IT trends are moving targets. Trends are subject to tech and market influences from inception. The IT sector identifies trends as directional indicators as much as it does hardware and software. There’s often a lot of commercial and technical demand behind these targets, as well as innovations driving them forward.
Not all trends are equal, either, and some are more real as actual market trends than others. Despite much hype and publicity, some real trends are nuts-and-bolts basics at fundamental levels, rather than super-mega-colossal hypes. The bottom line here is that real IT trends have functional applications with or without the hype.
The technology trends of 2021 are the results of an unparalleled global consumer and business environment. The pandemic has put the ball firmly into IT’s court. Most of 2020 was spent desperately adapting to the new needs and ways of working. 2021, however, is a blank slate with a lot of issues to cover in IT terms. We’re going to look at real-world trends on that basis.
The big 5 IT trends for 2021
Communications, integration, and transformation
The pandemic exposed a lot of shortcomings in mainstream business systems. The need to manage remote work, obsolete business systems, iffy or inferior communications and upgrades has set the trend for much greater efficiency and streamlining. This may be one of the few cases of the pandemic doing anyone any favours, enabling and proving the need for proper integration and upscaling of systems. This trend is healthy and it’s achieving significant goals in a very tough business environment.
Business marketing technologies and IT strategies
At the purely business end, transformation has taken an interesting plot twist. Marketing technologies include a lot of applications for front-ends and back-ends for all businesses. This includes apps, systems, reporting, data, etc. The global adaptive transformation has allowed IT experts to draw a line in the sand for this vast and vague range of technologies. Instead of listening to more quaint hype, IT consultants are now saying “Prove it.” This means “Show us your tech is cost-efficient, appropriate, and delivering value for our clients” across a huge spectrum of marketing and sales apps. This IT trend won’t be changing direction anytime soon.
Automation is coming in like the tide, regardless of pandemics or the readiness of anyone for it to arrive. In a rather ironic benefit, the pandemic has caused automation to accelerate. It has accelerated to a degree where the practical ramifications of automation can be assessed and explored.
This means the critical who/what/where/why/how much must be accurately monitored and evaluated as working systems. This is diametrically different from the simplistic “automated must be cheaper, so it must be better” perspective. (Automation is NOT better and anything but cheaper if you wind up with some clunky absurd thing that makes your desktop calculator look like Einstein.) This practical automation is all about doing real business and doing it well. Again, “Prove it” is the working approach from IT professionals.
Security remains a top priority in IT for way too many good reasons. The huge surges in global security issues have come as a shock, but also motivated a strong response. Security is actually the leading global IT investment today according to Deloitte, even outpacing Big Data. Security initiatives include managing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)in the processes of automation and integration. Web applications are top of the list for vulnerabilities. Bear in mind that businesses use an average of 900 web applications, and you can see why this is as much essential service as a trend.
Microservices and data
Microservices are a range of custom deployable services, usually in modular structures. These services are naturally tailored to business operational needs and directly linked to APIs. Microservices are also considered easy to maintain and highly cost-efficient. Amazon and Netflix are the instant examples of microservices, covering a gigantic bandwidth of customer needs and business operations.
Microservices, like all business system components, generate a lot of useful data. Managing this data, integrating with other business data sets, reporting it, and analysing it are key business issues. Many businesses report that they’re not getting the data analyses they need. Because data analysis has to encompass everything from bottom to top-generated data, this is the new frontier for IT – Making sense out of the big numbers, disparate data, and getting accurate ROI visualisation. The IT response is precision system design, factoring in data analysis and generation needs.
These IT trends have been jumpstarted by the pandemic. Businesses were already drifting to automation, for example, but now it’s a determined rush to automation. Security was already a problem; now it’s a must-get-right environment with serious threats to manage.
The big issues for businesses in this tricky environment are:
- Acquisition strategies, values, and above all, costs and efficiencies. These are non-negotiable issues for any business.
- Proper integration of communications, services and systems to high standards with proper oversight, analysis and reporting.
- Proof of delivery values in business terms, showing clear positives and benefits. This particularly applies to automation, where your business is legally interacting with the market on an automated basis under commercial laws. Everything has to be done well.
Need some help with your IT?
Anticipating future needs is a crucial part of business IT. What’s needed? What will be needed? Can you deliver on those needs? This is the unstated trend, the one that drives the future. Now would be a good time to start considering those issues.
MaxIT is here to help with a complete range of IT consultation services. We work with a stunning array of diverse businesses, from the market heavyweights to the up and coming guys with the great ideas. We can help with in-house systems, system planning, and all the bread-and-butter IT issues. We can also help with the big picture initiatives and future planning. Give our friendly experts a call or contact us online. We’re always right here when you need us.