Faced with perhaps the most disruptive circumstances of their existence, organisations worldwide realised that they had no greater ally than technology in their quest to ensure some sort of work continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The coronavirus vaccines now entering the market are expected to bring relief to businesses soon by paving the way to normalcy,” said Rajesh Ganesan, Vice President at ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. “But the past year has shown that technology resilience is fundamental to business resilience and that it’s better to take steps in that direction now rather than later”.
In the spirit of resilience, here’s a list of five top tech predictions for 2021 by ManageEngine, compiled after discussions with relevant stakeholders, including business and tech leaders.
#1. Local regulations and cloud infrastructure
With the accelerated cloud adoption, it is inevitable that governments across the world will bring in region-specific regulations to uphold aspects of sovereignty, user privacy, security, culture, policies; and this will call for cloud infrastructure to be hosted in every such region to comply with those regulations. Also, specific states within big countries could have their own regulations, and hence businesses should be aware of this factor while choosing cloud providers. When it comes to their data as well as their customers’ data, it is imperative for businesses to operate with clarity of regulations and how they apply.
#2. More focus on a seamless digital experience
A seamless digital experience will be an important differentiator for businesses, especially in the post-pandemic era. Hence, they will increasingly invest in digital experience monitoring to relieve bottlenecks, such as the inability to track employee devices, besides issues in their home network and other cloud-based productivity tools. Organisations will also strive towards effectively engineering AIOps to contextually monitor and remediate their IT and business logic in order to provide an intuitive user experience. Furthermore, AI-powered and data-informed monitoring tools will be sought out to analyse security risks and increase operational efficiency.
#3. Zero Trust security model will be the new norm
Zero Trust security models operate with the principle that all network users—internal or external—are considered hostile until proven otherwise. Trust is established through strong authentication to users upon verifying who is requesting access, the context of the request, and sensitivity of the access environment; and each user’s behaviour is continuously assessed for risk.
#4. Hyper converged infrastructure is ideal for the cloud-era
Hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) consolidates traditional hardware-based infrastructure (servers and storage) into virtualised, software-defined environments. This approach is not only a cost-efficient option but also helps simplify the management of these virtualised resources from a single, unified interface.
#5. Increasing utilization of analytics by non-IT departments
Now that organisations realise the effectiveness of analytics platforms, their usage is expected to penetrate not just IT but other departments that have traditionally not relied on analytics applications. This focus on analytics brings an interesting dynamic to the way organisations work and also introduces a set of challenges in data governance and maintenance. IT will play a pivotal role in facilitating fine-grained access levels before moving to a higher trust model where individual teams have complete access to all relevant data that is necessary for their efficient functioning.