Top Emerging Technology Trends to Watch in 2021

Hiring for virtual work

2020 was marked by the global pandemic response. Business continuity became the primary organizational goal of every business.

Survival depended on quickly, securely, going remote.

Social distancing requirements turned existing trends like digitization and remote work, into sudden mandates. Instead of a gradual adoption of new technology, there was a lurch forward.

Technology trends have emerged to improve resilience, increase agility, and protect against risks.

Here are a few of the most prominent trends in technology to watch heading into 2021.

Shift to the Cloud

The cloud provides the ability to operate remotely and be location independent. Companies are shifting to rely on cloud-native technologies for communications, distributed enterprise software, computing architecture, and services.

These cloud-native technologies allow for rapid innovation and breakthroughs.

Distributed cloud services are gaining popularity. This allows companies to have the benefit of cloud computing near their preferred locations, without having to manage their own servers. It also minimizes latency (data processing delays), reduces data costs, and makes it easier to comply with data privacy laws.

Intelligent Composable Business Architecture

Resilience requires company-wide agility. The entire organization must be able to quickly respond to new situations and rearrange accordingly. This goes from personnel right down to the computing architecture.

Composite architecture has emerged as a solution.

Gartner defines this as “packaged, business capabilities built on a flexible data fabric.” It requires modularity, efficiency, informed innovation, and active improvement.

Along with cloud computing, intelligent automation and integrated AI are assisting businesses to become responsively modular.

AI Integration

AI must be well integrated, in order to be scalable and reliable.

AI engineering helps integrate AI into DevOps, instead of keeping it isolated, separated, and for specific projects. This allows companies to gain greater ROI from their AI and maintain using it.

Formative AI is gaining prominence. Formative AI dynamically changes in response to different situations. The ability to generate new models and ways of solving existing problems is an incredible advancement.

Unfortunately, it also brings issues such as deep fakes. These problems are pushing questions of AI ethics into more broad awareness.


Automate, automate, automate. As many processes as possible.

Wherever possible, firms are freeing their back-offices from depending on people. This brings operational resilience, efficiency, and the ability to consistently deliver more.

Robotic, digital processes, pragmatic AI, algorithms, and low-code tools are the stars here. “Robobosses” are now managing security processes, handing out assignments, collecting feedback, rating performance, and even hiring through interviews.

What’s left for people is creativity and strategy.

Zero Trust Network Architecture

A remote, collaborating workforce opens organizations up to critical security vulnerabilities.

Traditional security measures like VPNs are no longer enough. Cloud-based security is in.

The zero-trust idea is that organizations should not automatically trust anything, whether inside or outside. Zero trust networks remove all access to systems until the network can verify identity.

Zero trust networks let companies hide their applications from the internet and control remote access. This allows organizations to keep central control over applications, while selectively distributing access and facilitating operations.

Cybersecurity Mesh

A physically distributed organization needs distributed cybersecurity.

The cybersecurity mesh approach provides modular security that can be centered around certain people or assets. It lets remote workers securely access digital assets.

Without a traditional location-limited workforce, cybersecurity must be flexible, responsive, and scalable.

Algorithmic Trust

AI is biased, news is fake, videos are deepfakes, governments are corrupt, clearing houses are vulnerable, data is at risk…

Algorithms are here to save us.

Organizations are moving towards algorithmic trust to ensure privacy, data security, and asset provenance.

Algorithmic trust is becoming a key solution for the need to authenticate digital identities, monitor AI issues, safeguard personal and biological data, and verify blockchain assets.

No Going Back

There will be no regressing.

A current best-case scenario for the Covid-19 recovery, has social distancing requirements continuing well into next year.

Moving beyond Covid-19 and into the next decade, there will be uncertainties brought on by climate change, security risks, and the challenges of AI.

Firms must prioritize sleek, operational efficiency to maintain continuity.

In 2019, Gartner forecast that by 2023, less than a third of digital workers would choose to work in a corporate office. Now, an estimated 48% of employees will continue to work remotely post-Covid.

The digital, distributed, remote workforce is here to stay.

Having a resilient, distributed workforce means shifting focus onto critical skills over filling set roles. Agility lies in being able to access these skilled, niche individuals at just the right time.

The digital workplace has removed location as a barrier. This opens up possibilities but also forces firms to compete globally for skilled talent.

RHM Staffing Solutions

As experienced recruiters, we understand how to secure top talent across highly-competitive areas.

Get in touch with RHM Staffing Solutions to discover how you can secure talent in a location-independent world.


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