2021 – The year of digital acceleration

Welcome to 2021!

I think we are all aware of what a dumpster fire last year was, but what you may have missed is what a significant impact 2020 had on technology. For all the problems 2020 brought us, it was one of the most influential years for technology. It brought us everything from a new Tesla and iPhone to the technology allowing billions of people around the world to work from home overnight.

2020 has laid the groundwork for some significant technology trends for the next few years. Here are some of my personal predictions of what the four biggest technology trends businesses will be focused on in 2021 and beyond.

               In 2021 businesses will continue to double down on “Work from Home”. Even with the hopes of a vaccine on the horizon, I know many businesses will continue to offer employees the option to work from home in some way, shape, or form. It only makes sense as businesses are seeing successful WFH roll outs and employee satisfaction rise from it. They are starting to see that people can still be effective at home, plus a lot of employees prefer staying home as well. This saves employers from needing a lot of expensive office space, plus they can now hire people from anywhere instead of just looking at a single location. Now businesses can hire the best people, regardless of location. The only question now is, how they can take WFH to the next level. One of my ideas is using technology like VR to bring people together virtually. Then you can have the best of both worlds. People can socialize and work together “in-person” but from the safety and comfort of their own home.

               The second major trend will be around cloud adoption. Businesses will look for ways to get applications closer to their users all around the world, and there is no easier way of doing this then by using someone else’s data centers. Not only that but business will be looking to offload any tasks that don’t add value back to the business. This will not only effect Public Cloud adoption but Hybrid Cloud adoption, as businesses look to seamlessly integrate their data centers with the Public Cloud. Having that fluidity between on-premise and off-premise is key to a successfully cloud strategy.

               The third major trend will be around making things simpler, this will be accomplished through automation. I previously mentioned a major reason for cloud adoption is to offload anything that doesn’t add value to the business, this is the same reason for data center automation. Traditionally, any repeatable task should be automated. This is going to evolve into “Anything that can be automated, will be automated”. This will lead to a lot of businesses to move toward a modern, software defined, data center. This will allow many tasks to be automated out of the box, plus features to be added through software updates instead of hardware changes. This means the data center capabilities can evolve and change as the needs of the business changes, without the need of complex/expensive hardware changes.

               The final major trend will be around data protection, specifically around ransomware protection. Ransomware has been a major concern for a lot of people this past year, a perfect example is all the recent news around the SolarWinds and Microsoft hack. Between the rise of BitCoin to the explosion of data in the last few years, it has never been a better time to be a hacker. Businesses need to protect their most important assets, their data. Regardless if it is in the cloud or on-premise, the responsibility of a business’s data protection is on IT. This will continue to be a massive challenge as data continues to grow and change, especially since it is no longer staying inside your four walls.  

               With the start of a new year we are all excited by the promise of a new start. Thought I feel 2021 will be far from perfect, it will be our first steps towards the “new normal” we have all been talking about. This year will change how a business’s leverage and value technology. The companies that are able to change and adapt first will be poised for a fast start in this new digital world. Every business in the world has only 3 objectives: make money, save money, and protect their money. The four trends I mentioned will have the biggest impact on all three of those priorities this coming year. 2021 will be the year of digital acceleration.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

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