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The Year Ahead | Brightsolid Outlines Technology Predictions for 2021

Ross Kelly

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The Impact of Covid-19 seen as many organisations consider how technology impacts teams as they continue to work from home

Brightsolid, the hybrid cloud managed service provider, has outlined its technology predictions for 2021.

The Dundee-based company predicts that, as a direct result of Covid-19 and the changes it has created within workplaces nationally, technology deployments over the coming 12 months will be more focused on improving user experiences, rather than that of advanced technologies such as AI or IoT.

Vicky Glynn, Product Manager at Brightsolid, commented: “Technology has been a saving grace for many businesses this year, from accelerating remote working and video conferencing to the digitisation of many businesses that had no online presence pre-pandemic.

“As we move into 2021 this will continue at pace, but we will also see a more refined approach to technology innovation internally – moving from advanced technology implementations to projects that will focus on enhancing the user and customer experience.”

Brightsolid believes that the following five areas are ones to watch over the coming 12 months.

Rise in cloud-based services

The pandemic has created an opportunity for many businesses to move several aspects of their business into the cloud. Certainly, this year, the introduction of cloud services within businesses has accelerated more than anyone could have expected. Gartner estimates that an additional $15 billion (£11.5 billion) has been spent on cloud services globally this year compared with 2019.

However, rather than being infrastructure-led, cloud deployments have been people-led to enable teams to work from home. As the world is likely to continue working from home next year, we don’t expect this spend to slow down.

IT organisations will change

All organisational structures will rapidly change due to more consistent remote working, and interdisciplinary teams will form organically around who they collaborate with, rather than traditional functional teams, which will increasingly influence organisational structures.

IT teams have long been touted to move not only towards becoming more interdisciplinary anyway as solutions cut across traditional lines (IoT, for example, combines network, hardware, software, data), but towards being more embedded in broader business units and thus focussed on business outcomes. As the cloud rises and the placement of workloads, into different cloud models based on the workload feature, becomes more the norm, IT teams will naturally form around these disciplines.

So, instead of network or architecture teams/workloads within the IT department, we’ll have teams focussing on SaaS and dynamic and static workloads.

Employee home communication personalisation  

In a pre-2020 world, as organisations were primarily office-based, decisions were made for the benefit of the majority based there. With the significant shift to remote working this year, organisations must now consider providing a more personal approach when it comes to IT.

IT departments must not only create environments to suit an employee’s existing home set up but also in how they work while at home – as this could be very different from when in the office. From more flexibility in terms of hours to home office setups, organisations must be ready to respond to and support employees’ bespoke requests – and have the back-end infrastructure in place to support very agile needs.

While it’s likely that 5G won’t impact on consumers next year, it is the direction of travel and so organisations will need to start planning for this in 2021 and consider how it might benefit them in a remote working world.

IT security will be more important than ever

As we have seen, the security landscape has changed significantly because of people moving to work from home. With data from the National Cyber Security Centre recently highlighting that a quarter of all cyber-attacks in the UK this year were Covid-related, organisations need to ensure they have clear security processes in place.

These must not only address the protection of data and infrastructure, but also that of the employee. By reviewing access management rights across the organisation, only specific people must be granted the ability to make changes to sensitive platforms internally.

Additionally, staff need to be clear on how to deal with a suspected malware attack. Should the pandemic continue for a long time to come, and with it remote working, we are only going to see cybersecurity attacks rise and businesses and employees must be ready to manage these accordingly.

Disaster Recovery must evolve

As with IT security being a priority, as we continue to work remotely, organisations must address what this means for their disaster recovery plans. As businesses become less concerned about the location as a direct result of people working from home, the office as the primary company location may become a thing of the past for many.

With this decentralization comes a rise in the use of disaster recovery in the cloud. Organisations must consider how to mitigate the on-premise conundrum and utilise the cloud as a backup in case of a disaster rather than relying on DR racks in the office.

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Glynn said: “Across every change an organisation is making now, they must consider if they are using the right building blocks for the long term.

“While this year has been incredibly unpredictable and there is a vital need for often very reactive implementations to address specific needs, businesses must also ensure that the pandemic doesn’t create a black hole in their infrastructures.”

Glynn added: “While it is likely be some time until we get back to some level of normalcy, we must also work as a collective to be prepared for that time – no matter when it arrives.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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