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Top 7 Canadian Technology Trends In 2021 (Essential Guide)

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Top 7 Technology Trends In 2021:

1. AI and Machine Learning

2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

3. Edge Computing

4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

5. Blockchain

6. Internet of Things (IoT)

7. 5G


Nobody needs to be reminded that technology is moving faster than ever. The proof is everywhere. Progress, change, and disruption are occurring regularly. It’s wonderful to see, while exhausting and perhaps even unnerving. But the rolling stone of technology continues to speed up. This article lists some of the new technology trends in 2021 to monitor.


Now, perhaps more than ever, is a time to stay informed on tech trends. Doing so will give you an advantage as we all continue forward into the future. For one, this information helps you identify what skills will most likely translate to job security. It will help you adapt to our ever-changing world and to take advantage of professional opportunities.


Check out these two really excellent resources on why it’s important to know technology trends:


- Technology Trend Awareness

- Why It is Important to Keep up with Changing Technology Trends


Now, let’s get into it.


1. AI and Machine Learning



AI (artificial intelligence) isn’t a new concept. But with 5G on the horizon, AI talk has heated up (we address 5G below, under heading 7). We used to view this technology only as futuristic. Science fiction films from every era have portrayed visions of what AI might look like. But now, the real-time response and hyper-connectivity of 5G is adding a new spark to all the AI advances to date, giving us tangible glimpses of how artificial intelligence can affect our personal and professional lives, even though 5G is still in an early stage.


Even before 5G emerged, AI had lots of buzz–particularly in the last ten years. Breakthroughs in ride-sharing apps, smartphone personal assistants, navigation apps, and speech and image recognition (to name only a few) have all implemented aspects of AI.


This year, we can expect AI development to follow its current path–that is, being used to analyze and predict information. In other words, decision-making. It’s currently being implemented in a variety of industries to better predict demand, resource utilization, and behavioral patterns. As AI gets closer to real-time data analysis, personalized needs will be met faster, which means revenues will increase.


Some experts predict that this year alone will see AI global spending approach $60 billion and that by 2025, AI will be a near-$200 billion industry. As the influence of this revolutionary technology spreads across the world, new jobs such as maintenance, support, testing, programming, and development will certainly be created (to name only a few). The salaries for these positions are already enviable, averaging between $125,000-$145,000 per year. This alone puts it at or near the top of new technology trends for 2021.


Important To Know

The subset of AI is machine learning. It’s already being deployed in many industries. Skilled professionals in this field are in high demand. One authority predicts that all new American jobs created by 2025 will be AI-related, particularly automation and machine learning. This will include jobs like content curation, automation specialist, data scientist, robot monitoring professional, and many more.


2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)



RPA is automating many jobs, much like AI and machine learning. RPA is “the use of software to automate business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, and even replying to emails” (simplilearn.com). Essentially, repetitive tasks traditionally performed by human beings are automated by RPA.


Many people are concerned about RPA eliminating jobs and putting people out of work. Projections suggest that in the future, around 230 million jobs will be threatened at the hand of RPA. That’s almost 10% of the global workforce. However, a quick glance at history shows that virtually every disruptive technological advancement has resulted in a net positive economic impact, even on the job front. Jobs are replaced, not solely eliminated. It’s also worth noting that less than 5% of occupations can even be automated, according to estimates, while around 60% can be partially automated.


If you’re a forward-thinking IT professional keeping up to speed with the technology trends of 2021, then you know RPA may soon be the most opportunity-rich job market. Careers such as consultant, solution architect, business analyst, project manager, and developer are position titles to monitor. Also, these are very high-paying careers; well over $100,000 per year. RPA is without a doubt one of the top technology trends of 2021.


3. Edge Computing



Preceded by cloud computing (which has been a top technology trend of the past few years with Google Cloud Platforming, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services), Edge computing is has taken its place as a rising technology trend of 2021.


Despite countless businesses moving to cloud platforms, this type of computing still has shortcomings–particularly latency. These limitations have become clearer because of the ever-increasing amounts of data that organizations deal with. Edge computing was conceived to solve these problems. It processes these vast amounts of information via a data center, bypassing cloud computing latency. The idea is to process data as close to the computing source as possible; on the edge, hence the name.


Think of edge computing like a mini data center. There’s no need for a centralized location to process time-sensitive data. With edge computing, it could even be done in a remote location with very little (or no) connectivity.


As IoT (Internet of Things) increases, so will edge computing. Forecasts predict a $6.72 billion edge computing market globally as soon as 2022. Software engineers should lick their chops at this news, seeing as virtually all the jobs created will be primarily for them.


4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)



VR and AR have built up a lot of hype, especially with 5G gaining steam (see heading 7). What’s the difference between VR and AR? Here’s the easiest explanation. VR creates and immerses the user in an environment. The environment is then enhanced by AR.


The gaming industry is the clear beneficiary of these technologies, at least initially. But other industries are already using it, as well. For example, the United States Coast Guard, Army, and Navy are implementing VR/AR into their training programs. A simulation software called VirtualShip is already in wide use.