2021 – It’s Only a Date Change

For those of you who think that on January 1, 202 at 12:00 AM the world is going to go back to the way it was before COVID reared its ugly head, I have bad news for you; we’re still going to be in this fight. I wish it wasn’t true. I really do! However, contrary to the Peter Pan story, there is no Neverland; only the reality of what we face today.

Right now, in late November, we’ve regressed to nearly the same lifestyle we had when the country closed down in March. The worst part is that we already know what the casualties will be if it continues. I apologize for sounding like ‘Dave, The Downer,’ but not being realistic about what the immediate future holds for us would be incredibly naïve and unintelligent.

 

How To Handle the Future

How do we handle what the near future will provide us? The first and most obvious goal is to rely upon your friends and family for support. We can’t go at it alone. There’s strength in numbers. One finds strength in functioning organizations as well.

There’s also strength in ‘think tanks.’ Heck, there’s been plenty of time to think about everything to the point of exhaustion. However, if one uses his/her time wisely and merges his/her ideas with their respective teams, more options will be available. These can be used to take on the next initiative or to overcome the next hurdle. Now, that’s the benefit of having time alone to think and then spend more time collaborating with your teammates.

 

New Scenarios

However, there’s also a danger of having time alone to think. Since I work with an IT Solutions provider, I will focus on those scenarios that may be on your mind. Those brilliant (cough, cough) folks who dreamt up the scheme about sending money overseas to that nice person (they have to provide their bank account information first) so they can store it in an official bank account are cooking up all kinds of different scenarios.

Some of these evil actions will include even more advanced ways of attacking an organizations’ infrastructure. We’ve already had two clients succumb to this and the ‘reconciliation’ costs are astounding. If you know about ransomware, you know what I am talking about. There’s a 50/50 chance of not even getting back company information afterwards too. Last week, an article in Forbes mentioned British Airways, LifeLabs, and Marriot International all experienced data breaches.

Listed below are a few topics that are predicted to be trending in IT budgets in the year to come.

 

Travel Budgets Used for IT projects

The airlines are very close to their ‘rock bottom,’ and many will likely disappear in COVID’s version of the Bermuda triangle. Forbes also mentioned the company’s budgets for 2021….

“will shift from travel to IT technology spend. This trend will likely continue even after there is a vaccine because everyone is realizing that doing business via the internet and platforms like Zoom is fine. Travel budgets can now be redeployed to “shore up” projects that need a little extra funding — such as cybersecurity and enabling high availability at the edge.”

For many IT implementations, travel is not needed. Zunesis has been hugely successful with doing deployments remotely.  The only difficult part of these deployments is the ‘racking and stacking’ of these machines. Well, there are certified IT movers and many customers are even willing to ‘rack and stack’ the machines themselves in order to maintain social distancing.

 

Ethical AI

Based on consumer privacy issues over the last five to ten years, consumers are finally putting their foot down. Forrester believes the following…

“Over the next few years, firms will deliberately choose to do business with partners that commit to data ethics and adopt data handling practices that reflect their own values and their customers’ values.”

As we all know, there’s been a lot of ‘discussion’ surrounding this topic lately. I am looking forward to witnessing how this trend will evolve. Gartner also mentions this but instead of calling it ‘Ethical AI,’ they call it ‘Privacy-enhancing computation.’

 

Edge Computing

This is a slam dunk. We’ve even seen this rise in technology well before Covid. If there’s a way to minimize data disruption, Edge Computing is definitely at the frontier of expanding technology. Gartner also feels that ‘Distributed Cloud’ can…

“help organizations provide their services physically closer, latency is reduced, as are the costs of data, helping to ensure compliance with laws that dictate data must remain in a specific geographical region. Gartner notes that distributed cloud is the future of cloud technology generally.”

 

Total Experience

Via Forbes, Peter High of the CIO Network defines Total Experience as…

“Total experience combines customer experience, user experience, employee experience, and ultimately multi-experience to impact and transform business outcomes. The overlap in these experiences can be improved with technology, and it enables companies to take advantage of disruptive aspects of the current pandemic such as distributed customers, remote work, virtual and mobile.”

It’s about time this was on the forefront. A seamless transaction? What a concept and I am glad to see this as one of the most important IT trends for 2021. Our way of working changed overnight it seemed. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ with regards to tangible and intangible products has been challenging; especially in education.

 

Always Changing

These are just some of the changes to expect in the Infrastructure Technology world. There are a lot of dynamic strategies taking place. We will be covering these as we close out 2020 and come out swinging in 2021. We’ll come out on the other side of this as more immune and adaptable than ever before. So, while it may not go back to normal at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, 2021, we’re on our way to the Promised Land!

 

 

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