2020 was a year like no other, affecting every industry in every country across the world. It was also the year that technology proved itself, allowing organisations to keep operating even as workplaces were closed.
So, what can we expect in 2021? We’ve taken a look at the predictions from Gartner, Forrester and more to identify some common IT trends for 2021.
Automation has been an integral aspect of production lines for decades, but now it is moving inside the data centre. More than simply building software workflows and macros, we will see automation of infrastructure and code to accelerate deployment.
Rather than adopting automation on a case-by-case basis, businesses will focus on automating all of their processes. This will help them to align systems, processes and strategy to deliver greater efficiencies. This ‘hyperautomation’ trend will be crucial to realising maximum value from machine learning and artificial intelligence deployments.
Where 2020 was the year of work from home, one of the IT trends for 2021 will be the year of work from anywhere. Flexi-working will become the norm, particularly in larger businesses who have realised the benefits of a decentralised workforce.
Cloud platforms will be fundamental to this new working model. Infrastructure-as-a-Service provides a platform to host custom business applications, while as-a-Service tools like Office 365 offer more generic productivity on the road. Expect to see continued growth in specialised web-based apps too.
With employees working on the road and at home, the traditional network perimeter has blurred beyond recognition. With so many more potential attack surfaces, systems and data have never been at greater risk of loss theft or corruption.
Gartner predicts increased uptake of cloud-delivered security and operational tools that operate outside the company network. Centrally managed but autonomous in operation, these tools provide protections for data everywhere – on premise, in the cloud, or in your employees’ homes.
As well as extending security coverage beyond the company network perimeter, similar provisions need to be made for data too. Services like Office 365 make it very easy to share data securely, but they do not come with the robust backup and recovery features your disaster recovery (DR) strategy requires.
At the same time, Forrester predicts the era of on-site DR is accelerating towards its conclusion. Following the wider as-a-Service trend, disaster recovery will move into the cloud too. DRaaS takes advantage of low-cost hosted storage that can be used for backup and recovery from anywhere to anywhere.
Other trends of note
5G cellular network deployments are accelerating, offering more bandwidth for mobile users. 5G will allow businesses to build new, resource intensive wireless applications, using secure public networks to deliver throughput.
Machine Learning, AI and automation will become more visible as robotics leave the factory and go on the road. 2021 will see autonomous cars and drones becoming more mainstream as ongoing concerns about viral spread limit human contact. By removing humans from the chain, opportunities for infection are reduced.
Prepping for your cloud future
The cloud sits at the heart of the IT trends for 2021. Ensuring you have a suitable platform protected by resilient DR measures will be crucial to staying competitive this year.
For more help and advice about what your business needs to succeed, please give the WTL team a call.