With all the focus on COVID-19 right now, it’s easy to lose sight of just how quickly the enterprise is changing from a technology perspective. For instance, worldwide IT spending is forecasted to increase by 6.2% from 2020, after declining 3.2% last year due to the pandemic.
“CIOs have a balancing act to perform in 2021 — saving cash and expanding IT,” explained John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “With the economy returning to a level of certainty, companies are investing in IT in a manner consistent with their expectations for growth, not their current revenue levels. Digital business, led by projects with a short Time to Value, will get more money and board level attention going into 2021.”
Enterprise Technology Trends: What You Need To Know
Here's a breakdown of what to expect as we move deeper into 2021.
Migrating To The Cloud
COVID-19 significantly accelerated global cloud migration, as companies moved to remote and hybrid work environments. Looking forward, it’s clear this trend is just getting started. According to IDC, 80 percent of enterprises plan to speed up their shift to a cloud-centric infrastructure. Businesses are increasingly abandoning legacy technologies in favor of cloud systems that can be accessed from any location.
"The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to unplanned/foreseen business disruptions will be a clearer determiner of success in our increasingly digitized economy," explained Rick Villars, IDC group vice president for worldwide research. "A large percentage of a future enterprise's revenue depends upon the responsiveness, scalability, and resiliency of its infrastructure, applications, and data resources."
Shifting To Microservices
As enterprises continue their shift to the cloud, they will also continue to abandon monolithic application architectures in favor of microservices. More and more enterprises are realizing that their monolithic architectures are holding them back from achieving agility and flexibility in the cloud.
Microservices offer many advantages for enterprise applications, as they are much easier to build and maintain. They can also reduce coupling and drive innovation. Look for this trend to take off in 2021.
The shift to the cloud has led to an explosion in human and non-human identities. Now more than ever, enterprises need to clamp down on identity management to protect sensitive data and workloads, and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to sensitive systems and wreaking havoc.
In 2021, expect more enterprises to tighten their identity access management (IAM) strategies, using automation, AI, and secure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to gain better visibility and control over their systems and processes.
Recent advancements in AI, machine learning, and optical character recognition (OCR) make it easier than ever to automate backend workflows. Over the next year, enterprises will continue to push forward on the automation front to streamline laborious and time-consuming tasks like data entry.
Organizations that fail to embrace workflow automation risk being displaced in the coming years by digital competitors that can move faster and more efficiently.
Putting Data To Use
Over the last several years, enterprises have been collecting unfathomable amounts of data and feeding it into data lakes and warehouses. Now, the focus is shifting from merely collecting data to putting it to use.
Enterprises are now building robust data pipelines, and focusing on tracking how information moves and changes from point to point. There is a growing demand for systems that can turn raw information into real-time analytics.
Enhancing Communication & Collaboration
In 2020, most IT administrators were focused on migrating workers to home environments and establishing base level connectivity, communication, and collaboration. For many companies, the process was rushed and completed haphazardly.
This year, much of the focus in the enterprise arena will be centered around refining the way teams work together. For example, it’s not just about using a platform like Teams anymore, but looking for ways to enhance the end user experience.
In case you missed the headline, Star2Star recently announced that the company is fully integrated with the Teams platform — demonstrating the company’s ongoing commitment to evolving with the changing enterprise technology landscape.