Four Disruptive Technologies That Will Define 2021

Four Disruptive Technologies That Will Define 2021

Adopting new technologies is the need of the hour for businesses

Technology is a big part of our daily lives. Every year new technologies are developed to cater to the unmet needs of businesses, both small and big. The adoption of popular technologies, like cloud computing and artificial intelligence, was vital during the pandemic. However, not every technology holds the potential for disruption. Businesses must focus on identifying the disruptive technologies that will have a long-term impact within a market or an industry.

In the article “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave,” Clayton Christensen and co-writer Joseph Bower, popularized the theory of disruptive technologies. According to Christensen, one of the most consistent patterns in business is the failure of leading companies to stay at the top of their industries when technologies or markets change. He writes, “Why is it that established companies invest aggressively–and successfully–in the technologies necessary to retain their current customers but then fail to make the technological investments that customers of the future will demand?”. Christensen further emphasizes that managers must first spot disruptive technologies to remain at the top of their industries. With its constant evolution, only a few technologies will be able to accelerate disruption this year.

Here we look at four disruptive technologies that will define 2021:

Edge Computing 

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented growth of new disruptive technologies, and edge computing is one of them. In simple terms, edge computing is a distributed computing model that brings computation and data storage closer to the source or service consumers. 

Processing the data at the edge(source) reduces the need for communication between the consumer and server. With work-from-home (WFH) becoming the new normal, many people rely heavily on digital platforms and data-sharing tools. Edge computing technology seems to be the only savior in times like these. According to Worldwide Edge Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide edge computing market will reach $250.6 billion in 2024.

“With the ability to place infrastructure and applications close to where data is generated and consumed, organizations of all types are looking to edge technology as a method of improving business agility and creating new customer experiences,” says Dave McCarthy, research director, Edge Strategies, IDC.

5G

Several updates have been released every year related to the integration of 5G technology for business growth. With countries like South Korea, China and the United States leading the 5G revolution, the fifth generation cellular technology will undoubtedly change the world in coming years. 

The technology offers higher speed, massive network capacity and lower latency than its predecessor 4G technology. According to an EY survey, pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing organizations to accelerate their emerging technology agenda–with 5G playing a pivotal role. The survey also highlights that the pandemic has increased several organizations’ interest in 5G technology.

Cybersecurity mesh

Cybersecurity mesh is not a new term, but it has become much more critical with the rapid digital adoption in recent years. According to Gartner, the cybersecurity mesh enables anyone to securely access any digital asset, no matter where the asset or person is. 

Gartner’s report also emphasizes that by 2025, the cybersecurity mesh will support over half of digital access control requests. “As anywhere operations continue to evolve, the cybersecurity mesh will become the most practical approach to ensure secure access to, and use of, cloud-located applications and distributed data from uncontrolled devices,” says Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner.

Internet of behaviors (IoB)

Internet of Behavior, also termed IoB, provides companies data about consumers’ behavior, interests, and preferences. According to Gartner, by 2023, individual activities will be tracked digitally by an “Internet of Behavior” to influence benefit and service eligibility for 40 percent of people worldwide. 

The technology extending from the Internet of Things (IoT) can link a person digitally to their actions. For example, linking your image as documented by facial recognition with an activity such as purchasing a train ticket can be tracked digitally. The IoB technology can become the best sales and marketing medium for businesses across many industrial verticals.

Header image courtesy of Unsplash

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Nidhi Singh
A self-confessed Bollywood lover, travel junkie, and food evangelist. I like traveling and I believe it is essential to take your mind off the daily monotony. I’ll be reporting on stories from Asia's entrepreneurial ecosystem and can’t wait to get going!

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