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The gravity9'ers Top Digital Trends for 2021


22 Dec 2020 | Emma Benham

It’s probably safe to say we are all looking forward to 2021 and the light at the end of the tunnel it holds for many. However, when it comes to the digital world 2020 served to accelerate many existing trends. Digital transformation leapfrogged years of development with organisations accelerating their digital offerings in weeks in direct response to the new world we were thrown into. While these transformations have manifested themselves in a wide variety of formats, we have all reaped the rewards of this new digital world we now live in enabling us to be together while apart and continue to work effectively and, feel connected.

And, as we look forward to 2021 there are some equally exciting digital advancements on the horizon While we could chat about 5G, IoT or cyber security, all of which we know will explode in 2021, these are the digital trends we at gravity9 are most excited about.

1. Small Product and Service Provision

With collaborative opportunities limited over the last nine months, businesses had to evolve in order to cope. Now as we reach a point where we can begin to collaborate again, the development of smaller new digital products and services to support our new world is going to take off. While we all want to get back to seeing one another in person again, the way in which we work, shop, learn, conduct business etc has shifted in a way we can’t go back from. This new world way of living has brought us convenience and on demand services which we will see expanded through the provision of new digital products and services that help small business, schools and the community. We can’t wait to see what happens next in this space, and hope to be a part of it.

2. Cloud Migration

In our latest Digital Matters podcast with Cloudsoft’s Aled Sage and Alasdair Hodge, we discussed Cloud migration and how this is only going accelerate. As the pace of Cloud deployment becomes more dynamic and the Cloud itself more accessible Cloud is been seen for what is really is; an enabler of innovation. With the landscape evolving every year, Aled and Alasdair predict we will see an ever more blurring of the lines over what Cloud means and further growth in Hybrid Cloud for large organisations.

3. AI

AI is already engrained in our everyday lives, but we really are just scratching the surface of what it is capable of. Jack Hampson CEO of our Data Science partner Deeper Insights believes 2021 will bring much more commoditisation of AI with lower barriers to entry for mid-tier enterprises that are looking to automate more and reduce overheads, opening it up to a much wider market. With many digital projects now encompassing elements of AI, it will play a significant role in supporting and simplifying our day to day lives.

Dr Catarina Carvalho, Deeper Insights Computer Vision expert foresees mixed reality, a blend of the digital and physical worlds, an augmented reality becoming widely adopted.  The powerful combination of virtual reality and augmented reality can be used for virtual-meetings, education and tourism.  Emotional AI is also an area that is likely to become more popular, “Companies are interested in understanding the feelings of their users, this data can be leveraged to support a wide range of applications including; marketing, consumer analysis, safety and autonomous driving” said Dr Carvalho.  The possibilities for AI are endless and very exciting.

4. Digital First

It is inevitable digital modernisation will continue at speed. No longer are we in a world of lifting and shifting existing systems and programmes into new environments, instead we will rethink and rebuild business in a Digital First world. Much like with Cloud migration, organisations are having to react and respond at pace to the evolving landscape. Large established organisations are being challenged by the smaller more agile start-ups with modern thinking and new ideas forcing them to rethink to compete or buy up the start-ups to absorb their thinking.

5. Sports Tech

While technology has been an active member of many sports for some time now the advancements in performance analysis and AI and data analytics have changed the nature of the sport and fitness. And, unsurprisingly, has also been a huge surge in the personal fitness market throughout 2020. In a recent Digital Matters podcast episode, Paralympian Kingsley Ijomah spoke of his desire for greater integration across applications and devices to build a 360 degree image of his performance and enable trainers and coaches to interact with this.

The increasing use of drones in spot could provide Kingsley and other athletes with the information they crave.  With the demand for data and continuous performance analysis, and our lives continuing to be somewhat socially distanced for the foreseeable future drones may unlock the key to a more complete performance review, linking into personal fitness devices they can not only provide video footage of each training session but also capture technique information and fed this through to coaching teams.  As a team of sports enthusiasts, we are excited to see how this develops.

The digital landscape is always changing, but the pace at which it has done so and the high acceleration of digital advancements and integrations into our lives over the last nine months has been phenomenal.  Let’s embrace the possibilities.