My Top 7 Technology Predictions for 2021

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Nobukhosi Dlamini, Managing Director,  Bahati TechNobukhosi Dlamini, Managing Director, Bahati Tech
This year has thrown most of our plans out the window and forced technology managers to reconsider their priorities. While the pandemic has meant that some projects were put on hold, it also has forced companies to fast track or accelerate other interventions that enable and support the new realities that we are facing. The coming year will see a number of trends in response to the year we have just had, but also in anticipation of what we see our working world looking like going forward. Here are my top 7 technology predictions for the new year 2021:

1. Remote working and collaboration tools and platforms: The most obvious one is the need for us to implement technology solutions that enable remote working and collaboration. The unprecedented fast-tracking of employees working from home has also meant the rapid adoption of cloud-based technologies. This will continue into 2021 as more companies migrate their on-premise technologies to the cloud or implement hybrid models as part of their cloud migration strategies.

2. Increasing digital enablement of traditional services: The 2020 period has forced a lot of "traditional" businesses who were not digitally enabled to consider pivoting in order to remain competitive under the pandemic restrictions.
This has exposed many businesses to the various opportunities that exist in the digital sphere that they were not leveraging previously. Consumers have also come to expect digital services for services that they would have engaged physically pre-Covid19 ranging from buying groceries to ordering on-demand beauty services to be carried out in the safety of their own homes and everything in-between.

3. Re-imagining tacit knowledge transfer: One of the benefits of working in an office is the explicit and tacit knowledge transfer that happens through the daily interactions with colleagues and more experienced supervisors. More junior staff often do not know what they do not know or cannot always learn by explicitly asking questions. This raises the challenge of upskilling junior employees when everyone is working remotely and not based in the same location. Explicit knowledge transfer can be easily addressed through training and knowledge transfer plans. However, companies are going to have to be more deliberate about tacit knowledge transfer and embedding it into the company culture. There is opportunity for tech solutions in facilitating this process and incentivising positive behaviours.

4. Hardening of cybersecurity culture in critical infrastructure organisations: More and more attacks are happening around critical infrastructure and we're also seeing the rise in ransomware targeting critical public infrastructure. In 2021 we will see an increase in security culture in these environments including better preparations, response and recovery plans. At Bahati Tech we will be increasing the role that we play in this space and we'll be releasing some tools and resources to fast-track the process towards better security around critical infrastructure.

5. Increased focus on behavioral analytics within cybersecurity:This year has seen a steep increase in data breaches and cyber attacks both in the public and private sectors. And despite all of the security solutions in the market, end user behavior is usually the weak point that introduces a breach or enables an attack to occur. The combination of analytics and machine learning can help to create customised protection thereby limiting vulnerabilities. Bahati Tech will also be releasing a solution in this space and that is something we look forward to.

6. Increase in solutions that allow consumers to exercise ownership over their data: As more data protection laws come into play, we will see users wanting to exercise their rights and autonomy over what data companies have and what they do with it. This will also help customers hold portable data records that they can grant access to different organisations instead of providing multiple companies with sensitive data to process and hold.

7. Transparency of how applications are using data: This year we saw some popular applications exposed for using consumer data in an unauthorised way when the iOS14 highlighted when an app was accessing the consumers' clipboard data. This rightfully raised concerns over privacy violations and forced these apps to comply with data protection policies and expectations. We're going to see more and more operating systems and platforms introducing native capability to notify users of data that is being used by specific apps when it is not visually apparent.