With a new year comes new technology trends, which are largely determined by world events and business trends. So what emerging innovations can we expect to see over the next 12 months? Let’s examine 2021 technology predictions amidst a unique environment of political upheaval, combined with a pandemic.
COVID-19 Will Continue to Drive Innovation
World events are a clear driver of medical and technological innovation and few things have been as influential as the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with vaccines on the market in 2021, it’ll take time to vaccinate the human population to the point where we achieve “herd immunity.” So until that occurs, we’ll continue to work remotely and maintain social distancing inside our homes. This prompted several 2021 technology predictions, including the following:
• Delivery Drones — The FAA has cleared the way to allow for delivery drones, which could soon take flight if Amazon and UPS have their way. This decision would allow retailers to deliver parcels with greater speed. The need for delivery drones has never been greater, as the pandemic has prompted shoppers to increasingly opt for home delivery in an attempt to stay safe. But even once the pandemic ends, many shoppers are expected to continue ordering items to their home thanks to the tremendous convenience.
• Cloud Technology — The movement toward remote work has really underscored the importance of the cloud, as employees have had to abandon their offices for months at a time. We will see more and more companies abandoning traditional servers in favor of faster, more secure and more affordable cloud platforms.
• Security Advances — With more companies going virtual and accommodating remote workers, many have realized the vulnerabilities that exist within their systems. As a result, we can expect to see a greater focus on VPNs and other virtual security solutions.
• Automation Solutions — Countless companies have seen slowed productivity levels in an attempt to keep people safe and socially distanced. More and more businesses are taking this opportunity to embrace automation, particularly Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Automation will not only increase productivity, but it will also free humans to focus on higher-level tasks that cannot be accomplished by a robot, computer or machinery.
• Virtual Collaboration — Virtual collaboration has become a critical component that’s vital for success in the business world amidst the COVID-19 era. But the virtual collaboration toolset is fairly limited to Zoom and similar platforms. We will almost certainly see new virtual collaboration platforms emerging in the coming months, with new tools and capabilities to help facilitate virtual interactions.
Micro Apps Will Become More Commonplace
Micro apps hold tremendous potential that retailers and other businesses are only now just beginning to appreciate. A micro app is a web-based application, so there’s no download required, making it perfect for short-term or one-time usage. In the iOS ecosystem, these are called App Clips, while in Android, they are called Instant Apps.
So how do micro apps work? Let’s say you walk into a store; beacon technology would be utilized to detect your device and a notification would pop up, asking if you’d like to utilize the store’s micro app during your visit. You tap the “yes” button and a clever retail store app begins running on your device. This engaging app helps to improve your browsing experience, as you can summon a store employee or look up the location of items on your shopping list — a feature that’s very important during a pandemic, since you want to get in and out quickly! And if an item is out of stock, the micro app allows you to place an order so items can be delivered to your doorstep the next day. Once you leave the store, the micro app automatically closes and doesn’t leave any residual data on your device. Users enjoy the functionality of a mobile app, without the hassle of installing and uninstalling (or offloading) an app.
Businesses in a wide variety of different industries can make use of a micro app. For instance, a lecturer could share the micro app with all attendees at a speaking event simply by leaving a QR code on the table or on signage as people enter the room. The micro app could enable audience members to submit questions, access reference materials, view the presentation on their device and register for the speaker’s e-newsletter.
The beauty of micro apps is the fact that they run on the web, so there’s no installation required. This is ideal for scenarios where a user could benefit from a mobile app, albeit on an infrequent or one-time basis.
Micro apps are the next generation of mobile applications and we can expect to see this technology becoming more commonplace in 2021.
Snowflake Cloud Data Solutions Will Gain Popularity
Snowflake data cloud services leverage cutting-edge technology to create a responsive, scalable and affordable data platform that can benefit businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Snowflake’s data cloud solutions hold the potential to transform the way businesses leverage data, from providing highly-secure data storage services to allowing for lightning fast data processing and beyond. Snowflake and other cloud-based platforms allow customers to pay for the resources they utilize on an on-demand basis, which makes the cloud great for scalability and affordability.
In 2020, Snowflake was a relatively new cloud data platform that entered the mainstream market to become the world’s largest-ever software IPO. But even with stock prices soaring, there are many companies that have yet to migrate their data to the cloud due to the time, complexity and cost of such an endeavor. But the long term benefits of Snowflake data cloud solutions far exceed the one-time costs of migrating to this platform — a realization that more and more business leaders will acknowledge in 2021.
It’s a fair assumption that in 2021, people will take notice of the early adopters who took the plunge with Snowflake technology. The advantages enjoyed by these early adopters are many and varied, which will certainly give more cautious business leaders the confidence to proceed with Snowflake data cloud solutions. The Snowflake data cloud platform provides companies with the flexibility to do business anytime and anywhere, aligning with the movement toward a virtual work environment.
More Developers Will Opt for a Unified Codebase
A React Native unified codebase could very well see a massive rise in 2021, as businesses seek out fast and cost-effective mobile development solutions. A React Native unified codebase approach allows you to build an app that works on any device, which slashes development time and cost in half since you won’t need to develop multiple native apps for iOS and Android.
React Native is one of the most flexible forms of unified codebase. The framework was a brain child of Facebook, allowing developers to create an app that works across a wide variety of devices, including iOS, Android, Android TV, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows and UWP. As the name suggests, React Native leverages React framework, combined with native capabilities that were previously only available on a native framework.
We’re predicting that the pandemic, combined with the emergence of new mobile devices, will push developers toward a unified codebase, as this gives you broad coverage for a wider variety of mobile users.
At 7T, our development team enjoys taking on a challenge, breaking ground with new, innovative technology. A leading Dallas software and mobile app development company, 7T also specializes in enterprise software development and data cloud implementations. Our team integrates cutting-edge solutions into virtually every development project. From mobile app development, to custom software projects such as CRM platforms or ERP development, we’re ready to deliver collaborative, multi-phased software development services.
7T has offices in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Austin, but our clientele spans far beyond Texas and the midwest. If you’re ready to harness the power of a custom software platform and today’s most innovative technologies, contact 7T today.