2020 is coming to a close, and oh what a year it has been. Over the past 12 months, the Coronavirus pandemic swept the globe and changed the world significantly. COVID-19 not only had an impact on our personal lives, but also our work lives. 

Many employees were forced to transition to remote work, which raised concerns around privacy and data security. It also shifted the focus of many IT professionals to edge computing, as more workloads have moved outside of the datacenter or cloud, and closer to where the data is being generated.

So, with all the new shifts and challenges that transpired in 2020, what can we expect for the coming year? Below is a list of our top IT predictions for 2021: 

  1. “Edge” to Establish Itself as the Emerging Frontier in Tech: Many businesses and individuals will become more familiar with the term “edge computing.” IoT organizations, cloud providers, and businesses located in harsh, remote locations will realize the benefits of moving to “the edge,” including optimized performance, reliability, and lower cost. We foresee “edge” becoming a household name in 2021. 
  2. Get to Know the Term “Cyber Resilience”: COVID-19 has increased dependence on the internet, which has resulted in a rise in cyber threats. While cybersecurity tools are incredibly important and help prevent breaches from occurring, cybercriminals still manage to get through, every once in a while. The concept of “cyber resilience,” or an organization’s ability to bounce back after a breach, will become more prominent in 2021. Businesses will begin establishing cyber resilience frameworks, to help them better prepare for and recover from attacks. 
  3. Goodbye Spinning Disks, Hello Flash: Many organizations will begin opting for flash drives in the datacenter and at the edge, as they deliver increased performance and reliability. Flash drives are still slightly more expensive than spinning hard drives ($$/GB), but the added benefits will make the increased costs worthwhile. Prepare for the death of the spinning disk!
  4. The Emergence of Confidential Computing and TEE: More and more vendors will begin adopting Confidential Computing and Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) in the coming year, as part of their product hardening strategies. While end users will indeed reap the benefits, they may not understand the fine print just yet. There isn’t a market leader in this new segment yet, and we don’t foresee a huge spike in adoption in 2021, but we do at least anticipate a modest increase. 
  5. COVID-19 Prompts Innovation and Increased IT Spend: The Coronavirus pandemic has presented us with new needs, requiring innovative solutions. Keep an eye out in 2021 for exciting new advancements in technology, such as holographic 3D displays, prototyping (Arduino/Raspberry Pi), and CRISPR. Additionally, due to COVID, in the coming year we expect more budget to be allocated towards IT spend, versus travel and events. We foresee businesses spending more funds on communication platforms, cybersecurity, and enabling high availability at the edge. 

2020 presented the IT market with several unforeseen changes and challenges. Organizations around the world have had to quickly accelerate their digital transformation plans to stay up and running and make it through the COVID pandemic. In 2021, we anticipate more focus on cybersecurity and cyber resilience, a growing awareness of edge computing, and increased innovation and IT spend. What are your IT predictions for 2021?

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