Imagine returning to the office after a weekend and discovering that sensors determine how many times a day employees wash their hands, computers check to see if masking is being followed, and speakers alert people if someone breaks the rules. All received data is collected and analyzed by the company in order to influence the actions of employees. Sounds like the beginning of a fantastic book? This is actually called the Internet of Behavior (IoB).

IoB is one of the trends of 2021. It will help companies to be more flexible, which is very important in the current economic environment and the dramatic changes caused by COVID-19. As organizations begin to collect large amounts of data and aggregate information from various sources and channels, online behavior will increasingly influence how companies interact with people.

Trends in 2021 can be divided into three blocks: location independence, people focus, and stable supply.

Location independence: COVID-19 has affected all areas related to customers, suppliers and ecosystems of organizations. In order to stay afloat, it is very important to change old business processes and technologies.

Focus on people: since the start of the pandemic the number of people working and interacting with organizations has changed. But it is people who, as before, are at the center of any business. To function in the new realities, they need digital processes.

Stable supply: only those companies that are ready for change at any time can withstand any changes.

Together, these trends reinforce each other and provide flexibility that will help companies cope with the crisis over the next 5-10 years.

Internet behaviors

With the rise of technology that collects information from everyday life, data that spans the digital and physical worlds enable behaviors to be influenced through feedback.

For example, car manufacturers can use telematics to track driver behavior by capturing sharp movements and turns. This information can be used to improve machine performance, routing, and security.

IoB has ethical and social implications that depend on the purpose and outcome of use. Apps need to collect data about location, purchases, physical activity, and other customer activity, so privacy laws will have a significant impact on how IoB is used and how large it is.

Complete experience

The overall experience includes a varied experience of working with clients and employees. It transforms business outcomes and enhances the overall work experience where all the elements intersect.

This trend is helping companies capitalize on the negative impact of COVID-19 and creating a competitive advantage for businesses. For example, many companies have improved their customer experience by developing and updating mobile applications. When customers approached the store, they received a notification asking them to register electronically and a message telling them when they could safely enter the premises with social distancing.

Technologies to protect confidential data

Computing that helps maintain privacy consists of three technologies that protect data while it is in use. The first provides a secure environment. It can process and analyze confidential data. The second performs processing and analytics in a decentralized manner. The third encrypts algorithms and data before processing or analytics.

This trend has arisen from the growing need for data sharing and security. It allows companies to securely and confidentially collaborate with competitors and participate in research.

Operations anywhere

The ability to perform operations anywhere is a vital necessity to get a business out of the post-COVID-19 crisis.

In 2021, it is important for companies to be accessible to employees, customers and partners. This can be achieved by making it possible to perform transactions and use services from anywhere and from any device. For example, banks use mobile apps to provide all kinds of financial services without physical interaction, while stores use self-checkout and home delivery services that can be arranged while in a traffic jam on the way home. This does not mean that physical space has no place in the modern world, but it should be complemented by a digital analogue.

Intelligent business

Smart business is a business that can restructure and adapt to changing conditions. It is important for organizations to be agile, quickly analyze information and make business decisions based on the received data. This strategy will be successful if companies move from inefficient and bureaucratic processes to autonomy.


Companies that do not focus on the flexibility and efficiency of processes find it difficult in a situation of uncertainty and rapid change. This is why it is important to automate everything that can be automated.

Text written based on materials from Gartner

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