Happy New Year to you! 2020 is almost over, and it’s time to make some big forecasts for 2021—and look back at how good I’ve done with my 2020 predictions.
Turns out, I was shockingly on the edge of my 2020 projections. And COVID seems to have played a significant role there. Here’s my report card for the following:
The Cloud Kitchen
I projected that cloud kitchens will become a multi-billion dollar market. Although this trend was well underway at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic helped a little bit.
CloudKitchens raised $700 million in 2019, but then REEF Technology closed $1 billion in November 2020, solidifying my outlook. Wendy has also announced the launch of 250 cloud kitchens in India, making this trend global. Degree: A+
I predicted that Gibson and Chicago Cut will serve Impossible Food’s meat replacement. I have said that meat substitutes can penetrate more than 10% of restaurants in the U.S. Though I couldn’t locate the exact statistics for this forecast (well, one polling company was asking more than $5,000 for a study that I didn’t even want), I discovered that 24 percent of the U.S. population or 79.8 million people are using meat substitutes. I say this is giving me a “A.” Here’s some additional research to help my point, but I’m just going to let you read it instead of expanding this paragraph. Degree: A
Splutter of 5G
I expected that 5G would splash when hunting for offerings that would make it a winner. I can’t detect a sputter, but I can hear 5G crickets. Degree: A
The world of cashless
I expected that we will see a global trend towards cashlessness. To be sure, I would have received a B or a C on this one, if not for a pandemic. Cashless enterprises have quadrupled in less than eight weeks since the onset of the pandemic. According to Square, cashless companies rose from 8 per cent to 31 per cent from the beginning of March 2020 to the end of April. The corporation describes a business as cashless if 95 per cent or more of its purchases derive from debit and credit cards. A few more perspectives from the NYTimes. Degree: A
Now to my 2021 forecasts…
Digital transformation will engulf about 40% of the Fortune 500.
Although the word “digital transformation” was probably born out of McKinsey’s backrooms in an attempt to charge consumers with a lot of PowerPoint presentations and stale graphs, it is in the minds of many business executives. Jokes aside, it is a real tactic and a vital solution to support businesses still in the Stone Age of Operations and Product Production to stop being the world’s potential Blockbusters, Kodaks and Blackberrys.
Digital transformation is a general concept for the transformation of the company’s goods and processes into a digital format. They may be transferred online, streamlined, or improved by current processes. An example will be to move more of the transfers and interfaces of a commercial bank to clients online and via mobile devices, where most traditional banking branches became redundant. So I expect that by the end of 2021, 40% of Fortune 500 businesses will be undertaking a big kind of digital transformation project.
Digital transition sounds like a term from the first Internet bubble (1990s) in the 2020s. So you’ve already seen plenty of it; but it’s going to reverberate into 2021, so get set.
The cloud industry is going to double to $200 billion
The cloud business is like a “digital transformation cousin;” it is related but not specifically related. The pandemic has made it more important for businesses to turn to cloud computing.
There are various ways to calculate the scale of the cloud market, but I’m going to keep it straightforward and go with the above estimation of $100 billion. So by the end of 2021, I expect that the industry will be $200 billion in total. This will be motivated by the growing confidence in cloud services, the high potential growth of technology and data use across sectors, and the pace and scale that the cloud offers for these changing market trends.
Workplace transition of productivity vs culture
I hope and expect that we will recover from this pandemic in the second half of 2021. Recently, 47 per cent of “company leaders” in the Gartner survey announced that they will encourage workers to work remotely full time in the future. I don’t think that corporate managers would hold to their pledge to encourage their workers to work indefinitely from home. I’m not here to guess how far this will come down from this initial sample, so let’s presume it’s going to be down to a third.
I do feel that there will be a change towards embracing partial remote work and, more specifically, moving from face-to-face to office, business gossip, and lengthy coffee breaks to greater emphasis on competitiveness and production. It’s going to matter less how many hours you’re considered to be working, and more how many you’ve actually accomplished.
I don’t know how to calculate this forecast, so let’s see what happens by the end of the year.
DisneyPlus will gain 20% of the streaming market
My own prejudice may have clouded my decision on this one, but the coming lineup of DisneyPlus TV shows left me dizzy when I was 6 and learned that Frozen Pop-Tarts were called breakfast food: Andor TV series, Ahsoka series, The Boba Fett series, Loki series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series, and more.
DisneyPlus currently owns about 6% of the streaming market, potentially focused on a single series, The Mandalorian. After this blitzkrieg of TV goodness, I expect that DisneyPlus will reach 20% of the streaming market by the end of the year.
This is the short wrap of my 2021 predictions. Have a wonderful year!