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2021: A Yearly Overview in Technology, Innovation and Work Culture

2021 began at a low, with the pandemic’s wreckage still fresh in our minds. Countless families lost their dear ones as the global stagnation devastated economies and subsequent unemployment. But, an honest introspection throughout the year will reveal that the year also accounted for multiple innovations. Let us dive deeper into things that made 2021 a positive year in technological advancements, as well as the things worth looking forward to in 2022.

Record-Breaking Global Vaccine Administration

The global pandemic saw nations around the world carrying out independent research trying to find out a cure for the rapidly-spreading disease. The Comirnaty COVID-19 mRNA vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech was the first one to receive validation from WHO and the FDA with 95% efficacy. Several others followed suit including separate independent vaccines developed by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm, Bharat Biotech, and more. 

Even more remarkable was the overall speed of global vaccine administration. Transportation had been one of the main challenges with vaccines needing storage conditions far below 0℃ to retain efficacy, and that too within a short period of time. The total number of administered vaccines has surpassed 8.4 billion worldwide. China and India are leading the way, with above 2.6 billion and 1.3 billion administered doses respectively.

Also Read: Blockchain’s Utility in Streamlining the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chain

Hybrid Work Culture Keep Offices Running

WFH conditions became a mainstay at the onset of the pandemic. Innovations in cloud-sharing technology and internet connectivity upgrades boosted the development of a work culture environment within the home premises. 

As organizations resume operations, it has been found that an increasing number of the employees prefer a hybrid work culture- working a few days of the week from the confines of their homes. Contrary to previous notions, it has been found that hybrid working is both cost-effective and offers better value from the organization’s perspective. 

Work Pods Concept

Despite its several advantages, open office spaces were stalling efficiency. The arrival of work pods optimizes employee performance. The isolated environment on already existing floor plates enhances precision by allowing employees to focus in isolation. It also helps in maintaining office tranquility. A complete work ecosystem within a cubicle between office and residence- work pods will soon become an integral part of hybrid work culture.

Noise has always been a deterrent in the services sector. By bringing all the requirements of an employee within the pod through the incorporation of themes and the required applications, work pods provide a boost in productivity with better attention to detail, cross-functional awareness, decision-making, and collaboration. Work pods create the ideal environment for the development of new consultants, and also empower teams with experience and adaptability. 

The Boom in Online Digital Education

The closure of educational institutions to avoid the spread of the pandemic saw online and digital education options set off to the stratosphere. As schools and colleges run through Zoom video conference meetings, the e-education sector witnessed huge growth worldwide. This has been a great help for professionals looking to upgrade their skills through online certifications, as well as students willing to learn something in addition to the school curriculum.

Compared to one-on-one tutoring, e-learning has a much better retention rate among students. Students can revisit the learning material later, facilitating better freedom and control over the learning process. Current projections suggest the global e-learning industry will be valued at $325 billion by 2025. 

The IT Boom

Newer technologies and innovations fueled the IT boom of 2021. Despite a dip in revenues, organizations are looking forward to spending on cost-effective IT solutions. Reports from global research firm Gartner suggest the IT industry grew at a rate of 8.6%, amounting to the total spending of $4.2 trillion throughout 2021. The primary expenditure occurred through infrastructure-as-a-service while the IT services segment grew 9.8%.

These reports indicate a booming growth in the sector primarily responsible for total digital transformation. The change cannot occur overnight, and enterprises look forward to investing their resources in innovations that facilitate remote operations while boosting productivity and trust.

Bitcoin Sets off to Unprecedented Heights

2021 has been the year of cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin led the way. The world’s first cryptocurrency gained global prominence and legal status across countries all over the world. El Salvador became the first country in the world to elevate BItcoin as legal tender. The country also proposed the construction of a Bitcoin City using $500 million from a $1 Billion Bitcoin fund. BTC also made its presence felt in payment processing, surpassing PayPal in total value transferred at $489 billion per quarter.

Steep fluctuations in multiple fiat valuations led to a significant part of the population transferring their investments into Bitcoin. BTC investments are a safer alternative in nations witnessing hyperinflation or political instability like Venezuela, Turkey, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and more. 

The global acknowledgment of Bitcoin’s utility is also reflected in its market valuations. BTC prices soared more than twice within a year, scaling an all-time high above $66000 during October 2021. It had closed off near $29000 in the previous year.

Also Read: Crypto Weekly Update: Bitcoin City, Indian Crypto Ban, Scholarships, and More

Final Words

Even with its shortcomings, 2021 has been spectacular in terms of growth and investments in potential innovations for the upcoming years. Work hybrid culture seems to be the preferred choice for employees while reducing operational costs for the organization. The boom in digital education has been ideal for those willing to upskill. The global vaccination drive has been a testament to the abilities of human cooperation and their commitment to improvement. Last but not the least, the bitcoin rallies are not looking to stop anytime soon, as blockchain continues to be one of the most disruptive technologies in the market.

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