Edge computing is designed to solve these particular issues by using a mini datacentre for processing. Edge computing is predicted to increase as the use of the Internet of Things enabled devices increases. The edge computer market is expected to reach $6.72 billion by 2022, and provide many new jobs to software engineers as this trend continues to grow.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is becoming an increasingly popular and promising new technology.  IoT involves many devices being connected to each other and to the Internet.

As consumers of IoT devices, it is possible to lock doors remotely and preheat the oven while on the way home from work and turn on lights from a connected smartphone. As the sector grows, 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 and improve customer services.

The technology is still only emerging, but is predicted to grow vastly in the future: it is forecast that by 2030, more than 50 billion IoT enabled devices are expected to be in use. The market for IoT is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2022, and other technologies such as 5G are expected to further expand growth in the near future.

Quantum Computing

Another technological trend that is expected to experience significant growth is quantum computing. QC takes advantage of phenomena like superposition and quantum entanglement, and can solve be able to solve certain computational problems, such as integer factorization substantially faster than traditional computers.

This technology 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. Quantum computing is finding new applications in banking and finance, to manage credit risk, for high frequency trading and fraud detection.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality can be explained as immersing the user into the simulated environment, white Augmented Reality enhances the environment. While the technology so far has been mostly used for gaming, it can also be used, for example, for simulation software used to train U.S. Navy, Army and Coast Guard ship captains.

In 2021, we can expect these forms of technologies being further integrated into our lives; there is enormous potential for VR and AR particularly in the fields of training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury.

In estimated 14 million AR and VR devices were sold in 2019; the global AR and VR market is expected to reach $209.2 billion by 2022, which will create more career opportunities in the trending technology, and welcoming more professionals ready for this game-changing field.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity might not necessarily be an emerging technology, but it is constantly evolving and expanding at a rapid pace. The reason for this is because as other technologies develop, the need to keep them secure increases accordingly. With the still ongoing pandemic, remote desktop software has been one of the most used software to work within the “new normal”.

Currently the number of cybersecurity job offers are about three times as many compared to other tech related jobs, and it is predicted that $6 trillion will be spent globally on the cybersecurity sector.

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