A Closer Look: 5 Technology Trends for 2021
COVID-19 has affected business all around the world, with millions of workers relieved and thousands of companies going out of business. Now that we’re two months into 2021, the economy is slowly showing signs of stability, but the fear of future challenges and surprises still exists.
However, there are still some basic concepts that will shape this upcoming year. With countless transformative changes taking place this past year, digital operations are now more important than ever. The technology industry is coming out of a chaotic year and will now start a rebuilding phase that goes beyond restoration.
Below are some of the main points from CompTIA’s insightful market study for 2021. (You can click here to download the full report.)
1. There Is No Normal
With COVID-19 changing how the world works, what people desire most is normalcy. We have been desperately searching for any type of stability. However, there is no set of hard rules anymore, but rather various options to consider. Companies can now restructure everything, though relying too much on a rigid structure can quickly become problematic if the landscape changes again. Digital businesses should continue to focus on improving flexibility and resilience now more than ever.
2. Cloud is King
As mentioned, flexibility and resilience are good principles to keep in mind for future success. When it comes to building or upgrading infrastructure, organizations will adopt a cloud-first mentality. Cloud-first is different than cloud-exclusive, since very few companies will place 100% of applications in the cloud. Companies will leverage cloud components and benefits wherever possible and opt in to managed solutions and on-prem systems as needed. The flexibility of cloud solutions will be the foundation of all rebuilding efforts.
3. Channel Firms Respond to Customer Changes
Many small channel firms are now facing hard times because they serve SMB-sized customers, who themselves are struggling with the effects of the pandemic. Some of those customers are going out of business, while others are decreasing spending. Channel firms need to be flexible and help customers prioritize initiatives. Teach them how to use a cloud foundation to automate their businesses, cut down costs, and increase efficiencies.
Despite the challenges, the pandemic has also created quite a few opportunities for MSPs when it comes to supporting remote work. With businesses undertaking the new work-from-home culture, demand has significantly increased for networking infrastructure and security services. Channel firms should evaluate their offerings and capabilities in light of these new customer needs.
4. “Zero Trust” Shapes Cybersecurity Initiatives
Even though the complexity of new IT solutions creates great opportunities, it also creates a problem for cybersecurity – especially as businesses place more infrastructure in the cloud and allow more remote access.
Zero-trust is becoming the new standard to guide these new practices. Rather than trusting network behavior or user access that appears to come from a secure location, everything now must be verified. As businesses become better adjusted to a zero-trust framework, they will see the value in their new investments, their new processes, and their newly acquired skills.
5. Business Conversations Drive Business Skills for Tech Pros
Professional skills or “soft skills” haven’t always been a priority for IT workers, but they are becoming more and more crucial for employees across the board. Being able to communicate well, lead, and organize a team have become essential skills. Though the IT department used to be a secluded support center, the move towards digitalization and the cloud has placed it in a much more strategic role.
While the IT department used to deal mainly with device troubleshooting or server maintenance, it now touches all lines of business, from marketing to the front office, which has only increased the need for professional skills. Many businesses will need to provide additional training to their IT staff to help them hone such skills and consider new hires that possess these essential characteristics.