How COVID-19 Is Shaping Technology Trends | Hacker Noon

@karolinajaworskaKarolina Jaworska-Bartoszek

Digital Marketing Specialist. I enjoy writing about technology from a business perspective.

The COVID-19 outbreak affected people’s lives throughout the globe, every industry, and every economy. After all, it’s a global pandemic for a reason. Throughout history, all crises have forced people to look for new opportunities. Nowadays, this search can encompass anything from a new distribution strategy, amendments in the production process, or the implementation of a new technology.  

The COVID-19 crisis forced businesses to embrace digital transformation in one way or another. Many companies took advantage of the opportunities brought by digital transformation way before the pandemic happened and can now reap the benefits of being early adopters. On the other hand, some businesses were forced to jump on this bandwagon, as the majority of our daily lives moved to the digital world—remote work, online shopping, online services. 

Companies have to be creative and innovative to keep their position on the market, but if there’s something positive in this situation, it’s certainly the development the world is undergoing right now. Digital development wouldn’t be possible without technology, so let’s take a look at some of the latest COVID-19 technology trends. 

Low-Code—The Future of App Development? 

According to Gartner, 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools by 2024. Low-code development can significantly reduce time-to-market. But there’s more to it than that.

Low-code platforms make collaboration between citizen developers, professionals, and business stakeholders much easier. This trend, called democratisation, provides easy access to technical or business domain expertise. While so-called ‘citizen developers’ can easily create apps without having to write much code, professional developers can work on advanced projects, such as AI solutions.  

Will low-code take over the development world and replace traditional programming? In short, it shouldn’t, because the greatest benefits can be achieved when these two are combined. The domain knowledge of citizen developers together with the advanced programming skills of traditional software developers can lead to functional systems and applications that make it to market much faster.  

Focus on Small Scale AI Projects 

Did you know, that human-AI collaboration is playing a role in the research being conducted to find a COVID-19 vaccine? The partnership between humans and artificial intelligence is challenging, but it’s also crucial to enable further scaling and adoption of AI.  

The shift from office to remote work is changing employee habits and encouraging companies to explore the possibilities behind data & AI. Cost control can discourage decision makers from investing in large AI projects, but being able to leverage existing data can help you optimise processes and make smarter financial decisions. 

The rising popularity of artificial intelligence is accelerating the relevance of another upcoming trend.  

AI Security Challenges 

More AI solutions mean more potential attacks and users are becoming increasingly aware of the role of security in everyday life. In terms of artificial intelligence, it’s not only about the security of an IoT device. We must also protect AI training data and machine learning models—fortunately, AI can help. Machine learning algorithms can help us understand patterns, distinguish natural communication from phishing attempts, uncover the attacks we may be unaware of, and automate certain cybersecurity processes. 

According to Gartner, increased amounts of data exposure incidents caused an interesting shift in who we trust. Organizations tend to trust algorithms more than central authorities, so it seems as though interest in AI security will continue to grow. 

Blockchain is Booming in Logistics

In times of crisis, companies are not willing to invest in emerging technologies, but this is not the case when it comes to blockchain. This is because blockchain is widely used in supply chain projects—and COVID-19 has had a significant impact on logistics.

The eCommerce industry alone 

will grow faster in 2020 than it did in 2019.  

After an initial slowdown in blockchain projects, and a switch to remote work, companies went back to their blockchain projects, as they promised short-term benefits and are strategically important. All in all, the coronavirus pandemic has proven that blockchain projects bring many advantages to supply chain and logistics projects, such as: 

  • Increased efficiency 
  • Cost reduction 
  • Improved transparency and flexibility 

According to analysts, eCommerce will drive more than half of retail sales growth between 2021 and 2024, so we can expect blockchain’s popularity to increase even further.  

Smart Health Devices

The global pandemic has severely affected the healthcare industry, causing a lot of disturbance but also the need to provide medical services in a new way. The world has not only been focusing on fighting COVID-19, but also on protecting patients from high-risk groups. 

Quite often, high-risk patients suffer from chronic diseases which require close monitoring. How can this be done remotely so as not to put them in danger? Smart health devices came to the rescue and this sector is now booming. Wearable devices became more than just fitness trackers. With biosensors, heart rhythm monitors, and even wearable ECG monitors, patients can collect data about their blood pressure, heart condition, respiratory rate, and temperature. 

Some of these smart devices became helpful tools in the fight against the pandemic. In the longer perspective, they can help scientists fight Parkinson’s disease or prevent cardiac or respiratory arrest. With powerful possibilities come great challenges.

In this case, one of the main challenges is, of course, the safety of personal health data and privacy. Companies have to pay the utmost attention to data security, otherwise they may lose their consumers’ trust. 

What’s Next?

These are just a few examples of the technologies that have emerged in 2020, but they’re definitely the ones worth keeping on your radar. It’s certainly much too early to say that a given cutting-edge technology took off due to the coronavirus, but some of the trends are worth keeping an eye on.

I highly encourage you to revisit this list in few years from now. Will we rely on artificial intelligence and smart health devices, or will we stick to traditional medical services? Will low-code become more popular? It will be interesting to see which trends will become a part of our daily lives and which will get lost somewhere along the way.

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Digital Marketing Specialist. I enjoy writing about technology from a business perspective.

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