Looking into the post-2020 future of Big Tech

The year isn’t over, not for more than two months. But it sure feels like 2020 should end soon, seeing as how one pandemic-stressed, politics-inflamed day bleeds into the next.

Nevertheless, it might be healthy to start putting 2020 behind us. It’s been a disruptive year in high tech, as in every other industry, but it’s also been a highly public proving ground for cloud, streaming, artificial intelligence, and other pillars of 21st century civilization.

Tech has been the economy’s mainstay during the pandemic

As we squint past the upcoming US presidential election into the new year, the following trends will shape the technology landscape for the rest of this decade, regardless of who occupies the White House on January 20.

For starters, the pandemic will drag on longer than people would like to believe. Distancing, quarantining, and lockdowns will still hammer the global economy for at least another 6 to 12 months. However, the tech sector has already figured out how to keep operating in spite of these obstacles. Just as important, its customers now rely intimately on cloud, streaming, remote collaboration, robotics, smart sensors, and other digital technologies in order to stay alive.

In 2021, enterprise technology professionals will adjust their strategies with one eye on COVID-19 trends and the other on their digital transformation initiatives. Predictive containment management will become a central element of every facilities administrator’s high-tech toolkit.

Socially distanced living will persist long past the present pandemic’s end. People will continue to socially distance in most public interactions for at least the next three to five years. Through fits and starts, the global culture is getting used to personal protective equipment, ubiquitous biosensors, contactless interactions, remote collaboration, sanitization-intensive maintenance, and other changes in how we live and work. Many of these new living styles depend on AI, cloud services, mobile devices, robotics, and other technological platforms.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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