Gartner Trends 2021 – 9 trends that will shape the new year

The new year is only a few days old, but it is already time to prepare for the trends of the new year. Research institute Gartner has published the most important strategic technology trends for 2021, paying particular attention to the changes brought about by COVID-19.



1. Total Experience

A key trend for the new year is the so-called “Total Experience”. Due to the sudden change in the way we work, which was necessary last year, many things have changed in consumer behavior. Today, users expect individualized, situational information to be available regardless of the communication channel or technology used. The pandemic and the lockdown created an increased focus on the user’s own wishes and requirements, which will fundamentally change the classic user experience with the Total Experience.


2. Internet of Behaviors

Speaking of individual user experiences, the next trend for the new year comes up directly. Gartner coins the collective term Internet of Behaviors (IoB) for 2021; with this, the research institute summarizes different developments in the use of information and interaction with Big Data. Through data analysis and the use of a wide variety of data sources, the user experience is constantly being improved and offered in compliance with data protection.


3. Privacy-Enhancing Computation

Privacy is another important topic for the new year. Privacy-enhancing computation is seen as a new fundamental principle for trustworthiness on the Internet and in the use of technologies. Here, topics such as Blockchain and Data Science play a major role in enabling the best possible and most secure experience both in the office, while traveling, and in the home office.


4. Anywhere Operations

Especially in the home office, there is a need for so-called Anywhere Operations, which makes information and data usable anywhere, regardless of time and place. Especially at a time when new working time models and office concepts are emerging, there is a need for a dynamic working basis that makes data and information possible securely and independent of location.


5. distributed cloud

Collaboration has also taken on new meaning in analog and virtual teams during Corona. Distributed cloud, like the trend before it, responds to the need for location-independent work and enables interfaces made possible through the cloud. However, Gartner also highlights that there is still work to be done in the areas of data security.


6. Cybersecurity Mesh

From the trends of “Distributed Cloud” and “Anywhere Operations”, it quickly becomes clear that data security will become a key issue for 2021. Flexible, scalable and reliable cybersecurity technologies will be required to meet the new technological demands, putting users and their requirements at the center of technologies and the Internet.


7. Intelligent Composable Business

The new business situation has demanded some flexibility from enterprises during COVID-19. In this trend, Gartner points out the need for companies to become faster and more flexible to meet possible uncertain situations in the future. Digital transformation, agile management and a digital business strategy are just a few of the building blocks here that will have to be worked on to a greater extent this year. The technical infrastructure must also be further adapted.


8. AI Engineering

Artificial intelligence has proven in recent months that it has outgrown its infancy. More and more examples of the application of artificial intelligence in business are appearing, and artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a strategic building block in companies’ business models. For this reason, Gartner also defines AI engineering as an important topic for the new year, because artificial intelligence is already mainstream today.


9. Hyperautomation

“Hyperautomation” already came up more and more last year, but with the loss of many workers due to distance regulations and home offices, the trend has picked up quite a bit for 2021. Artificial intelligence and robotics will be increasingly used in factories to replenish the resources that have been cut back and to best support employees in their jobs. Automation will therefore conquer industrial halls faster than originally planned.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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