The 5 key tech trends in Dell’s forecast for the year ahead

18 Dec 2020

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Intelligent PCs and ‘cloudified’ mobile networks are on the cards for 2021, according to Dell’s latest technology predictions.

At the end of 2019, Dell made five technology predictions for the coming year. They involved AI, 5G, multi-cloud technology, flexible consumption and sustainable innovation.

The company said 2020 would be a “milestone year in technology”. So, what has changed in the space of a year? And how has Covid-19 shaped the company’s outlook for 2021?

Technology will pave the way for economic recovery over the next 12 months, Dell Technologies said, with these five trends set to speed up the pace of digital transformation.

1. A hybrid cloud for a hybrid workforce

Dell sees greater investment in cloud operating models taking place next year across public, private and edge environments. As businesses continue to work remotely, they will need new ways of managing technology.

The company gave the example of IT as a service, which it believes will help businesses make simpler and faster IT decisions in a virtual working world.

2. New edge opportunities are on the horizon

The distributed workforce that has evolved throughout 2020 has had a knock-on effect for data workloads that need to be managed and analysed in real time at the edge.

Fuelled by 5G, Dell said that the ability to analyse and act on data insights at the edge will see the growth of e-commerce and digital business apps.

3. 5G will bring us closer than ever before

Dell said that 5G is “rapidly becoming the digital fabric of the data era as it extends the cloud operating model to the edge to deliver widespread connectivity”.

As remote working looks set to continue next year, it’s possible that we’ll become more closely connected through mobile networks. Operators in the industry will focus on ‘cloudifying’ their network architecture, the company said, and this could bring us closer to “the kind of widespread connectivity and edge processing that 5G technology makes possible”.

4. Intelligent PCs will emerge

The needs of remote workers call for game-changing devices, and Dell is confident that 2021 will deliver. It expects AI, cloud and greater connectivity coming together to boost devices’ user experience next year, resulting in ‘intelligent PCs’.

These intelligent PCs, it said, will make room for new apps and services that facilitate collaboration in hybrid working models.

5. Humans will leverage technology to transform

While 2021 will welcome a “technology-driven society”, Dell said, it will also see greater emphasis on human-centric values like trust, empathy, patience and flexibility.

The company believes that people and technology will work together to transform how we do our jobs, how we receive healthcare, how we learn and how we pave the way for a more sustainable future.

The path to recovery

According to Dell Technologies’ latest Digital Transformation Index, nearly 80pc of companies around the world have fast-tracked their digital transformation projects since the pandemic began. Jason Ward, vice-president and managing director of Dell Technologies Ireland, said this trend will continue next year.

“Technology was the constant in a year of uncertainty,” Ward said. “A combination of necessity and ingenuity on the part of businesses in Ireland resulted in nine years of digital transformation occurring in the space of just nine months. But as we look to 2021, technology will provide a path to our economic recovery.

“Greater investments in cloud operating models will enable the emergence of the hybrid workforce. 5G will unlock unprecedented levels of connectivity that will help to expand the scope and reach of remote learning, connected healthcare and innovative business models. We’ll also see AI, cloud and 5G come together to develop intelligent devices for a connected workforce.

“At Dell Technologies, we’re optimistic about the future and how technology can act as a force for good, helping businesses to stay agile. Smart investments in IT can help scale up the success of Irish business and ensure they can truly transform for the long term.”

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021