Someone reading Digital Transformation Trends

In today’s post, we’re focusing on digital transformation trends for 2021 with a special emphasis on app development. 

Despite the difficulties we’ve experienced in 2020, it’s clear that the coronavirus has dramatically accelerated the pace of digital transformation. Indeed, nearly every enterprise has embraced the concept of virtual workspaces – and this alone has created new app development opportunities in the areas of cloud-based infrastructures, new application development, IoT, and home-based medical tech.

Considering these and other 2020 development, we expect to see the following five digital transformation trends for 2021 and beyond:

  1. Remote teams and Virtual Workspaces
  2. 5GAdoption
  3. IoT (Internet of Things)
  4. At-Home IoT Medical Devices
  5. Cybersecurity Advancements

1. Remote Teams and Virtual Workspaces

Quarantines have made remote teams a necessity, and the virtual workspace market is booming. Businesses are using apps like Zoom for virtual meetings, Slack and Microsoft Teams for easy communication, and Basecamp and Trello for project management. As enterprises continue to reorganize their operations around remote teams in 2021, new challenges are arising, like how to keep employees productive while they’re working from home and how to promote a cohesive and healthy sense of culture and community from a distance.

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As conventional enterprises struggle to adapt, we expect to see software companies developing new solutions – or changing existing ones – to address the new and unique productivity and operational pain-points that are presenting themselves now.

In addition to new solutions for remote teams, we’ll see more interest in developer tools – like API gateways – that help software engineers build apps faster and more efficiently. One example of this is DreamFactory, an API gateway that dramatically accelerates app development and makes it easier to integrate SaaS solutions into existing infrastructures. As a cloud or on-prem solution itself, DreamFactory offers remote teams the flexibility to develop new solutions no matter where they are located.  

2. 5G Adoption

According to Business Insider, the coronavirus slowed down 5G regulation development, disrupted 5G infrastructure construction, and decimated the amount of consumer capital available for 5G phone purchases. However, just as the pandemic delayed 5G adoption, it also created a greater demand for the high-speed internet connectivity that 5G can provide. With more employees working from home, enterprises need to quickly and easily deliver fast and reliable internet connectivity to employees – and 5G is one of the simplest ways to do this. 

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As economies begin to restart in 2021, 5G infrastructure construction will resume its full pace, consumers will have more money in their pockets, and the remote working trend will be stronger than ever. This should skyrocket 5G adoption in the enterprise and consumer markets. 

As 5G infrastructures solidify, it will create unprecedented opportunities for the development of new apps and technologies that serve the smartphone, tablet, and IoT device markets. Expect to see unprecedented solutions to common problems when it comes to 5G app development in the years ahead. 

3. IoT (Internet of Things)

As global 5G infrastructures expand in 2021, the IoT (Internet of Things) will grow along with it. IoT technology refers to the growing network of internet-connected devices around the world. IoT devices include:

  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Smart refrigerators
  • Smartwatches
  • Smart TVs
  • Smart home devices
  • Alexa
  • Google Home
  • Smart security systems
  • Smart lighting systems
  • Smart health monitoring devices
  • Smart thermostats
  • Smart temperature and moisture monitoring systems
  • And so much more

When connected together IoT devices can create vast sensor networks that are constantly gathering data and reporting it in realtime over the internet to a centralized system. After capturing IoT data, advanced analytics systems can extract deep insights and forecast future trends for better decision making. In 2021, we believe that developers, data engineers, and data scientists will explore new opportunities in the markets of IoT data capturing, transformation, and analysis. Technologies that support AI and machine learning analytics on real-time IoT data will be in high demand in the coming years.

4. At-Home IoT Medical Devices

The coronavirus and social distancing concerns have created the need for remote medical technologies. As a trend for 2021, we expect to see a “medical industry digital transformation.” Through remote healthcare solutions – like wearable IoT devices, implanted monitors, and integrated health apps – patients will receive better, more responsive medical assistance while staying safe from the virus in the privacy of their homes. 

According to a 2020 study on IoT trends in the medical industry: “The wide diffusion of powerful embedded hardware together with the development of smart medical sensors and devices for ubiquitous healthcare has made the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) drastically change the way healthcare is approached worldwide, so that the number of healthcare devices using IoT and wearable technologies is expected to reach 162 million by the end of 2020.”

2021 should produce new IoT-connected remote medical devices and machine learning analytics technologies that alert doctors of potential medical problems as early as possible. Engineering teams and app developers may want to position themselves to profit from these medical industry digital transformation trends in the years ahead. 

5. Cybersecurity Advancements

The ripple effects from virtual workspaces and remote teams have highlighted another important area of digital transformation for 2021: cybersecurity. With more employees working from home, organizations need to bolster their VPNs and antivirus strategies, create better security controls, and bolster their password policies. 

Because of the increased need for security, enterprises will be interested to incorporate SSO (single sign-on) and other advanced authentication services into their IT infrastructures. Fortunately, developer tools like the DreamFactory API manager make integrating OAuth services, role-based access, and SSO solutions easier than ever. DreamFactory offers extensive authentication and authorization features including native integrations for the most popular OAuth services.

Beyond SSO, enterprises need to ensure that employee laptops and mobile devices are not vulnerable to a data breach. A popular way to secure data is to keep all confidential data in the cloud, so a lost or stolen device doesn’t contain any sensitive data. Building mobile device management (MDM) services into your apps is another important way to block risky websites and protect corporate data from malicious viruses.

As one of the most important 2021 digital transformation trends, cybersecurity concerns will come up a lot in conversations between developers and stakeholders. As such, developers who treat safety and security as a paramount concern in both their apps and marketing will be more successful in 2021 and beyond. At the same time, enterprises will need to educate their remote employees about safety risks to reduce the chances of a data breach. 

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Start Your Digital Transformation Now

Respond to 2021 Digital Transformation Trends With DreamFactory

DreamFactory is an enterprise-scale API platform that offers API management and lifecycle tools to help modern developers speed through their API and app integration bottlenecks. In addition to a wide portfolio of integrations for the most popular authentication/authorization services, databases, and SaaS solutions, DreamFactory features an automatic API generation tool that allows you to create fully-Swagger-documented REST APIs in a matter of minutes.

DreamFactory can help developers boost speed, cost-effectiveness, and competitiveness while responding to digital transformation trends for 2021. If you’d like to know more about DreamFactory – or to try the platform out for yourself – contact our team for a free hosted trial of DreamFactory now!