As we pass through another year in and out of COVID-imposed lockdowns, technology continues to be one of the most critical elements of our daily lives. From checking-in at the supermarket to checking out books from the online library, and attending virtual classes to attending Zoom parties – tech is what keeps us together when we’re apart. It's also helped stop education and industry from coming to a complete standstill.

While there’s no arguing that technology has supported and enhanced our survival of the pandemic, how has the pandemic shaped tech? Here are some of the top emerging tech trends to arise in the past 12 months.

In 2021 we're using a range of tech more often than ever before.

1. From BYOD to BYOE

The ability to BYOD (bring your own device) to work or study has been an option in our daily lives that has continued to grow and develop since the widespread introduction of WiFi. The increased ownership of connected personal devices such as smart phones and iPads has increased its popularity. But the ability to connect with online content anywhere, anytime, from any device has never been more important than during COVID, with business and education moved to remote home environments.

That means we’re not only looking for the flexibility to BYOD, but actually to BYOE (bring your own environment) when it comes to work and study. BYOD/BYOE technology offers a cloud-based virtual desk-top environment or workspace that can be accessed from any device and any location with internet. That's seamless interaction and productivity wherever you may find yourself locked down or isolating (or hopefully jetting off on holiday again one day in the future!).

Virtualised work environments are now a widespread expectation.

2. Technology for everyone

The democratisation of technology has been identified in a 2021 report by Accenture as one of the major trends and outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. What does that mean?

Well, think about how your personal use and understanding of technology has been forced to evolve and advance daily during COVID. From familiarising yourself with QR codes to setting up Zoom meetings, learning about VPNs and the importance of personal cybersecurity - as well as no doubt navigating a wide range of collaboration tools like Miro, Mural and Jamboard.

As a result, technology has, by necessity, become more accessible, affordable (in many cases free), widely understood and utilised by people of all generations and with all levels of personal interest in tech. Companies and institutions, friends and families are sharing new innovative tools and encouraging everyone to investigate how problems can be solved and new opportunities created with technology.

Smart technology has been embraced by all generations.

3. Staying safe from viruses (off & online)

While we all rush to get in line for our COVID-19 vaccinations, we’ve also had to stay vigilant about protecting ourselves from computer viruses and other ransom and malware. While not technically a trending 'product', cybersecurity has never been more imperative when almost every key aspect of our lives now relies on technology.

Cyber-threats are evolving as quickly as the coronavirus and it’s estimated that by the end of 2021, $6 trillion will be spent globally on cybersecurity. Luckily, VU keeps staff and students safe and informed with a proactive institution-wide cybersecurity campaign.

Cyber-threats have evolved rapidly during COVID.

Stay tech-savvy & prepare for industries of the future

Study at VU: Browse Information Technology and Cybersecurity courses.

Our cybersecurity students study in our state-of-the art cyber lab at our St Albans campus.