Nowadays, IT is one of the most advanced and dynamically developing industries. To a large extent, the distribution of financial flows within the industry depends on trends, which, in turn, are generated by the new needs of society.
Since 2020, it is the coronavirus pandemic that has been dictating the trends all over the world. The IT world is no exception. Since most governments introduced lockdown, approximately 86% of IT companies in the world have switched to remote working. Many other industries have also switched to “online mode”. Such a sharp and massive change in the working mode provoked more changes in the mentality of the world’s population. Sergey Kartashov (Sergejs Kartasovs), CEO of the Cypriot asset management company Generation Partners, told us about IT directions that became more important due to the global changes.
Cybersecurity is one of the most relevant IT industries right now. According to research data, after employees switched to remote working, more than 40% of companies faced a significant increase in cyberattacks. According to the heads of organizations, these are mainly malware attacks and phishing.
‘Among IT specialists, cybersecurity experts are now in-demand the most. It means that in the near future, this direction will develop most dynamically. And since large security companies, even all together, are not yet capable to cope with the market demands, we expect a lot of startups to appear. And it means, they can potentially bring great profits to their initial investors,’ said Sergey Kartashov.
It is worth noting that when launching a project, 52% of companies that widely use digital technologies to develop their own business prioritize ensuring cybersecurity.
Infrastructure and cloud services
The pandemic has significantly accelerated the digitalization of enterprises, organizations, and entire states. Investing in distributed cloud data centers and the software as a service (SaaS) are becoming more and more popular.
‘Providing software, a data center, and an information processing center is a trend that helps a company get a number of benefits: reducing operating costs, saving on rent and energy consumption, and speeding up the process of working with data thanks to new technologies used in narrow-profile data centers,’ said Kartashov.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
According to a report by Stanford University, in 2020 the volume of investments in AI-based technology grew by 40%, to $67.9 billion. The share of private investments in it was about 60%, exceeding $40 billion. Most of the funding has been raised by companies that create medical products, self-driving vehicles, and educational products.
‘AI and ML are now used in almost all key IT areas and many others. First, it is working with big data. To efficiently process data accumulated all over the world, you require the most powerful and intelligent algorithms. For example, Google, Airbnb, Netflix, Spotify, and many other giant companies use artificial intelligence extensively to customize their relationship with a customer as much as possible. AI and ML are also used for entertainment purposes: neural networks are taught to draw, write poetry, change faces in photos and videos, and so on. Apart from that, artificial intelligence is considered as a potential assistant in fighting against coronavirus: based on AI technologies, specialists plan to create diagnostic consultations for people in isolation, as well as monitor compliance with quarantine regulations,’ said the CEO of Generation Partners.
Bread and circuses!
The following three areas can be combined into one functional group—service and entertainment. First of all, this is the gaming industry, video technology, and Home Service startups.
Video games with excellent graphics and powerful artificial intelligence as well as movies with stunning special effects have long been loved by the mass consumer. Of course, while there are restrictions on visiting most entertainment establishments, home leisure activities become more attractive. That is why it is worth taking a closer look at the leaders and potential stars who fight to conquer a mass player and viewer.
‘I think everyone noticed that since the beginning of the pandemic and quarantine restrictions on visiting catering establishments, numerous home delivery services began to emerge. No need to say, everyone has adjusted to it quite quickly and liked it a lot. And if you add to this the fact that almost half of business leaders expect that a significant part of the staff will remain working from home even after the quarantine restrictions are lifted, it becomes obvious that investing in this industry is more than feasible. The pandemic, of course, will end sooner or later, but the world will never be the same,’ concludes Sergey Kartashov.
Popularity is not quality
According to the expert, one should remember that despite the trends, every potential contribution must be considered from the technical side as well. Determining the trend is only the first part. Then comes scrupulous work on selecting worthy promising projects, and that includes checking the history of the company, examining its business plan, and many other factors. Giving the popularity of one direction or another, there appear many so-called fly-by-night companies. And asset management companies aim at knowing the difference between such flops and winning projects
Sergey Kartashov graduated from the University of Malta with a degree in Science and Computer Engineering and studied at the Riga Business School. Has a full-time MBA and over 10 years of experience in the banking sector with large corporate clients from England and Eastern Europe. For the past six years, Kartashov has been involved in asset management and company expertise for investment. He specializes in video technology and IT ecosystem startups.