Thirty Experts and Their 2021 Predictions


Source: Unsplash

It is the time of year when predictions become a popular topic of conversation. To that end, Fast Company senior writer Mark Sullivan asked startup CEOs, executives at big companies, investors, and other experts for their predictions for the year ahead. Those predictions can be found Here. Here is a glimpse at what thirty experts believe we can expect.

  • An innovation that many will embrace is technology that brings people together. We are social beings that crave human interaction, and the pandemic has amplified our needs in this area.
  • After the pandemic, the anticipated share of working-from-home days is set to triple compared to pre-pandemic levels
  • The pandemic is accelerating the need for in-home technology to be smarter and adapt better to people’s changing needs
  • More open, democratic organizations where information is more widely accessible emerge
  • The patchwork of video conferencing services and collaboration tools will rapidly evolve into more sophisticated and powerful interfaces and networks
  • Companies will need to optimize their in-office setups to make sure that days in the office have collaboration benefits worth the cost of a commute
  • The mixed/hybrid models that many people seem to be aspiring to will present a whole new set of communication and cultural challenges
  • The emergence of deep collaboration software which combines productivity and collaboration functionality in one place to get a specific job done
  • Musicians, fitness instructors, small and big businesses, and even religious institutions will continue to turn to video streaming
  • The data sharing and open collaboration practices that have been crucial to the fight against COVID will lead to greater public-private and cross-industry collaboration moving forward
  • In the new year, enterprises will work diligently to implement 5G technologies
  • As a way to rebalance power, we’ll likely see new data governance models become more popular in 2021 and beyond–like data trusts, which operate as trusted intermediaries between consumers and big tech platforms
  • One-click smart parking will likely be the first experience with autonomous cars for many
  • IDC predicts that global spending on AI will double in the next four years, reaching $110 billion in 2024
  • We don’t expect education to ever fully return to how it was before. AI-driven “adaptive learning” tools have shined during this crisis
  • Coupled with remote testing and monitoring technology, virtual care is clearly here to stay
  • Intelligent orchestration platforms will deliver the holy grail for healthcare providers: better patient outcomes, delivered faster and at reduced cost
  • COVID has accelerated the need for new payment methods like mobile wallets, contactless payments, buy now pay later, and installment methods
  • Conversational commerce will explode in 2021, as businesses look for new ways to engage loyal customers and convert new ones
  • Online shopping will continue to grow rapidly even post the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Over the next year, researchers will be able to accelerate our understanding of climate science by using machine learning to sift through vast amounts of data and more accurately model the future
  • We will see strong momentum in the electric transportation industry, which will affect not just the manufacturers, but a lot of different pieces of the industry, such as batteries
  • We need intelligent solutions to defragment news media, and to establish a unified sense of what is true and real and verifiable

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