The enterprise technology landscape is changing as more and more companies are going through digital transformation.
At the same time, many companies are resisting digital transformation and clinging to legacy systems and applications. As a result, a technology gap has emerged that’s growing larger with each passing year.
Channel partners should look at this gap as an opportunity to incentivize customers and convey the message that resisting digital transformation will be detrimental in the long run. Companies need to start innovating now and leveraging advanced solutions to keep up with digital competitors before they are displaced entirely.
To help businesses envision what embracing digital transformation will look like, consider where the enterprise technology landscape is heading. Here is a look at some of the emerging technologies that will take center stage over the next decade:
Remote Working Tools & Virtual Environments
By now, many of us are somewhat used to “the new normal” and working from home. Even if you hadn’t been leveraging video meetings, company-wide conference calls, softphone extensions of business phone lines, virtual workspaces, or cloud-based communications, chances are you made transitioning to these remote technologies quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic became a greater threat.
Even after the coronavirus crisis is solved and we resume business as usual, companies everywhere can expect the spike in remote work technologies and virtual environments to become more common. Now that businesses and workforces worldwide have seen what they can accomplish while working remotely, the inherent benefits of enhanced work/life balance, location flexibility, and dynamic team coordination from anywhere will not be forgotten.
You’ve heard of technologies like software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), software-defined networking (SDN), software-defined interconnect (SDI), and the software-defined data center (SDDC). Software-defined everything is an umbrella term, which encapsulates all these various innovations. In general, it refers to the process of abstracting workloads from their underlying hardware to improve agility and flexibility, and reduce costs.
Looking forward, there will still be a place for traditional networking technologies like MPLS. However, on a large scale, enterprises are increasingly becoming software-defined—and this trend is only going to accelerate in the years to come.
Hyper-automation entails using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate workflows. AI and ML are still in their early stages, and it will be many years before they become widely deployed in enterprise workloads. This is largely because they are very expensive and require access to trained and experienced data scientists. Right now, it should be noted, there is a massive experience shortage in this space. Most companies that are using AI and ML today are doing so through third-party platforms with embedded features. Look for both technologies to spread in the coming years as the cost and time to develop them decreases and for hyper-automation to increase.
Many enterprises are embracing security information and event management (SIEM) platforms to monitor their global endpoints. SIEM involves aggregating data from numerous systems and devices to provide real-time threat monitoring and alerts.
SIEM is transforming, as technologies like machine learning are being used to detect false alarms and automatically handle certain threats without human intervention. As cybercrime continues to intensify in the coming years, SIEM will become a core component in the enterprise security ecosystem.
Distributed Public Cloud
The cloud is also evolving, with Gartner predicting a widespread shift from centralized to a distributed public cloud model. In fact, Gartner called distributed cloud a top strategic technology trend for 2020.
“Distributed cloud refers to the distribution of public cloud services to locations outside the cloud provider’s physical data centers, but which are still controlled by the provider,” Gartner explains.
In a distributed cloud environment, Gartner continues, a cloud provider is responsible for delivery, operations, governance, updates, and service architecture.
UCaaS Enterprise Technology
Another trend that we’re continuing to see is a shift to unified communications as a service (UCaaS).
A surprising number of enterprises are still using disparate communications systems. Yet, we expect to see significant growth in UCaaS as word continues to spread about its transformative benefits. UCaaS, after all, consolidates numerous systems into a single, centralized, cloud-based platform that can be accessed from any location. With UCaaS in place, a company can ditch its physical communications hardware like fax machines and phones, in favor of digital solutions. It’s more convenient, more secure, and more cost-effective, which is particularly true in today’s remote work landscape.