The future has not been written yet, and predictions can vary depending on whom you talk to. That is particularly true of 2021, a year that we know will witness significant change, but where it is still uncertain exactly how or when.
To find out more, we canvassed the opinions of five leading industry figures on what they expect the top three technology themes of 2021 will be. Here’s what they told us:
Ali Baghdadi - Ingram Micro
First, we’ll see continued and increased investment in cybersecurity. Second, there’ll be a change from the physical conferencing our industry is so used to, to virtual events —although I’m yet to see the best way of making this work. Third, expect to witness growing use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning in many applications and market segments.
Alessandro Cattani – Esprinet
Expect to see many more hybrid cloud deployments, as more workloads are moved to public cloud environments and interconnected with others left on-premises. There should also be a further push towards Device-as-a-Service as many organisations come under financial pressure. Last but not least, except an acceleration of industry consolidation amongst both distributors and resellers.
Kavita May – GTDC
The coming year will mean resilience, re-engineering and rejuvenation. The tools and technologies of digital transformation are drivers across all aspects of recovery. They work in tandem with the services distributors offer to innovate on behalf of solution providers and meet shifting demand and opportunity.
Getting back to a semblance of normalcy will also depend on how well we apply learnings and best practices from the past year into new modes of doing business. Strong partnerships, as always, will be the foundation for success, and that cannot be emphasised enough going forward. The more that companies build on and refine core competencies, the better off our industry will be, with outsourcing trends clearly pointing in this direction. Distributors will be go-to partners at the centre of all this predicted change.
Patrick Zammit - Tech Data
The coming year will witness the continuing evolution of digital and physical workplaces. The pandemic has changed the way we work forever. In fact, we’re most likely evolving to a hybrid work environment, in which workspaces have reduced capacity as standard and there is always a proportion of the workforce that connects remotely. This means we’ll put an even bigger emphasis on digital collaboration tools, secure access to systems and harnessing technology to ensure workplaces are as safe and productive as possible.
Another key theme is the growing prevalence of hybrid cloud solutions. Businesses are looking to leverage the best of on-premises, public and private cloud in order to create a robust and agile digital infrastructure. Hybrid cloud allows businesses to adapt to changing workload levels through easily scalable public cloud offerings, in combination with private and on-premises solutions for sensitive and business-critical information and processes. Edge computing is also gaining traction as a compromise between public cloud and on-premises compute.
Finally, digital transformation will continue to accelerate and permeate our working and personal lives. In the technology industry, we’ll see businesses looking to leverage their data in order to drive smarter and more personalised interactions with their customers. E-commerce platforms will evolve to become even more sophisticated—enabling customers to interact, transact and build bespoke, outcome-focused solutions quickly and efficiently.
Sayantan Dev - Redington Gulf
Hopefully we’ll start to see the shoots of economy recovery appear in several sectors. Organisations will take this opportunity to redraw their business models with a focus on disruptive technology such as IoT, big data analytics and automation. Manufacturing, retail, construction and design verticals will see an increased adoption of virtual and augmented reality as people continue to socially distance, and make most of their purchases online. Digital transformation will be fast-tracked in 2021 with e-commerce a central theme in most industries. With remote work increasingly popular, and home devices and networks potentially vulnerable to attack, security will take on a very important role to help operations run smoothly without compromising crucial company data.
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