From cloud migration to digital reality, all nine of the topics in Deloitte Global’s TMT Predictions report for this year were shaped to some extent by the pandemic.
It’s tough to talk about 2021 without mentioning COVID-19. Across multiple parts of the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) ecosystem, observers have been repeating some version of the comment, “There have been five years of change in five months due to the pandemic.” COVID-19 has been a catalyst—an unwelcome one, but still a catalyst—for needed changes across the TMT landscape.
Some of these changes happened extremely quickly. Movements to the cloud, to video visits for medicine, and to the intelligent edge were already underway in 2019, but they have been accelerated by years or even decades because of the pandemic. Deloitte Global expects rapid evolution in these three areas to continue through 2021.
Other parts of the TMT industry were also shaped by the pandemic, although not to the same extent. The future of women’s sports may be imperiled by restrictions on gatherings. Upgrades to 8K TVs may be accelerated by lockdowns and the rise in time spent watching video. Digital reality headsets helped enterprises to train workers and schools to educate students virtually when COVID-19 made meeting in person difficult. Misinformation flourishes against a backdrop of uncertainty, and myths about 5G’s health risks surged. And the hyperquantification of athletes may make sports viewing more compelling in a time when stadiums are less accessible.
Faster change isn’t always positive change, of course. But many of the trends accelerated by the pandemic look likely to make the world a better place.
In a chemical reaction, when a catalyst is removed, the reaction returns to its slower rate. Will the post-pandemic world see change, disruption, and innovation decelerate from current levels? Or will the acceleration induced by COVID-19 persist for the long term—perhaps even permanently? For more insight into this year’s nine predictions, read Deloitte’s TMT Predictions 2021 report and view the video above.