The beginning of 2020 in no way hinted the turnaround that COVID-19 brought to the world, to our way of life and the economic consequences. But when it comes to technology, the pandemic has only accelerated digital transformation processes that have long started to take shape. The disruption caused by COVID-19 only confirmed the predictions that the successful business model would be edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven. But let’s review the main technological trends for 2021, according to leading research companies.
According to IDC the majority, 65% of global GDP will be digitalized by 2022, driving $6.8 trillion of IT spending from 2020 to 2023. Just a year before the pandemic, the analysts predicted $5 trillion over the same period. According to another leading research and advisory company, by 2024 25% of traditional large-enterprise CIOs will be held accountable for digital business operational results, effectively becoming “COO by proxy” – again an indicator of the prioritization of digitalization in companies.
New models of work require new technologies, reliable, secure and fast access to the resources of organizations from anywhere, which is possible through cloud-based solutions. If years ago, the so-called Cloud journey was meant to last about 5 to 10 years, according to current forecasts, by the end of 2021, based on lessons learned, 80% of enterprises will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications twice as fast as before the pandemic.
This is another major trend that is evolving dynamically for several main reasons. The first is that data has long been created not only in the data centers of the organizations but is generated by various smart devices in the Edge or the so-called periphery. They grow exponentially which leads to the next reason – processing these heterogeneous in type and volume data sets, analyzing information in real time and making timely decisions. Through 2023, reactions to changed workforce and operations practices during the pandemic will be the dominant accelerators for 80% of edge-driven investments and business model changes in most industries.
Hybrid by design
Establishing a hybrid model rather than performing hybrid ad hoc actions is a necessity. We are not just talking about Hybrid IT here, but a whole process that involves jobs and employees. Streaming in 2020 has increased 7 times, which requires Hybrid by design model of structuring jobs and employees. Moreover, 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time according to Gartner. This means that all systems should be made available, regardless of the location of employees.
This trend of planning a hybrid way of working is relevant not only for corporations but also for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which cannot build this type of solutions on their own and have to rely on many different providers. According to forecasts, by 2023 75% of G2000 companies will commit to providing technical parity to a workforce that is hybrid by design rather than by circumstance, enabling them to work together separately and in real time.
ICT Ecosystem Changes
The pandemic situation, the changed workforce and operations practices as well as the technology consumption are impacting the partner ecosystem, i.e., the terms and choice of a reliable partner. 2021 will be the year of new trade models and delivery methods so that businesses can remain solvent. It is important who your service and infrastructure providers are, whether they have sufficient experience and appropriate qualifications as well as the ability to quickly and cost-effectively deliver the necessary technologies and expertise in a flexible way.
In 2022, enterprises focused on digital resiliency will adapt to disruption and extend services to respond to new conditions 50% faster than ones focused on restoring existing business/IT resiliency levels. So, just reconfiguring the systems or introducing classic IT such as Disaster Recovery (DR) or Backup will not be enough. Developing a digital resiliency strategy will be critical for the success of any large organization.
All these processes take place in simultaneously and are equally important for the post-pandemic business development. But what is striking is the fact that 90% of Global 2000 companies have found that their decision-making systems do not meet the needs of organizations at all. They do not just have to upgrade their existing systems, but invest in new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, etc., to support decision-making processes and accelerate business in the digital environment. Every company must become or is already in some way a digital player.
We can summarize that in the context of the digital transformation the world is evolving from a centralized model of data storage and processing to the decentralized world of diverse by origin and volume sources of information of the Intelligent Edge; from a world in which the cloud is everything to one in which the cloud as an experience is everywhere; from a world in which data is generated and collected to the world of the so-called Age of Insight, where insights are generated based on real-time data processing and analysis, competitive advantages are identified and measurable business benefits are achieved.