Gartner’s Top Tech Trends for 2021

Internet of Behaviors 
The Internet of Behaviors (IoB) captures the trail of data that people lives leave behind from a variety of sources; information can be used by public or private entities to influence behavior. 

Since people are almost always connected one way or another, they leave a rail of data adding insight into their various activities, like shopping, driving and visiting places.

Total experience
Total experience combines traditionally siloed disciplines like the experience of customer, employees and users to create a better overall experience for everyone. 

Privacy-enhancing computation 
Privacy-enhancing computation comprises three types of technologies to enable secure data processing and data analytics. the first provides a trusted environment in which sensitive data can be processed or analyzed. the second performs processing and analytics in a decentralized manner. It includes federated machine learning and privacy-aware machine learning.The third transforms data and algorithms before processing or analytics. It includes differential privacy, homomorphic encryption, secure multiparty computation, zero-knowledge proofs, private set intersection and private information retrieval. Homomorphic encryption (HE) is a cryptographic method that enables third parties to process encrypted data and return an encrypted result to the data owner, while providing no knowledge about the data or the results. 

Distributed cloud 
Distributed cloud provides public cloud options to different physical locations. Essentially, the public cloud company maintains, operates and evolves the services, but physically executes at the point of need.  

Anywhere operations
Anywhere operations refers to an IT operating model designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure. The model for anywhere operations is “digital first, remote first.” 

Cybersecurity mesh 
The cybersecurity mesh is a distributed architectural approach to scalable, flexible and reliable cybersecurity control. COVID-19 has accelerated then trend of distributed assets. The cybersecurity mesh enables any person or thing to securely access and use any digital asset, no matter where either is located. 

Intelligent composable business 
Recovering from the major disruption of COVID-19, leaders must design an architecture that, improves access to information, augments that information with new insights, and can change and respond more quickly as decisions are made. 

AI engineering 
AI engineering strategy will facilitate the performance, scalability, interpretability and reliability of AI models while delivering the full value of AI investments. Without AI engineering, most organizations will fail to move AI projects beyond proofs of concept and prototypes to full-scale production. 

Hyperautomation is a process in which businesses automate as many business and IT processes as possible using tools like AI, machine learning, event-driven software, robotic process automation, and other types of decision process and task automation tools. This process has been greatly accelerated by Covid 19.

For the full publication from Gartner, please click this link:


The Aftermath of the Pandemic Lessons from the Past

By Gerald Trites, FCPA, FCA

Marchionne di Coppo Stefani lived in Florence during the great plague of 1348. He wrote about it in his Cronaca Fiorentina. 

The Black Death started in Florence in March, 1348, with the first wave continuing until September, a period of six months. There were successive waves until 1350. During that time, Florence's population was reduced from around 120,000 inhabitants to around 50,000. In Europe overall, some 30 – 50% of the population died. There were other outbreaks over the next few centuries.

Much has been written about the immediate impact of the plague, of the black sores appearing in a morning and the infected person dead by nightfall. Of the bodies piling up and being carried off in carts and thrown into mass graves, layer upon layer.

Stefani wrote of this experience, as well as the effect of the plague on the economy, such as the fact that the Florentine guilds, craft shops and taverns closed down during the plague. Wax for lighting was scarce and became so expensive that few could afford it. The city government finally resorted to placing a ceiling on the price so people could buy some for light. Other prices needed to be controlled; for example, burial items such as perfumed spices and caskets (for those who didn’t get thrown into the mass graves). And there was control over the “news” too: the government forbade the ringing of bells during a funeral for fear that people might realize how many funerals were taking place. 

But Stefani also wrote about the aftermath of the plague.

The plague's considerable population reduction led to cheaper land prices, more food for the average surviving peasant and a relatively large increase in per capita income among the peasantry. Since the plague left vast areas of farmland untended, it was made available for pasture, which led to additional production of meat and dairy. The consumption of meat and dairy products went up, as did the export of beef and butter.[i]

Because of the increased value of the peasants and their relative scarcity, historians credit the plague with precipitating the decline of the feudal system. Also, many historians credit the plague, particularly in Florence, with the birth of the Renaissance, because the massive death rate and suffering caused people to look at the world with a new lens, to think differently about humanity’s place in the universe and to produce a glorious wave of art, music, philosophy and literature.[ii]

Read the full article in the Fall 2020 issue.  




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