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Wizeline 2021 Predictions: Global Talent without Borders, The Fate of Big Tech & More

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Global Talent without Borders, The Fate of Big Tech & More

By Bismarck Lepe, Founder and CEO of Wizeline

2020 has been a polarizing year. The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to the global economy, while simultaneously fueling growth opportunities in areas like remote work, education, and digital communications. Many companies have successfully adapted to the new normal by embracing a "work from anyplace" approach, even looking beyond borders to acquire top tech talent. Interestingly enough, this year has also put Big Tech in the hot seat. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, and others have been under review with the US government for concerns of monopolistic practices and misuse of personal data. Some policymakers have gone so far as to call for a breakup of these companies.

After an eventful 2020, here are my 2021 technology predictions for global talent, the future of Big Tech, 5G, and consumer data practices:

Remote Work Will Continue in 2021, Unlocking a Treasure Trove of Global Talent

The pandemic has proven to many companies who previously resisted a flexible "work from home" policy that they'd have to adapt and enable their teams to work remotely in order to survive. Many companies will be more open-minded about continued work from home and more willing to explore hiring talent from wherever they are located around the world. Proximity to power and influence will still matter for important promotions and ideation, but in the long run, a consultant and contractor driven world will be the way of the future. The pandemic has accelerated this shift and companies willing to expand their search behind the borders, will unlock a treasure trove of global talent. 

Companies Will Close The Tech Skills Gap If They Take a Global Approach and Offer Education 

The tech talent shortage has plagued Silicon Valley for years. Large companies with the resources to monopolize tech talent, do, slowing down innovation in the startup environment. The pandemic has created an increased demand for technical skills in areas like AI, data analytics, security, and cloud computing, while also shining a light on the lack of investments many companies have made in education and reskilling. The companies willing to offer accessible, focused, STEM-based educational opportunities, and look beyond the borders to create paths for workers will be the catalysts who close the tech skills gap. 

Big Tech Will Break Itself Up To Avoid the Government Dictating the Terms

There are fewer public companies now than there were 20 years ago. One of the biggest issues with ‘Big Tech' - including companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple - is the power they wield. They have the ability to completely absorb talent and their sheer size has proven to drive undue tax on consumers and businesses. The expectation is that there will be more regulation going forward and in some cases, that Big Tech will be mandated to break up. It's more likely that these companies will break themselves up in order to take part in the policy creation process. Without participating, these companies risk being regulated without a seat at the table. Looking at the broader tech and policy landscape, the government must get back into the business of funding innovation and science. They've ceded control to the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook, as opposed to leading the charge.

A Renewed Focus on Data Privacy Doesn't Mean Consumers Forfeit Digital Experiences

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a law that allows any California consumer the right to see all information a company has saved on them, as well as a full list of all the third parties that data is shared with, went into effect earlier this year. Between congressional hearings focused on tech companies' privacy practices and documentaries like The Social Dilemma, consumers are becoming savvier about murky data privacy practices and learning more about how to protect and manage their personal data online. Despite these new privacy revelations, consumers have not been deterred from using these platforms because they believe that they get a surplus of value from them. In 2021, consumers will continue to care about data privacy but not enough to abandon technologies or forfeit digital experiences. 

2021 Will Mark an Evolution for 5G, Not a Revolution 

Higher bandwidth delivered via 5G will bring greater innovation to the IoT industry and over time connect a larger part of the world, but 2021 won't be 5G's breakout year. It will be more about evolution than revolution. The combination of 5G and SpaceX's Starlink will continue to accelerate the progression of 5G business models and applications, creating more digital opportunities. The percentage of computing power will also increase to over 30% in 2021 compared to 15% a few years ago. This increase will make it more practical for businesses to create new data-oriented applications. 


About the Author

Bismarck Lepe, CEO and founder of Wizeline

Bismarck Lepe 

Bismarck Lepe is the founder and CEO at Wizeline. He founded Wizeline in 2014 with the mission to help companies build better products faster by making innovation accessible to all organizations. A seasoned executive and entrepreneur, Bismarck started his career at Google before he co-founded Ooyala, a video technology platform company which he sold to Telstra for $400M in 2014. 

Bismarck is passionate about driving economic growth in the global communities where Wizeline operates. He founded Startup GDL in 2015, a non-profit organization committed to making Guadalajara a leader in innovation. In his free time, Bismarck enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid runner. 

Bismarck graduated from Stanford with a BS in Economics.

Published Tuesday, November 24, 2020 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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