Given perhaps the most disruptive circumstances in their existence, organizations around the world found that they had no greater ally than technology to ensure some continuity of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The coronavirus vaccines that are now on the market are expected to bring relief to businesses soon by paving the way for normalcy,” said Rajesh Ganesan, vice president of ManageEngine, the corporate IT management division of Zoho Corporation . “However, the past year has shown that technology resilience is fundamental to business resilience and that it is better to take steps in that direction now than later.”
In the spirit of resilience, below is a list of ManageEngine’s top tech predictions for 2021, compiled following discussions with relevant stakeholders including business and technology leaders.
Local regulations and cloud infrastructure
With the accelerated adoption of clouds, it is inevitable for governments around the world to adopt region-specific regulations to protect aspects of sovereignty, user privacy, security, culture, policy and other issues. This requires that the cloud infrastructure be hosted in each of these regions in order to comply with these regulations. Additionally, certain states in large countries could have their own regulations, which means that organizations should consider this factor when choosing cloud providers. When it comes to both their data and their customers’ data, it is imperative for companies to work with clear regulations.
Greater focus on a seamless digital experience
A seamless digital experience will be an important differentiator for businesses, especially in the post-pandemic era. As a result, they will increasingly invest in digital experience monitoring to remove bottlenecks – such as the inability to track employee devices – as well as problems in their home network and other cloud-based productivity tools.
Organizations will also strive to effectively design AIOps to contextually monitor and correct their IT and business logic to provide an intuitive user experience. In addition, AI-supported and data-informed monitoring tools are sought in order to analyze security risks and increase operational efficiency.
The Zero Trust security model will be the new norm
Before COVID-19, Zero Trust was driven by the need to modernize the information security stack. With the move to remote work, the traditional perimeter-based security model has been overtaken. Digital identity is now a single point of control for users, devices and networks. However, Zero Trust security models operate on the principle that all network users – internal or external – are classified as hostile until proven otherwise. Trust is established through strong authentication to users when verifying who is requesting access, the context of the request, and the sensitivity of the access environment. User behavior is also continuously checked for risk.
It addresses the agile needs of modern organizations and will ultimately be the way many security frameworks are built. From a business option to a business offer, each of us is on a zero trust journey – whether we know it or not.
The hyper-converged infrastructure is ideal for the cloud era
A strong IT framework is a critical factor for companies to achieve infrastructure efficiency. Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) consolidates traditional hardware-based infrastructure (computer servers, network and storage) into virtualized, software-defined environments. Not only is this approach a cost-effective option, it also simplifies the management of these virtualized resources through a single, unified interface.
Given the impact of the pandemic, many companies are looking for technologies that can support their digital workspace. Given the cost and security issues associated with the public cloud, this may not be an immediate choice for most organizations, making 2021 the year for HCI. And because of its simplified and flexible framework, HCI is ideal for the cloud era.
Increasing use of analytics by non-IT departments
After organizations understand the effectiveness of analytics platforms, their use is expected to permeate not only IT but other departments that have traditionally not relied on analytics applications. For example, data from HR applications can be used in combination with employee performance metrics to measure the impact of employee welfare initiatives on employee productivity.
This focus on analytics brings an interesting dynamic to the way organizations work, and it also brings with it a number of data management and maintenance challenges. IT will play a critical role in facilitating fine-grained levels of access before moving to a higher trust model, where individual teams have full access to all of the relevant data necessary for them to function efficiently.