Nobody could have predicted the events of 2020 that changed every corner of the globe forever, including technology. The Top 5 technologies of the future will play a large part in 2021 and beyond. Some will help humans get through the “new normal” like the Internet of Things (IoT). Others, like applied blockchain, will change business transactions, logistics, KYC, education trends and many many more.
Imagine being in the middle of the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918-1920, a period of minimal technology. Commercial air travel was still in its infancy, and seaborn ships were still the standard way to travel between countries. Electric telegraphs were licensed only to telecommunications companies, and only around one in every ten households had a rotary telephone. Imagine if the COVID-19 pandemic had broken out in the 1970s or 80s; no internet and no mobile phones. Concepts like ‘work from home’ and ‘online communications’ would never have seen the light of day.
Fast forward to 2021, today, with the significant advances in technology many tech trends played a big part in helping humans cope with and adapt to the manifold challenges brought on by the pandemic. From the shift to working from home to new rules in how we interact and do business, technology is now the driving force in managing adaptation and change. In reality, many of these tech trends and changes were already predicted to becoming, by many think tanks/business forums/internet crystal balls. The pandemic merely acted as a unexpectedly rapid catalyst for this host of changes and adaptations with bewildering advances in standard online and digital technology. As the old saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The pandemic has provided this driving “necessity.” even when the time comes that the virus is completely eradicated, these tech trends will have shown us how to do a lot of things more efficiently and safely.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has already been a big tech trend since the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. 2021 is seen as the year AI will become an even more valuable tool to interpret and understand the world around us. AI can help us with the numerous data needed for healthcare, diseases and their causes, and the pharmaceuticals needed to prevent the spread of infection and disease. And since more human activity will happen online, through shopping, socialising, virtual working environments, meetings, etc., the challenge for AI will be to understand the changing patterns of human behaviour.
Machine learning is a subset of AI and is already being deployed in many industries and factories using automation technology. While an old set of manual jobs have been lost because of machine learning, it has created a new and massive demand for skilled professionals. Machine learning and automation is predicted to create at least 10 per cent of new jobs globally by 2025. This will include jobs such as content curators, automation specialists, data scientists, and robot monitoring.
With the internet now a commonplace technology in almost all households, appliances, electronics, and a multitude of everyday things are now being manufactured with Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility. This means that everything from kitchen appliances, doorbells and home security, to lighting systems, can all be connected to the internet and each other, explaining why this tech trend is called the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT as a technology is already being used in many smart homes, enabling homeowners to track the whereabouts of family members at home, preheat ovens, and lock doors and windows remotely. IoT enables better safety, efficiency, and decision making when data is collected and analysed. This technology also enables predictive maintenance to be made, speeds up medical and pharmaceutical analysis and diagnosis, and even improve customer service.
People will always think of blockchain technology in terms of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain offers better security for almost all sectors of business and industry. Since blockchain is a digital ledger system, once data is added to the “blocks,” this data cannot be taken away or changed. Also, blockchains are consensus-driven, meaning, no single entity can take control of the data. You no longer need a “trusted third-party” to validate or oversee transactions. Blockchain will be the technology that underpins many other emerging technologies and will create transparent and secure networks. Many job opportunities for blockchain applications are already trending, especially for blockchain consultants, strategists and developers. People can learn blockchain and its applications by taking up an applied blockchain course to become qualified blockchain professional.
Another close cousin to AI and automation, robotics is a technology that can automate jobs and create a new labour force generation. The software needed to run robotic processes needs skilled professionals to develop, run, and interpret process automation, applications, processing transactions, data dealing, and repetitive tasks. This tech trend alone can create 9% of a new global skilled labour force. Even though less than 5% of current jobs can be totally turned over to robots or robotic processes, about 60% can be partially automated.
PREPARING FOR SKILLS OF THE FUTURE
When considering the impact of emerging technologies and how they will change the way we operate, organizations need to go beyond the bottom line and efficiency. Technologies will minimize the need to perform repetitive tasks and reduce the need for workers to complete manual jobs. We are transforming from a jobs-based economy to a skills-based economy. In the coming years, more people will be employed for job functions that involve creative and strategic thinking. In order to take full advantage of emerging technologies, businesses need both a visionary and pragmatic approach. Organizations will be looking for individuals who have upskilled themselves in emerging technologies, who can assist with innovation within the company while creating value for both their consumers and employees.
Organizations are now rethinking their business models by taking advantage of emerging technologies and aligning organizational structures to execute a cohesive strategy and create sustainable innovation. This trend goes well beyond the old short-term equations of cost and efficiency… Are you preparing for the future?
Blockchain Collective is an education body and platform working with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and Universities to deliver a benchmark standard of education that empowers professionals and students with the necessary skills for a future in blockchain technology and applied blockchain.
The Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain 10747NAT is the first-ever in Australia. This course, and the Diploma of Applied Blockchain 10849NAT, also developed by Blockchain Collective, are designed to equip people willing to gain knowledge and experience in applying blockchain solutions to any kind of business framework.