November 2016

Image: Menno van Dijk/

Tech trends that will change the world by 2021

Research firm Forrester has identified emerging technologies that will change our lives as consumers and the way businesses operate over the next five years.

Of the 15 technologies analyzed in the report, the following five have been identified as having the greatest disruptive potential and offering the biggest competitive advantage:

  • Internet-of-things (IoT) software and solutions. The IoT will be driving new levels of customer insight and engagement for some by 2021, but technology diversity and the need for organizational changes will still stymie or delay many firms.
  • Intelligent agents. Intelligent agents and related robots will have eliminated six percent of jobs by 2021.
  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). By 2021, AR will be commonplace, while VR remains niche.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technology. Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service, and consumer services.
  • Hybrid wireless. 5G will be rolling out by 2021, creating a high-bandwidth cellular backbone to support IoT devices. In addition, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will expand their capabilities to support IoT devices.

The full report can be purchased online.