With the caveat that the approaching year may yet hold life-changing surprises, here are more technology predictions for enterprises to ponder…

Have you grown tired of hearing “2020 has been a watershed year”? Then you must be looking forward to 2021, which cannot be any worse.

Digital transformation has been brought to the fore five years in advance (by many accounts), driving the way businesses operate, innovate, and navigate in the uncertain, risky economic landscape ahead. Agility and business resilience will continue to be key, but what role will some key technologies play in shaping this?

To address these questions, ERP solutions firm Infor has come up with some technology predictions for enterprises to look out for:

  1. Cloud technology will reinvent event experiences
    “Many events have successfully pivoted to the Cloud and AI this year to enhance the virtual experience for attendees. We will continue see an uptick in physical events leveraging cloud technology to give viewers tailored experiences. With 2021 primed to grip the world’s attention with several major events such as the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the Wimbledon Championship, cloud technology is poised to completely reinvent what we know about fan experiences today. The potential for using cloud technology to transform events is enormous: think real-time crowd excitement analysis to optimize highlights and advertisements; extremely low-latency live feeds; and moderated crowd interaction—all hosted on robust cloud platforms.”

    Cloud architectures with multi-tenants will be the new gold standard
    “Using multi-tenanted cloud solutions means companies will be automatically kept up-to-date with the most cutting-edge technology, without having to worry about manual updates or replacing hardware. As we move into a new year that likely will bring more uncertainty, multi-tenant cloud solutions will become critical technology differentiators, helping businesses remain agile and innovative, while also reducing their e-waste footprints and helping them move closer to their sustainability targets.”
  2. AI will transform the hiring process
    “In the unpredictable job market of 2021, it will be critical for organizations to leverage AI to ensure they find the right candidates. AI will enable HR departments to become more proactive in their hiring, and help them determine a candidate’s cultural fit by using data to measure the quality of a hire. Innovations will include intelligent screening software that automates resumé screening; recruiter chatbots that engage candidates in real-time; and digitalized interviews that help assess a candidate’s fit. The innovations will start becoming commonplace in HR departments. AI also holds great promise for creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces, given its ability to reduce biases and add objectivity into employment decision-making through AI-powered algorithms that identify the unique qualities of candidates.”

    AI in healthcare will become mission critical
    “Over the next year, we will see the accelerated adoption of AI across many areas of healthcare. By applying machine learning to real-time global data sets, healthcare professionals can more-accurately track contact between staff and infected patients; enable accurate diagnoses; utilize predictive analytics to track personal protective equipment (PPE); optimize workforce allocations; and develop more effective and lasting vaccinations.”

— Soma Somasundaram, Chief Technology Officer & President of Products

  1. Supply Chains will rapidly become digital
    As a direct result of the pandemic, we are going to see the acceleration of digital supply chains in 2021. While supply chain leaders have traditionally viewed DX in the context of efficiency and cost, the focus will now be on agility and resilience. That’s where digital technology comes in. A multi-enterprise, digital supply chain enables better end-to-end visibility, better predictive analytics, and better and smarter automation. Leaders will be able to customize and flex their supply chains based on market demand and make better use of ecosystem partners. These digital tools are as far-ranging as AI, AR (augmented reality), and RPA (robotic process automation), and are expected to shift early promises to impactful value propositions.”

    Real-time supply-and-demand-matching automation
    “As the incredible supply chain disruptions of 2020 unfolded, it became clear that managing real-time supply and demand matching and forecasting were no longer tasks humans can take on alone. It’s no longer reasonable to expect a supply chain leader to predict when one country’s market will suddenly close and another’s will open; or account for ever-shifting materials and costs, especially as government restrictions on transportation and travel continue to change rapidly. In 2021, we will see supply chain managers accelerating their adoption of AI to augment workers’ instincts and experiences and provide them with intelligent insights into changing market conditions, letting them accurately forecast supply and demand in real-time.”

— Rod Johnson, Global President and Chief Revenue Officer