It’s a given that no one person is able to keep track of every single tech trend shaping the world today. What was trending yesterday, however, may not hold much importance in the future. A study from Spiceworks found that more than a third of tech budget increases in 2021 will be influenced by Covid-19 related trends.

Over the last several months, priorities have shifted. The tech that scored big headlines and even bigger investments a year ago may not be relevant anymore. By doing some research and uncovering the latest in tech trends, you can stay one step ahead in the coming year and beyond. Here are some you need to know about:

It’s a given that no one person is able to keep track of every single tech trend shaping the world today.

It’s a given that no one person is able to keep track of every single tech trend shaping the world … [+] today.

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1. 5G

5G has gotten no shortage of free publicity, but how many business leaders are fully aware of what the implications of the new technology are? 5G doesn’t just mean quicker internet searches on your smartphone; it means a complete upheaval of the way that companies use and maintain their digital infrastructure. The uptick in fidelity and performance that accompany 5G will be so large that they’ll help level the playing field for small businesses who can’t currently compete with enterprise-level technology. 

The rise of 5G isn’t just a new era for smartphones, it’s the dawning of a whole new economy: according to Verizon, 5G will directly support as many as 22 million jobs globally by 2035. Businesses need to run, not walk, to embrace what 5G can do for them. Anything less will leave your company standing in the dust. 

2. Data-Driven Personalization for Smart Homes 

When businesspeople hear “personalization,” the first things that come to their mind likely include customized advertisements and products tailored to consumers’ wishes. The advent of Big Data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning means that personalization is now much deeper than it was before, allowing products and services to evolve in real time in order to best meet the needs of their customers.

All across the tech industry, you can see examples of businesses racing to get in on this trend. Smart Home Services provider Plume recently acquired Walleye Networks, a Canadian data analytics company whose cyber-expertise will help Plume design B2B applications that help communications service providers use user data to offer customized and ever-evolving smart home experiences to their subscribers. 

Just a few months ago, Google unveiled its new Recommendations AI, a tool designed to help businesses anticipate the wants and needs of their customers. Industry titans are betting big on the next wave of personalization tech, and it’s time other companies do the same. 

3. Cloud-Based Gaming

For all the unabated growth that the gaming industry enjoys, it doesn’t undergo many seismic shifts: gaming technology is slow to advance, and the newest products are generally not so different from the ones that came before. This entire narrative changes with the recent introduction of cloud-based gaming.

Gaming powered by the cloud no longer requires users to purchase thousands of dollars worth of hardware in order to run the latest games. Instead, they simply pay for a bit of server space on an extremely powerful computer operating remotely and stream the display directly to their monitor. 

This allows cutting-edge games to run on middle-of-the-road hardware, allowing gamers to escape the rat race of constantly updating and buying new consoles. While cloud gaming might be off to a slow start, the coming years will see an explosion in its popularity. 

4. Automated Content Generation 

Like it or not, computers have been generating content for years now. The Associated Press and Washington Post use content bots in order to produce brief wire updates, and more and more word processors are incorporating tools that can finish sentences for you. As helpful as some of these tools may be, they hardly represent a paradigm shift for content creation — until now, that is.

With each passing year, content generators become increasingly advanced when it comes to mimicking a human style of writing. No one is getting put out of work by any of this; it simply increases the volume of content you’re able to produce by a huge factor. The more you can get potential customers to hear your message, the more customers will respond — high volumes of affordable content generated automatically can help you get there.

There’s no easy way to predict what the next big thing in tech will be. What is certain is that tech is always changing, and only those who embrace it will be able to take advantage of it.

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Roland Millaner