On tech startups, according to PwC’s 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, “CEOs in technology are more confident than their peers in every other industry.”
Following the tumultuous state of affairs in the past year, businesses are looking forward to transforming their outlook.
However, the pandemic has propelled some digital acceleration that places tech startups in pole position for growth and progress.
This is not to say that there are no challenges and obstacles. Hence, this article highlights key findings from the most important reports and studies analysing the state of tech startups over the past year.
It collects research from some of the most established authorities in tech and business. These are McKinsey, CB Insights, Deloitte, Harvard Business Review, Boston Consulting Group, and AfricArena.
Each report explores different business trends in tech startup growth and from different perspectives too. However, all contain actionable insights for business leaders to implement and drive change in their organisations.
The Next Normal: Business Trends for 2021 – McKinsey
The most significant global event from 2020 up till now is the COVID-19 pandemic. It has upended businesses and business models everywhere.
McKinsey’s comprehensive report, released just at the beginning of the new year, indicates business trends for leaders to watch out for in 2021.
The report dwells upon the deep-seated impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and the vital long-term factors for recovery and business resilience in the fourth industrial revolution.
In explaining the term Next Normal, the report states that “2021 will be the year of transition… individuals, businesses, and society can start to look forward to shaping their futures rather than just grinding through the present.”
Game Changers 2021 – CB Insights
This report analyses ‘10 technologies that could change the world’, and it contains insights for entrepreneurs, investors, and other business leaders.
It also discusses the positive impacts of tech across various sectors, including education, healthcare, privacy, environment, and personal finance. It draws from the examples of some startups making waves in their different industries.
The game-changing technologies include intelligent tutoring, cookie-busting ads with AI, creator platforms, differential privacy, sustainable food production, own-a-piece-of-anything.
In addition, it covers trends such as space-based research and development, green hydrogen, bioprinting, and ambient intelligence.
State of Tech in Africa 2021 – AfricArena
The recent decades have been filled with renewed faith in tech development in Africa. Despite some encouraging success stories, the continent still lags in tech investment.
The AfricArena report focuses on the opportunities and challenges of investing in the African tech space. The report also explores investment models among the dominant ecosystems on the continent: Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa.
Included in the research is an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on tech investment and innovation in Africa.
Particularly, early-stage investment has dropped, and there is an obvious need to support tech innovation on the continent. Although, the trend appears to be positive over the long term.
Technology Trends 2021 – Deloitte
Deloitte, in this report, explores nine trends and macro forces that will shape the digital journey and business strategies in the months ahead.
From cybersecurity to analytics, artificial intelligence. digital reality and the business of technology, the report shares insights that will transform enterprise technology.
The nine trends include engineered strategy, core assets revival, customer-focused supply networks, industrialized AI, and machine data revolution. Others are zero-trust cybersecurity, digital workplaces, hybrid customer journey, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).
The report also analyses the different roles of macro forces termed enablers, disruptors, and horizon next.
Not without mentioning the impacts of continued human-technology engagement, information management, and limitless computation.
The Year in Tech 2021 – Harvard Business Review
HBR’s The Year in Tech Report is a collection of articles from experts pointing business leaders to various insights. It is divided into four sections, each addressing specific opportunities and challenges in the global tech landscape.
The report covers new tech and the evolving customer experience, working better with advanced technologies, the next tech trends in business, and finally, the big problems in big tech.
Some of the most salient issues raised in the report include digital retail experience, blockchain, marketing, and 5G. It also addresses two of the most monumental challenges in tech today: data control and cybersecurity.
One persistent theme across all the articles is about “maintaining our human values arise because we recognise that while we build our machines for our purposes, and we ultimately control them, our relationship with them is far more complex.”
Most Innovative Companies 2021 – Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
This report does not highlight only the most innovative companies according to BCG. More importantly, it explains how these companies drive value through innovation. And it includes lessons that other business leaders can learn from them.
Its sub-theme is “Overcoming the Innovation Readiness Gap.”
According to the report, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, forward-thinking business leaders not only focused on emerging issues but the broader outlook of resilience, digital transformation, and customer relevance.
It aims to answer what makes a business ready for innovation like Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Tesla, and Amazon, among others, have achieved. Key drivers of innovation in tech startups include CEO leadership and collaboration.
Individuals and businesses do not exist in a vacuum; hence, leaders need to understand the state of affairs in their business sectors.
This is even more important in the tech startup space, considering the increasing globalisation of digital technologies.
The insights shared by these experts and research organizations are the most useful for taking your business forward and navigating the rough terrain of business in tech.