Written by: Jeff Dann, President of RJ2 Technologies
This year has been a carousel ride for the ages. Businesses are struggling to keep afloat while others have had windfall success. The stock market has been soaring while individual bank accounts are drained after a lifetime of hard work. There were winners and losers in every scenario but if growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania taught me anything, it’s that you help your neighbor and when you get knocked down you get back up stronger. The cliché saying is true – we are not measured by how many times we get knocked down, but what we do each time we get back up!
Failure is fundamental to knowledge and knowledge is a precursor to corrective resiliency. I believe this will be one of the fundamental trends of 2021. So, let us learn from this year and adapt to focus on what we can make of next year and beyond. It seems presumptive to make predictions while we row in choppy seas with no compass to chart our way, yet, when you read the signs certain predictable trends become apparent and critical for success in 2021.
In many ways this pandemic will become a catalyst for change. Although it may leave with the same speed as it arrived, the course of change has already grown roots. From my technology seat, I see five trends being dominate next year.
First – Business Resiliency. Resilience can be defined as the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, and the ability to recoil or spring back from forces pushing one out of shape. Companies will strive to protect and build-in resiliency to products and services offerings that combat the forces of change around us. More so now than ever before, companies must transform into a more flexible and resilient organization that can deal with uncertainty and adapt quickly to a rapidly changing business environment. If you do not adapt you will become obsolete.
Second – Artificial Intelligence. Self-correcting automation to continuously steer the ship in a defined direction around all the corners and over all the obstacles along the way. Taking the technology extreme of self-driving cars as an example, consider critical line of business applications that drive business to do more with less. Software that interrupts events/actions into fast calculations to immediately provide course correction to an end goal. Think of Cybersecurity potential here!
Third – As-A-Service Revolution. Critical and redundant tasks are bundled into a “done for you” outsourced service. With the distribution of cloud services and the capacity of wireless bandwidth, outsourced solutions will take on a new meaningful place in many organizations. Reducing human capital and hardware requirements to fund automated systems designed for a laser focus on speed, accuracy and return on investment benefits. The “As-A-Service Revolution” allows businesses to focus on what they do best and to partnering with results-oriented solutions that increase capacity and flexibility.
Fourth – Enhanced Connectivity (5G). Advanced technology has created a vast potential for connectivity. The introduction of 5G being closely followed by even faster wireless capability, the previously mentioned trends will be enhanced by this speed and worldwide capabilities like we have never even considered before. Real-time anywhere and anytime capability will explode in years to come changing how and where we work. An example might be you will not “watch” movies anymore, but you will be in the movie. Movie plots revolve around the choices you make and how you interact virtually with the environment and other virtual actors. Netflix has already dabbled with this concept with their movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Fifth – The New Remote Workforce. 2021 will see big office environments being replaced with work from wherever you are. This shift will create a global workforce that taps into local, regional, national, and worldwide talent capability stretching your capacity to perform work 24/7/365. Projects that took a month can be done in a week, hoteling space in the offices will be replaced by hoteling positions like a relay race handing off the workload from one employee to another across the globe; in turn, shortening production time and completion deadlines. Just think, the employee working down the hall now can work efficiently from anywhere – even the beach. More importantly, what’s the impact to employee retention and culture?