2021 has been an incredibly challenging, unique, and disruptive year in the business world. The pandemic continues to cause chaos in all areas of life while business has attempted to get back to some kind of normality. Tech has played an enormous role in the business world in 2021, and it is hard to imagine how companies would have coped with the latest tech. It is now interesting to look back and determine what the main tech trends were and how they could continue to be useful in 2022, which looks set to be another challenging year for business owners. So, what were the biggest tech trends in 2021?
Remote & Hybrid Work
The most notable trends have been remote and hybrid work. People continue to adjust to working from home, and many companies are planning on sticking with remote or hybrid work for the foreseeable future and even after the pandemic has ended. This is understandable because it can bring a range of benefits to both business owners and employees. Moving forward, it is likely that businesses will start to make more remote hires, which can help companies to cast a much wider net when it comes to recruitment.
Obviously, contactless payments have become the norm and a major trend since the start of the pandemic. It is hard to see cash making a comeback even after the pandemic has ended, so businesses need to make sure that they have the best contactless payment tech that can make it quick, easy, and safe for transactions to be carried out. In addition to this, many businesses have also started to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, and this is likely to accelerate in 2022.
The pandemic has created a huge number of challenges for business owners. As if this was not enough, it has also led to a spike in cybercrime due to so many people working remotely and the increased communication between businesses and their customers (phishing scams have been rife). This is why cybersecurity has been a major trend in 2021, with business owners having to invest in high-quality cybersecurity products and services. Additionally, cybersecurity training has been important as a way to prevent negligence and social engineering attacks. This will continue into 2022 and beyond with cybercrime now being a major threat that all businesses face.
With everyone getting used to video calls in 2020, virtual events emerged as a major trend in 2021, with businesses seeing this as a great opportunity to connect with a much larger audience. Real-life events are valuable, but they are limiting as you can only target those in the local area. With virtual events, you can connect and engage with your target market all over the globe to promote your business. Workshops, lectures, screenings, and Q&A sessions are all proving to be popular virtual events, and this will continue to be a major trend in 2022 and beyond.
With each passing year, AI technology continues to improve and find different uses in the business world. This has certainly been the case in 2021, with companies relying on AI for many important tasks during this challenging period. AI can be used for data analytics, automation, optimizing logistics, increasing output, predicting behavior, and many other uses. This is a type of technology that every business should be using in some capacity by now and will play a major role in 2022.
People have also been using the pandemic as a chance to upskill, learn and improve their abilities. Online learning has been a massive trend in 2021 that has allowed people to progress their careers and improve their performance. Many entrepreneurs have signed up for an online MBA, which is an excellent idea. This can help business owners and managers develop a high level of knowledge in how to develop corporate strategy and be better leaders. Those that complete an MBA online will have the confidence that is needed to run a business in these challenging times and could make all the difference to the success of the business moving forward. Therefore, moving forward, if you haven’t already, consider applying for an online MBA and ensure that you don’t get left behind.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
AR and VR tech has also become more prevalent in 2021, with businesses finding new and exciting ways to use this advanced technology. In a time where there have been restrictions on meetings, businesses can use AR and VR to share virtual spaces with people, and this has helped many businesses to overcome the challenges of Government restrictions while still abiding by them and protecting public health. These immerse technologies can be used in many ways, including virtual events, training, and development, design work, “try before you buy,” and marketing, just as a few examples.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) is another type of tech to emerge that is playing a major role in the business world. With so many devices that have Wi-Fi connectivity, these devices can communicate with one another, and this can be used in all kinds of innovative ways. IoT can enable devices to send data to one another, including wearable tech, appliances, cars, smart devices, and much more. For businesses, this can provide insight into performance, improve customer service, prevent downtime, and much more.
Social media has always been important for businesses, but in 2021 it took on a new level of importance. Social media is the quickest and easiest way for a business to communicate with its target market, so in a fast-changing situation, it has been useful for keeping people updated on the latest changes in the company as a result of the pandemic. It has also given companies the ability to provide customer support and engage with people during such a challenging period.
These are a few of the main tech trends that have shaped the business world in 2021 and will likely play a major role in 2022 as well. It remains a difficult period, but tech can be used in all kinds of ways to help businesses manage during this time.