By Carolina Rossi Wosiack, Managing Director, EMEA at CI&T
While 2020 felt like a year full of change – and we did see 10 years’ worth of technology transformation in just 10 weeks – things will go back to normal. We changed our habits, people experimented, yes, but fundamentally the infrastructure that society and the economy is built on is still there. Some restructuring may happen, but we are not going to see the office become completely extinct. It will bounce back at least partially in 2021.
In 2020 we have become more aware than ever of data. We have consumed more data about the vaccine than possibly any other event in history, but this can also be an example for organisations on how to collect it, how to use it and what it really means.
Collecting data in 2021 is not new or significant – organisations are already doing that, sometimes too well. But in the past few years, many have been talking up their abilities to really gain insights and make predictions from it. I would argue that very few have actually put this into practice. 2021 will change that.
What 2021 needs to bring is an understanding of how to use it. We need to be more specific about use cases and define specific needs for data to ensure we are using it to its fullest capacity. Those that can take steps towards the data promised land will come out of 2021 as leaders.
In 2020, innovation in the start-up world was decimated. Many newly-founded start-ups didn’t survive, and new ones were not launched in their place. Funds were simply drained from the experiment ecosystem. As a consequence, large companies got even stronger and became more dominant.
In 2021, we will see a slow return of innovation in the start-up space as it adjusts to the economic shock of the pandemic. However, this can be an opportunity for larger, traditionally less experimental organisations, to tap into some of the start-up talent that is looking for somewhere to channel their ideas. This would require a lot of commitment to change from more risk averse organisations, but it could be the difference between weathering the storm and coming out of it swinging.
I think we will also see a lot more innovation focused on the ESG sector as this becomes more of a priority for customers. Having a greater purpose is going to become more of a sticking point of choice for consumers.
Decentralisation of Clinical Trials
2020 has been a year where decentralisation has taken on a new meaning. From remote working disrupting the traditional perimeters of the office, to a greater role for regional government, the pandemic has flattened organisational structures and led to new ways of working. Clinical trials are an area where decentralisation models will particularly be transformative in 2021.
We’ve seen a huge disruption to the clinical trial process with participants being unable to visit trial centres or hospitals, putting the exploration of some new life saving drugs and treatments on hold. On the other hand, never before have we seen so many doctors embrace digital health services and online care. In 2021, we can expect to see this new technology applied to clinical trials, allowing it to transform in a similar way.
The advancement of IoT devices and wearable technology, alongside video conferencing and different models of patient engagement, enables the safe decentralising of the clinical trial process. For example, it means that vital health measurements can be shared by patients remotely, allowing doctors to monitor the progress of the trial from anywhere. In 2021, we’ll see greater commitment to the use of available technology in clinical trials. This could revolutionise the process and enable participants from much further afield to participate – leading to faster, cheaper development of effective and safe medicine.