If in 2020 technology was at the tip of people’s tongues and was the focus of many companies that, during the new coronavirus pandemic, sought to digitize themselves to become more competitive, 2021 should be no different.

In a ranking sent exclusively , the global management consultancy Bain & Company anticipated 10 technological trends that should dominate the year 2021 – among them Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has been gaining space in recent years and becoming increasingly important for a variety of markets.

1. Limit of Artificial Intelligence

 it is a network infrastructure that allows artificial intelligence algorithms to be executed at the end of a network, that is, closer or even on the devices that collect the data”, explains the company in a statement . According to the consultancy, the acceleration of the movement happened mainly due to the sudden changes in network traffic that accompanied the blockades of the covid-19 and the need to work at home.

“The benefits of this trend include preserving bandwidth and increasing efficiency by processing information closer to users and devices rather than sending that data for processing to central locations in the cloud. By incorporating AI locally, manufacturers can reduce the latency issues and accelerate the generation of insights, while decreasing the use and cost of cloud services, “he says.

With this, the cost of connectivity also falls, since the processing by the data locally reduces the bandwidth and the use of the cell data. “And because intelligence is being carried out locally, factories located in remote areas with poor communication infrastructure are less subject to
connectivity losses that can prevent mission-critical and urgent decisions.”

2. 5G for what I want you

The second trend that may come on strong this year is the 5G network in factories. According to an IHS Markit survey, the World Economic Forum expects the fifth generation mobile network to reach global economic output of $ 13.2 trillion and generate 22.3 million jobs by 2035.

According to Bain & Company, with the change, “a big and rapid advance in industry 4.0 and the industrial internet of things” is expected to happen. “Able to meet the power requirements of millions of connections for data-intensive applications, 5G is expected to boost the manufacturing industry with new and more powerful digital resources,” says the consultancy.

Bain & Company explains that 5G, up to 100 times faster than 4G, offers dramatically reduced latency, “which makes it possible to share data extremely quickly, eliminate processing delays and ensure that factory systems can react in real time . “

Another point that will strengthen the fifth generation network, is the reliability of 5G connectivity, which “guarantees a stable and constant network connection anywhere and anytime on the shop floor, ensuring the continuous and unimpeded execution of critical missions. 5G could even usher in an era of machine-to-machine communication. “

3. Growth in insurance

Estimates from the use-based insurance market (UBI) project that it will reach up to $ 126 billion by 2027. According to the consulting firm Gartner, growth should “connect with the development of the so-called ‘telematics’, which is the use of wireless devices and ‘black box’ technologies to transmit real-time data back to an organization. “

4. Even more Artificial Intelligence

According to  The Economist Intelligence Unit , banks and insurers are expected to increase their investments in AI by 86% by 2025 – and, for Bain & Company, companies need to exploit the full potential of Artificial Intelligence. “Employees with little or no computer science training need to be able to use it to increase their operational performance,” he says.

That is why, according to the consultancy, simpler AI platforms should emerge, to allow employees to create models quickly, understand and trust their results easily, and make decisions safely.

5. Cybersecurity

The covid-19 crisis, according to Interpol, created an unprecedented opportunity for internet scams to escalate. According to Fortinet, a company specializing in cybersecurity, 2020 registered an increase in the number of cyber attacks worldwide.

That’s why, for the consultancy, “identifying common IT security weaknesses and developing cybersecurity maturity is critical to building truly resilient digital organizations.”

With the high cost of absenteeism for companies, which can cost billions of dollars a year, retail, according to the consultancy, is particularly dependent on face-to-face interactions between customers and store employees, “something that covid-19 has made especially challenging . “

According to Bain, about 88% of global retailers prefer to work with extra workforce than risk running out of staff. This approach leads to high labor costs and lower profits.

For the consultancy, what can solve the situation are the technologies of workforce management, substantially increasing the agility and responding to the peaks of activity and absenteeism of the employees which, according to Bain, would improve the operational performance and the profitability of the companies .

7. Health data

The big data market in healthcare is expected to reach almost 70 billion dollars in 2025 – almost six times higher than in 2016, when it was 11.5 billion dollars. Driven by the covid-19 pandemic, the rapid acceleration of health data collection offers the sector an unprecedented opportunity to leverage and deploy innovative digital resources, such as AI, to improve treatment.

“The intelligent use of health data has the potential to dramatically improve patient care,” says Bain.

8. The new HR

The human resources area has been growing in recent years and estimates indicate that, in 2025, millennials will be responsible for 3/4 of the global workforce.

With the entry of more people of this generation into the job market, organizations will need to work with an increasingly digital group, modernizing recruitment.

“Using technology to develop an innovative hiring process can improve the performance of HR teams and allow faster identification of the most promising candidates, while meeting the expectations of a new generation of talent,” says Bain & Company .

9. Circular economy

The penultimate trend that is expected to gain strength in 2021, is “the shift from transactional relationships based on the sale
of products to a production and consumption model that involves sharing, renting, reusing and recycling existing materials and products is gaining momentum according to the preferences of consumers. consumers and shareholders move towards sustainability. “

According to Bain & Company, companies are under increasing pressure to reduce the natural resources consumed in the production of services and products – such as Apple, for example, which removed its chargers from the boxes of their devices to “avoid waste in the environment”.

10. No waste

In line with the circular economy, another trend that is expected to become even stronger this year is the drop in food waste. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 30% of the world’s food is lost or wasted every year.

For Bain, “using technology to reduce waste can significantly decrease food discarded by retailers and businesses, increase food security and alleviate the suffering of hundreds of millions of hungry people.” In 2019, the figure was estimated at approximately 821 million people.