What are the key trends to shape the technology industry for H2 2021 and beyond?
1: Digital economy
First, we expect to see an accelerated shift to a digital economy as the post-pandemic recovery begins.
Almost half (44%) of organizations surveyed said they had accelerated their digital transformation strategies as a result of COVID-19, and while that means many companies will continue to struggle with the negative effects of the pandemic, information technologies such as cloud, security, data analytics and AI, and customer and employee engagement, are becoming key foundational capabilities for a growing number of organizations, and will increasingly be the basis of differentiation.
2: The rise of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)
Second, substantially influenced by the surge in “blank check” special acquisition companies (SPACs), tech M&A is set to soar.
Already riding high following a record-setting 2020, soaring SPACs activity lifted tech M&A spending to its highest ever quarterly level in Q1 2021. Although the long-term viability of SPACs remains uncertain, with over 150 blank-check companies already stalking out the tech landscape, this is set to have a major impact on the technology space this year.
3: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations
ESG considerations are increasingly shaping the future of the technology industry.
A broad range of factors –from understanding the environmental impact of datacenters, to improving diversity and inclusion, to considering the ethical risks around artificial intelligence– will combine to impact the technology industry, and in turn will impact the way we consume technology in our everyday lives. The range of issues is broad, and are at different stages of maturity, but ESG will be of increasing importance to the technology segment through 2021 and beyond.
Technology was a huge part of how we have survived the last year – it has provided the resiliency for many organizations to operate through the pandemic, and in the process has helped keep us connected and working as well as educated and entertained.
The big question is: how will the return to a ‘new normal’ impact the technology industry overall? Will we see a pull back as the world returns to more traditional means of connecting or is the ‘genie out of the bottle’ and the stage is set for an increasingly digitally driven economy…? Our research suggests it’s the latter.