The past decade has lead to an explosion of technology and innovation that has changed how we work. Software developers have worked tirelessly to solve countless problems, from tracking the gas mileage of company fleets to gathering product data on items in beta testing. The best part is that new ideas and tools are right around the corner. Check out a few of the top tech trends for 2021 that business owners are looking forward to.
Increased Demand for Custom-Built Tools
Off-the-shelf software has revolutionized the tech sphere. Previously, companies would have to hire software developers and build clunky in-house systems that easily became outdated. Then, teams could find startup suppliers that sold niche B2B software tools, making them much more affordable and launching the powerful software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry. In 2021, teams are moving to the third wave of software demand: custom tools.
Expect to see enterprises and startup brands looking for an experienced software development company to work they. They want an off-the-shelf style tool built just for them — or the benefits of an in-house system that is still outsourced. This hybrid-development model will increase its popularity with the coming year.
Better Data Curation and Organization
Tools and equipment of all sizes now collect data, from the refrigerator that monitors different food items to air conditioning systems that report on customer use. While this data is plentiful, it can still easily be corrupted or lost, leading to a need for master data management solutions.
Data management software ensures that the data a business uses is consistent and accurate. It checks the data sources and alerts IT departments if the data is corrupt or unreliable. This allows teams to adjust the data collection process to ensure accuracy for regulatory compliance of everything from anti-money laundering laws to PSD2. Without a master data system, teams risk making decisions from wrong numbers, possibly leading to financial harm for the business in question.
Location Independence With COVID-19
Gartner recently reviewed a few leading trends for 2021 and highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic will still affect technology and business. Throughout 2020, businesses transitioned to remote work, driving increased demand for video conferencing tools, VPNs, and cloud storage. With 2021 around the corner, companies will continue to invest in mobile apps and workflow tools that enable workers to sign on wherever they are.
Remote work may very well continue through 2021 because of the pandemic — and even longer as some companies transition to full-time remote teams. Companies need to be able to access data wherever their team members are and from almost any device that has internet access.
People-First Artificial Intelligence
When developers started using AI and machine learning, the main focus was on deployment and data quality. Teams were so focused on answering, “can we build that?” that they didn’t have time to focus on creating a good user experience.
Not that these analytics tools have become more common, software teams are working to make them more usable. Increased usability means increased demand, and therefore lower barriers to enter and software developers can offer their tools for lowers costs. While startups with VC funding and enterprise teams may be able to afford to hire a custom developer, many smaller firms are still looking for existing solutions.
Expect the see companies expect their AI tools to have a people-first focus, as companies start to look for usability with their software investments.
Companies are still learning what they need in terms of tools and technology. As we develop more solutions, businesses can do more with less and focus on big-picture problems that plague the industry. This is why 2021 will be a year of improved insight and intelligence.
Interesting related article: “What is AI?“