2021 global technology, media and telecommunications predictions

In 2021 there will be more than 400 million video visits to doctors worldwide; global cloud spending will grow seven times faster than overall IT spend; and the global market for intelligent edge computing will expand to US$12 billion.

That’s according to Deloitte’s 20th edition of its Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions report, highlighting how worldwide trends in TMT have been driven by the impact of the pandemic and the affect this may have on businesses and consumers.

“The global pandemic has resulted in unprecedented technology acceleration which has changed how we live and work,” says Grant Frear, strategy partner, Deloitte New Zealand, in a statement.

Growth in the cloud market has been a megatrend over the last decade, and growth in cloud computing is expected to continue outpacing other solutions in the sector. The TMT Predictions report, which was released in mid December 2020, shows how this has been driven by increased demand due to Covid, lockdowns and the work-from-anywhere business environment.

“Cloud providers have an opportunity to capitalise on the increased uptake of services, while those who have shifted their ways of working are exploring how they can utilise cloud computing to create value,” Frear says.

Deloitte Global predicts revenue growth will remain greater than 30 percent for 2021 through to 2025, as companies migrate to the cloud to save money, become more agile and drive innovation.

Meanwhile, the intelligent edge – the combination of advanced wireless connectivity, compact processing power, and AI located near devices which use and generate data – is already stimulating some of the largest technology and communications companies on the planet.

The TMT Predictions report states the global market for the intelligent edge will reach US$12 billion, continuing a compound annual growth rate of around 35 percent.

Frear notes that the intelligent edge will “transform the computing landscape and help accelerate the fourth industrial revolution”.

The company says too that the pandemic has forced a worldwide take-up of telehealth including video-based doctor consultations.

While there was some trepidation in shifting to medical consultations through a digital platform, the TMT Predictions report illustrates how many patients and medical professionals were willing to shift to virtual appointments. Globally, Deloitte predicts the percentage of virtual video visits to doctors will rise to five percent in 2021, an increase on an estimated one percent in 2019.

“In New Zealand the requirement for telehealth exploded overnight when the lockdown was imposed. Seventy percent of GP consults were conducted virtually during the lockdown and specialists also utilised video consults for outpatient appointments,” says Thorsten Engel, Deloitte technology strategy and performance partner.

“We are starting to see more telehealth offers emerge in the market for both medical professionals and consumers, and we anticipate such services to become further integrated into sustainable practices for health care delivery.

“Furthermore, telemedicine appears to be beneficial to equity, moving outpatient clinics to virtual clinics has been reported to reduce ‘did not attend’ rates at several District Health Boards and has increased service access for Māori and Pacific people in particular. Hopefully providers will continue to embrace this model going forward, rather than reverting to traditional in-person consults,” says Engel.

The full report is available at www.deloitte.com/predictions

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