Tech in 2021: How to predict the unpredictable?

2020 becomes 2021
Kirsten Paul, Account Director

The end of the year is nigh – a time I’m sure everyone will relish this year.

It also marks a date in my PR diary when I start to think about the upcoming year. Not to necessarily make resolutions for me (it remains the same every year – move more, eat less), but to consider what predictions my clients in the tech sector might make about what lies ahead.

If I was to search “2021 tech predictions” right now, I’m sure to see a myriad of articles and analyst reports considering the “next big thing” over the coming 12 months. But if we’re to learn anything from 2020 it might be – how can we ever predict the unpredictable? Especially when 2020 has been a stonker for throwing us curveballs.

Data and insight will likely play a bigger role in shaping the future of technology. And more than ever, I think we’ll see technology that benefits behaviours triumph next year. Things that will help people, that will make working from home or connecting with people easier and faster than ever.

There has been much discussion around how we would’ve handled lockdown without the technology that we have access to. If this had happened 15 years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to FaceTime family that we couldn’t visit or spent as much of our hard-earned salaries on online deliveries. We are fortunate that these technological enhancements were made to benefit us now, but if we put our Covid goggles on as we look to the next 15 years, what will that look like?

While the goalposts for predicting the future might have changed (unless you have Mystic Meg capabilities), I think this will reflect in the type of predictions we will see emerge from organisations this year. Perhaps it’s a time to be more cautious than we might have seen in years past, perhaps a time to be reflective to consider how the future should be. I’m not here to tell you what I think will be big in tech next year (I’ll leave that to the experts), but we might want to leave a disclaimer on any predictions we do make this year that they are null and void in case of a pandemic…