Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The tech and media predictions for 2021 were influenced to a degree by the pandemic. There is no telling when the pandemic is likely to end as predictions have often gone askew. COVID-19, in many ways, has acted as an impetus and synergised tech and media changes going ahead.

The key question is whether the pace of tech and media changes will slow down once the pandemic ends? Or will tech and media changes continue at a rapid pace in a post-pandemic world?

According to a Deloitte report, some of the tech and media changes happened very quickly: Video-visits for medicines, a shift to the cloud, and other changes were accelerated by years ahead owing to the pandemic. It is expected that the rapid adoption of technology shall continue in 2021.

Better access to technology: A rise in the adoption of virtual radio access network (RAN), open, and cloud solutions could lead to cellular services and software becoming affordable in a sustainable manner. In turn, this would increase the penetration of these solutions as more people would be able to afford them.

Boost to gaming sales: According to an article by marketswatch, COVID-19 lockdowns have enabled global gaming sales to rise to 20% to nearly $180 billion in 2020, and experts don’t see growth taking a hit in 2021 after the release of the next-gen Playstation and Xbox. Even in India, the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40 % until 2022, from US$ 1.1 billion in 2019 to US$ 2.8 billion by 2022, as per Deloitte.

Smartphone penetration: India is already the second largest smartphone market in the world. Deloitte highlights that despite the pandemic, Indian smartphone users shall reach 820 million by 2022. Some of the factors driving this adoption are more affordable smartphones with cutting edge features: high refresh rate screens, improved touch sample rates, advanced chipsets with better processing prowess, more capable graphics processing units, High Dynamic Range capable screens, and improved batteries.

Cloud adoption: Deloitte predicts that 2021 shall see more broad-based cloud adoption across public and government sectors at an expedited pace. Organizations were required to transform themselves to ensure the rapid adoption of digital and virtual business models. The Indian government’s digital initiatives have further impelled cloud adoption across enterprises as they have made several proposals to offer incentives to cloud and data center players.

Expansion in data center capabilities: A confluence of various trends such as fiberization, 5G, telecom network modernization, and power infrastructure has led to a data centre expansion. This has been further impelled by a preference for loosely coupled, agile, and asset light models by technology adopters leading to enhanced capabilities of data centers. Deloitte predicts the cloud and co-location market will grow at a CAGR of 30% over 2020−23 to reach a market size of US$10.3−11.3 billion up from US$4.7-5.7 billion in 2020.

Intelligent edge market set to mature: Tech providers, hyperscalers, CDNs, and semiconductor makers have a stake in the success of this market. The Intelligent edge market is banking on decades of momentum with network trends towards monitoring, automation, and instrumentation playing a role. Intelligent edge has started transforming some of the largest physical systems around the world, with data analysis, digitization, and connectivity maturing. As the adoption of intelligent edge increases, many unexpected innovations are likely to be brought to the fore.

All of the aforementioned trends in technology and media are expected to usher in a new age where business models shall undergo a sea change.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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