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Lead with confidence
Deloitte’s 12th annual Tech
Trends report provides
insights and inspiration for
the digital journey ahead.

Which technology trends have
the most potential to impact
your business?

Deloitte’s 12th annual Tech Trends report identifies nine trends that
are likely to transform businesses in the next 18 to 24 months, with
insights around strategy, risk, and finance implications that can
empower technology leaders, business leaders, and board members.

Dive into the nine trends and macro forces

Discover key insights and actionable advice for business and technology leaders. See how tech is enabling fundamental business processes—from the way business strategy is engineered to the modernization of core assets—and evolving supply chains into value enablers. Explore new data optimization techniques to turbocharge machine learning and how zero trust revolutionizes cybersecurity architecture to protect that data. And with the boundary between the physical and virtual worlds rapidly disappearing, learn how we can use technology to reimagine the workplace, create more human experiences, and bolster equity initiatives.

Learn from leaders on the front lines

Read insights from thought leaders and success stories from leading organizations, demonstrating ways to apply emerging technologies to reach strategic business and digital ambitions.

Letter from the editors
by Scott Buchholz, Mike Bechtel, and Bill Briggs
As poet Robert Burns mused, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In January 2020, most of us had plans—thoughtful road maps to guide our organizations, our technology, and our lives through the months to follow. And then COVID-19 punched the entire world in the mouth, rendering useless many of these best-laid plans. Seemingly overnight, a strange, historic event disrupted our assumptions and forced us, with a shocking degree of urgency, to become more adaptable and responsive than we had thought possible.

Mindful that the pandemic’s impact continues to ripple across societies, markets, and lives, we present Tech Trends 2021. The theme of this year’s report is resilience. To us, this means a stubborn determination to adapt and thrive in the face of change. We have seen countless, inspiring examples of resilience this past year as organizations and entire sectors assessed their circumstances, revised their strategic plans, and marched toward the future.

We anticipate that for most, the future they find will differ markedly from the realities of January 2020. The COVID-19 crisis has driven change in an important and unexpected way. A growing number of organizations across sectors are accelerating their digital transformation efforts not only to make their operations nimbler and more efficient but to respond to dramatic fluctuations in demand and customer expectation. For example, while many supply chain leaders were confident of their ability to function during disruptions, we found out, as Warren Buffett once quipped, who was swimming naked when the tide went out. Likewise, executive-level planning discussions about the future of work had been just that: about the future. The pandemic crashed comfortable schedules from years into weeks.

With that background, this year’s Tech Trends report discusses the opportunities, strategies, and technologies that will drive new plans during the next 18 to 24 months and beyond:
  • For enterprise technology, we spotlight the importance of aligning corporate and technology strategy; we revisit the critical core and how digital nonnatives are using cloud, low-code, and platform-first strategies to juice legacy assets; and we take a deep dive into supply chain transformation.
  • For data, we investigate how leading organizations are industrializing their AI initiatives with “MLOps” and, consequently, developing new approaches to managing data for machine, rather than human, consumption. We also discuss emerging trends in cybersecurity.
  • For human and machine interaction, we look at emerging trends in the future of the workplace, digital experiences, and technology that supports diveristy, equity, and inclusion.
Taken together, these trends suggest that there is a more hopeful dimension to the turbulent events of this past year. New technology and business plans already being executed chart a promising path toward tomorrow. Confidently leading this journey will be CIOs and other executives, who have proven they can take a punch and get back on their feet.

Now that’s what we call resilience.