Predicting technology trends is difficult, especially after a year in which the world changed in unexpected ways. In 2020, a typical year, circumstances accelerated years of the digital revolution in a matter of months, having a dramatic and long-term influence on how we live and work. COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption in all businesses and industries. It also emphasizes the importance of digital infrastructure and technology in facilitating company success.
“More than 90% of infrastructure and operations (I&O) firms will have most of their staff working remotely by the end of 2023. COVID-19 may have accelerated this trend, but it is also the result of the changing nature of infrastructure brought on by the shift to cloud and edge computing.” – Gartner.
Here are 5 trends that all IT industry leaders should keep an eye on in 2021:
1. Cloud-native infrastructure will dominate: Traditional infrastructure was not designed to match the demands of today’s digital business.
Modern software stacks and extensive usage of open-source and cloud-native technologies are increasingly powering digital business. Simply put, cloud-native is a software development approach that emphasizes cloud computing technologies and tenets like API-first, microservices, containers, and DevOps, as well as related capabilities like container orchestration (e.g., Kubernetes) and service mesh (e.g., Istio).
These technologies, when used together, enable businesses to quickly build, run, and orchestrate scalable applications that can be distributed and deployed globally, often using a hybrid multicloud architecture. These distributed deployments have more stringent latency, availability, performance, and agility requirements, and they rely heavily on infrastructure that provides autoscaling, self-provisioning, and self-healing capabilities via software.
IDC predicts that “By the end of 2021, based on lessons learned, 80% of enterprises will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications twice as fast as before the pandemic.”
Cloud-native technologies will accelerate their adoption across virtually every layer of the infrastructure stack, as well as for digital infrastructure orchestration from the edge to multicloud, in 2021.
2. Edge-first paradigm will fuel innovation: Today’s modern applications are increasingly architected from the ground up for automated and elastic deployment at the edge, whether it’s video conferencing, collaboration tools, streaming, gaming, or ridesharing. Massive amounts of data from a variety of sources must be processed quickly. Many applications and microservices must interconnect with low latency at the edge in order to provide the best possible user experience.
Furthermore, as compute and data move to the edge, new infrastructure constraints will emerge. These include needs for modularity and extensibility, multi-tenancy, availability zones spanning several data centers, and capacity and availability requirements related to footprint, power, network, computing, and storage hardware. These, and other variables, will need to be fully comprehended and optimized at the same time.
Edge-first deployments will continue to gain traction in 2021, accompanied by a wave of technology innovations throughout the infrastructure stack to handle the increased complexity of scaling and orchestrating distributed infrastructure at the edge.
3. Operation Continuity: Regardless of external factors, IT services must be continuous. This expectation shifts IT operation’s traditional role, necessitating a greater reliance on automation and zero- or minimal-touch maintenance. Regardless of damage, data loss, or external critical events, IT systems must continue to operate. As more people work from home, workloads must be available to support customers and geographically distributed employees.
Operational continuity, if properly structured, will increase efficiencies and allow for faster workload deployment.
4. Core System Modernization: Data centers and edge infrastructures are difficult to measure, but they can help create the optimal infrastructure. Servers, computers, networking equipment, security, storage, management software, and non-computing resources, including cables and cooling devices, make up a data center infrastructure. Policies must be implemented to optimize a data center to maximize operational efficiency while preserving functionality and performance.
Organizations are now spending more time & expense updating and modernizing their core infrastructures. As legacy infrastructure experts retire, this method helps to reduce legacy drag, increase efficiency, and maintain resiliency. It ensures that infrastructure keeps pace with developing technology, becoming more adaptable to meet the demands of digital businesses.
Core modernization helps businesses to:
- Deploy cloud migration to meet corporate goals and promote growth.
- Continuously delivering personalized experiences through digital infrastructure and services
- Provide business decisions and outcomes to facilitate digital transformation while reducing costs and increasing predictability.
5. Distributed Cloud: The decentralization of cloud resources is called distributed cloud. It offers greater flexibility in the physical location of the enterprise while also lowering latency and shifting the support burden to the cloud service provider. Each of the many diverse distributed cloud models has its own set of advantages.
Due to the reduction of latency issues, a distributed cloud can dramatically enhance performance and reduce the danger of global network outages. The following are some of the advantages of a distributed cloud:
- An increase in regulatory compliance requiring that shared data be stored in a customer’s specified geographic location.
- Allowing a network to operate with fewer loose ends by lowering the chance of network failure.
- Increasing the availability of locations where cloud services can be offered.
How is UnityOne shaping digital infrastructure for the future?
While we expect that 2021 will be more predictable and less unexpected than 2020, it is evident that things will not return to their old situation. With the realization that digital growth and acceleration are here to stay, digital leaders must embrace the technologies and trends to provide their firms a clear advantage. Leaders in business and technology will be better prepared to contribute to our ever-changing future if they understand and embrace these macro trends.
IT, information services, and infrastructure management are all entities that continuously develop, evolve, and redefine themselves.
UnityOne helps organizations innovate and thrive by providing world-class solutions. Our global network combines local expertise with global reach to provide our clients with world-class technology solutions and unrivaled industry knowledge.
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