While 2020 will go down in history as the year of the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic, it also will also be remembered for the massive and lasting disruption to global supply chains and businesses in almost every industry. Recent events have highlighted the need for businesses to adopt more scalable and adaptable technologies not only to survive current economic uncertainties, but also to prepare for the unknown challenges ahead.
As history has taught us, major crises tend to result in long-term changes to society. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst of change, even though most of those changes have already been in the cards for some years. If your business has suffered losses due to the pandemic, 2021 will be the year to start thinking about remediation and long-term sustainability, rather than just mere survival.
Here are four tech trends you should pay close attention to in the coming months:
1. Invest in artificial intelligence
It’s high time businesses started recognizing the value in the increasingly enormous amount of data they now have at their disposal. These days, data sets have grown too large for human interpretation alone, hence need to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline business processes.
AI helps businesses achieve two essential goals. Firstly, it helps them derive greater value from data by automating decision-making based on facts. Secondly, it automates many routine tasks, thereby reducing the need for manual labor and the risks of human error.
2. Take computing to the edge
Recent years have seen a huge emphasis on the role of cloud computing in facilitating remote work and scalable computing infrastructures. However, the often single-sighted focus on the cloud has also left many of its limitations unchallenged. After all, there are, and always will be, some computing workloads that are better off being handled locally.
Edge computing combines the versatility of cloud computing with the faster response times of local computing devices, namely internet-connected smart devices. Investing in edge computing will be a top priority for organizations that need speed and reliability, such as healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, and finance industries.
3. Bolster your security defenses
We’re long past the days when businesses could afford to take a purely reactive approach to information security, privacy, and compliance. With attackers out in force using various tactics and taking advantage of much more vulnerable company networks, there’s a greater need for security to be proactive and implemented by default.
You should already be carrying out an extensive, organization-wide security audit at least once every year or after any major change to your infrastructure. But now’s a good time as any to rethink your security and consider how your organization stacks up with the competition and the constantly increasing demands of regulatory compliance and customer expectations.
4. Make remote work permanent
Remote work has been the norm for some companies for years. However, as the onslaught of restrictions introduced to stem the spread of COVID-19 has proven, many other organizations were far from adequately prepared for working from home. While many people are looking forward to getting back to the office, remote work is here to stay.
Wherever possible, companies should do everything they can to facilitate remote work, even to the point of making it a permanent arrangement. Businesses can continue to enjoy the benefits of remote work long after the pandemic too, such as improved employee satisfaction, reduced costs on office space, and greater flexibility when it comes to talent acquisition.
HERO Managed Services offers expert guidance and tailor-made cloud services that help you modernize your business and reduce risk. Contact us today to find out how you can set your business up for success in 2021 and beyond.