Technology continues to be a fast paced area and COVID-19 has only intensified that.
The top technology trends to watch and take advantage of in 2021 are said to include Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Remote work including telehealth and e-learning, along with automation and artificial intelligence.
"To the casual observer, many technologies may not appear to move forward at pace, however step back a little and the advancement is clearer," says Paul Spain, Chief Executive and Futurist at Auckland IT company Gorilla Technology.
"Those individuals and organisations who follow and take advantage of the most innovative technologies naturally benefit the most from them."
It’s Spain's belief that for New Zealand to be successful as a country in the long term, we need to adopt the key technologies whilst adding our creative and innovative thinking in leveraging them.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have attracted extra attention recently due a rise in value of over 400 percent within 12-months and JP Morgan indicating a price target on Bitcoin of US$146,000.
Well-known companies such as PayPal and Square have recently announced cryptocurrency use. The decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies is of considerable interest to many as this is in direct contrast to government issued currency where central banks have been keeping interest rates for years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic many countries have been printing money and therefore devaluing their currency.
Remote Working, Telehealth and E-Learning
The rise of remote working has been dramatic during the pandemic. Spain suggests that this is just the beginning – as related trends such as e-learning and telehealth are now expected to mature much more quickly than would otherwise be the case.
New Zealand's continually evolving world class broadband is a key enabler for those utilising technology instead of travel and commuting. Spain suggests: "When you’re not well, why go to the doctor if a video call to the doctor could do the job just fine?"
Recently e-learning developments means that it’s no longer out of the question to attend school online.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
A continued rise in the use of automation and artificial intelligence will help organisations be deliver better outcomes in an efficient manner.
"Major software vendors such as Microsoft and Google now have easy to use automation software available for any business that wishes to improve productivity," says Spain.
"Artificial intelligence capabilities are accessible now to not just organisations developing their own software, but in a broad range of software that organisations use every day – such as Xero."
In addition to the above trends, it's clear other areas of technological innovation are continuing to move at pace with 2021 expected to yield strong progress from the power in day-to-day computers to progress with autonomous vehicle technology from firms including Waymo and Tesla.
On the downside, unfortunately the incidents and scale of cybercrime is not expected to slow down in 2021 so Spain suggests all organisations continue to tighten up from a cybersecurity perspective in order to reduce risk.
This article was created for Newshub Technology, produced in partnership with Noel Leeming.