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What We’ll See in Business Technology for 2021


Technologies are advancing remote work and 2021 will be a year for the enterprise (large and small) to build out or course correct what they implemented in haste due to COVID-19. We see how much technology helped and continues to help us navigate the pandemic, an example being Zoom as the default “Kleenex” type reference for all video conferencing now. There is a reason why the CCaaS business is booming – many deploying it for analytics and reporting relating to workforce optimization and remote work. And why companies like Twilio have surging stock pricing due to APIs syncing communication platforms with business applications – think remote restaurant ordering, pickup and end-to-end customer/business communications.

TechRepublic looked at IDC’s IT predictions report for 2021 and remarked how remote workers, e-commerce, education, telemedicine, and more are based in a digital-delivery model. And that to remain competitive, digital delivery models require digital augmentation. “By 2022, this means a shift of 65% of global GDP will be a result of digitalization. There will be a dramatic change in the tech economy, too, with IT spending from 2020 to 2023 estimated at $6.8 trillion.”

The pandemic forced many organizations to quickly pivot to cloud technologies, so it stands to reason that 2021 will be the continual build out of digital transformation journeys and cloud-centric business environments. That means, expect network reconfigurations, IaaS and data center investments. It means more multi-cloud and hybrid environments to be deployed as employees working across different applications and data standards require different data sharing and access options. Additionally, various user requirements will help dictate which cloud services and environments will be chosen. It’s predicted that while many might choose public clouds for storage and processing, others might opt for private or on-premise clouds to serve the needs for “protected” data. Most businesses today rely on multiple clouds with many SaaS applications, both private and hyperscale public clouds, some colocation; in 2021, we will see new ways to operate amongst disparate environments and more collaboration even with some of the big names, as they uncover ways to bridge these platforms.

The investments in edge compute will explode, with analysts predicting an increase in revenues from 3.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 to 15.7 billion by 2025. The revised network architecture accounts for application and data to be processed closer to the business and devices. IoT development and devices have the business analyzing ways to scale, respond faster and operate more efficiently, perhaps the trend towards micro-data centers will become reality in 2021. Micro data centers will push compute closer to the end users and those IoT devices, minimizing latency.

2021 will be the year for 5G. Over 250 million 5G enabled phones will be sold in 2020. The advancement of 5G will enable many things to work, including us, remotely. Increased bandwidth and capacity will allow for video and collaboration enhancements, new application development and when we’re able to travel again or see sporting events, airports, arenas and other locations will allow for us to connect at high speeds, making “work from anywhere” easier and faster.

You can’t have network conversations without security. With COVID-19 affecting the entire globe, the discussion around security is omnipresent. In 2021 and beyond, we will continue cybersecurity, endpoint and managed security discussions. Security discussions around how to protect what’s behind the walls of an office or branch locations are archaic. Security is now baked into all technology decisions from corporate policies to employee mobile devices and cloud connectivity. Old VPNs have become overwhelmed with entire workforces remote. Expect more Desktop as a Service (DaaS) or virtual desktop sales. It makes sense that IT will enforce congruent workforce technology with automatic updates, enhanced and more controlled security of devices, centralized management, and easy additions or remote wipes due to employee changes. Download The New World of Cybersecurity to learn more.

The convergence of network and security brings about a new philosophy that Gartner dubbed SASE (secure access service edge), the combination of SD-WAN, nextgen firewalls, cloud security brokers, zero trust network access and secure web gateways. In the era of “work from anywhere”, SASE will help the enterprise streamline network access, enhance security access and network performance and help companies reduce the number of vendors and devices needed to assess threats, limit impact and make network updates. Download Let’s Get SASE  to learn more about this methology and key benefits to your businss.

2021 will be the year for a stronger network with better access and security methodologies in place to block the bad actors from gaining access to data, networks and infrastructure. Much of the onus for security falls on the end users/employees working remotely. Therefore, we can expect SASE or sales related to zero trust security modeling, or at the very least DNS and endpoint protection solutions. We can anticipate many conversations around identity access management (IAM) and mobile device management (MDM).

Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will increase, as well. As cloud infrastructure develops, smarter algorithms and improved responses will be necessary; examples could include data centers and decisions on cooling, power usage and even machine monitoring. Advancements in network, cybersecurity, mobility and more will continue and so too will intelligent automation and responsiveness; these technologies will help people better connect and work, maximizing business impact.


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