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Six Technology Trends of 2021

1. LiFi: wireless internet as fast as light

Wireless internet at the office or at home that works on the basis of and is as fast as the light? That is the promise of LiFi, which stands for Light Fidelity. The technique was presented in 2011 by German professor Harald Haas in a TED Talk. It does not work like Wi-Fi with radio signals, but with light beams. The advantages of this: it does not use the crowded radio spectrum, there is no interference with other radio signals, the signal is better shielded because it cannot pass through walls and theoretical speeds of hundreds of gigabits per second are possible.

A lamp that can perceive and emit light acts as an access point, current solutions use a USB dongle with an infrared transmitter to provide computers with the Internet. Currently there are not many applications and the speed is limited, but the potential of LiFi is great. For example, it is interesting for corporate networks, AR and VR, (self-driving) cars and the aviation industry. There are also disadvantages: the signal cannot pass through walls (although this is also a security advantage) and the maximum distance is limited.

2. Promising technologies for business

2021 is the year of this telecom revolution. 5G is the latest generation of mobile networks, combining technologies such as network slicing, massive MIMO and beamforming. This results in a number of major advantages: much faster internet, shorter response times, connecting many more devices at the same time and a more secure connection.

Promising technologies for business such as the Internet of Things, drones, self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing and augmented reality are gaining momentum thanks to the unprecedented connectivity of 5G. Read more about the benefits and applications of 5G for business in our article on the benefits of 5G for business.

3. Hyper automation: Maximize Automation

With hyper automation you identify and automate as many business processes as possible using various techniques, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing and robotic process automation (RPA). Result: much more can be automated.

Hyper automation ensures that employees become more efficient and creative, systems can be integrated and digital agility is created. You can even automate automations with it. Due to corona, the hyper automation approach is on the rise, partly because many organizations have fully invested in a remote, digital-first strategy.

4. Distributed cloud: best of both worlds

Migration to the cloud is one of the most important tools for the digital transformation enforced by corona for many companies. A key strategic technology trend for 2021 is the distributed cloud, which is rapidly being embraced by the business community. This cloud form bridges the gap between public cloud on the one hand and on-premise and the edge on the other. With the distributed cloud, you can have public cloud options in various physical places, such as your own data center and devices at the edge of your IT landscape. The cloud provider is responsible for managing the cloud services.

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The physical distance to the distributed cloud is minimal, which means that you have less data packet congestion (data congestion) and delays in data communication (latency). In addition, you comply with regulations regarding data sovereignty, since you store data in the country where it was generated.

5. Low-code and no-code for lightning-fast software development

Being able to develop applications quickly can be essential for your digital transformation. No-code and low-code software development platforms have pieces of software ready that you can model into an application. With no-code you don’t need to be able to program at all, so it is also suitable for people from the business side (so-called citizen developers). Low-code requires programming knowledge and its main purpose is to enable programmers to develop quickly.

This way of building software is up to ten times faster and therefore many times cheaper than traditional software development. From applications to digitize forms or automate manual tasks to modernizing legacy systems and even building custom ERP systems: it’s all possible thanks to advanced platforms such as Betty Blocks, Mendix, Thinkwise and OutSystems. According to a Forrester survey of developers, as many as 75 percent of development teams are using these types of low-code and no-code platforms by the end of 2021.

6. With Zero Trust, attackers get zero on the bill

Zero Trust is a concept within cybersecurity that has rapidly gained popularity in recent years and will be extra relevant in 2021 due to the increased coronacyber risk. The rationale: never trust, always verify. In other words: a secure internal network is not assumed. This is in contrast to the widely used coconut security model, where security focuses mainly on the outer layer of the infrastructure.

Zero Trust actually relies on segmentation, so you have several small networks (implied trust zones). The three pillars are authentication and authorization, network segmentation and monitoring. This is a very effective security method, especially in times of working from home and massive use of your own equipment. With cloud adoption, Zero Trust also ensures secure use of environments that are outside the company’s own network. Finally, it helps to reduce the impact of attacks. After all, segmentation, authentication and zoning do not allow an attacker to get far, while he would have free rein if he broke through the outer shell of the coconut.

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