What's In Store

Look ahead to 2021's tech trends with Deloitte's experts

Nothing like a global pandemic to make everyone refocus. Photo by Colin Anderson Productions/Getty

As poet Robert Burns mused, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In January 2020, most of us had plans —thoughtful road maps to guide our organizations, our technology, and our lives through the months to follow.

And then COVID-19 punched the entire world in the mouth, rendering useless many of these best-laid plans.

Seemingly overnight, a strange, historic event disrupted our assumptions and forced us, with a shocking degree of urgency, to become more adaptable and responsive than we had thought possible.

Mindful that the pandemic's impact continues to ripple across societies, markets, and lives, we present Tech Trends 2021. The theme of this year's report is resilience. To Deloitte, this means a stubborn determination to adapt and thrive in the face of change.

We have seen countless, inspiring examples of resilience this past year as organizations and entire sectors assessed their circumstances, revised their strategic plans, and marched toward the future. We anticipate that for most, the future they find will differ markedly from the realities of January 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis has driven change in an important and unexpected way. A growing number of organizations across sectors are accelerating their digital transformation efforts not only to make their operations nimbler and more efficient, but to respond to dramatic fluctuations in demand and customer expectation.

For example, while many supply chain leaders were confident of their ability to function during disruptions, we found out, as Warren Buffett once quipped, who was swimming naked when the tide went out.

Likewise, executive-level planning discussions about the future of work had been just that: about the future. The pandemic crashed comfortable schedules from years into weeks.

Continue reading this year's Tech Trends report on Deloitte's website to explore the opportunities, strategies, and technologies that will drive new plans during the next 18 to 24 months and beyond.

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Building Houston

 
 

Nauticus Robotics has expanded to the United Kingdom and to Norway. Image via nauticusrobotics.com

A Webster-based tech company has officially launched operations in two European countries — and it's only the beginning.

Nauticus Robotics Inc. (NASDAQ: KITT), which went public a few months ago, opened operations in Norway and the United Kingdom, "beginning the company’s international expansion strategy for 2023 and beyond," according to a release from Nauticus. The company develops underwater robots, software, and services to the marine industries.

“The ocean touches nearly every aspect of our lives, yet paradoxically seems to receive less attention and innovation when compared to other sectors,” says Nicolaus Radford, founder and CEO of Nauticus, in the release. “As we expand our operations to these strategic locales and beyond, our core mission remains the same: to become the most impactful ocean robotics company and realize a future where autonomous robotic technologies are commonplace and enable the blue economy for the better."

The two new operating bases are in Stavanger, Norway, and Aberdeen, Scotland. The two outposts will serve the North Sea offshore market. According to the release, Nauticus will work with local partners to service the region’s offshore wind and oil and gas markets. The company will also expand Nauticus Fleet, a "robotic navy of surface and subsea robots," which was established in April of 2022.

These two new regional offices are just the first examples of international growth Nauticus has planned, according to the release. Established to serve as logistics operation centers, the company's expansion plan includes new remote operation centers and service teams around the world in growth markets. The company did not announce any specific expansion plans.

"We are eager to ramp up activities in these international markets as our growing team contributes to our mission," Radford adds.

In October, shortly after its IPO, Nauticus announced that it has been awarded a second multimillion-dollar contract from the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit, part of the U.S. Defense Department, for development of a self-piloted amphibious robot system powered by the company’s ToolKITT command-and-control software.

The company was originally founded in 2014 as Houston Mechatronics Inc. before rebranding in 2021.

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