No one can predict what 2021 will bring us, but in the past eleven months alone, there have been more digital transformations than in the past decade, and each transformation are accelerating and expanding.
01 5G will eventually become mainstream!
We’ve heard about the benefits of 5G for years, but it’s not until this year that telecommuting, video conferencing and digital collaboration have become the core of our lives, and the demand for reliable connectivity and more bandwidth has made us feel the real benefits of 5G. With the development of home office and school management, the value of 5G will increasingly become the mainstream by 2021. At the same time, the world’s major mobile phone manufacturers: Samsung, Huawei, apple, etc. have released 5G mobile phones at almost every price point, and large markets like China are expected to achieve deployment targets by 2021.
02 CDP explosion
In the past few months, customer data platforms (CDP) have grown explosively. CDP helps solve problems by collecting data from all available sources (channels), organizing data, tagging data, and making it available to anyone who needs to access it. In the past few years, the development of big data analysis has not been stopped. The data is growing exponentially and will not stop soon. Now that business operations are becoming more fragmented, partly because of the home office model, and due to the continued acceleration of data collection in the expanding touch-point ecosystem, CDP will become particularly important in 2021.
03 hybrid cloud becomes the main strategy of enterprises
Enterprises have been moving towards hybrid cloud infrastructure for some time, and from SaaS (Software as a Service) applications and local solutions to a mix of public and private clouds, the hybrid cloud strategy can help organizations achieve the right balance in meeting their unique cloud infrastructure requirements. In the past year, large public cloud providers (such as AWS / azure / Google / IBM and Oracle) have invested heavily in hybrid technologies. While dealing with the challenges of exponential data growth, it also actively addresses issues such as privacy, security, and compliance. Even if there is no epidemic, the hybrid cloud will appear in 2021. The widespread and sudden disruption caused by the corona-virus highlights the value of having a cloud infrastructure that is as agile and adaptable as possible, especially as we see companies around the world accelerate their investment in the cloud to achieve faster change in times of uncertainty and disruption, as we faced in the crisis of 2020.
04 network security in trouble
Because of the epidemic, network security has become very important. Hackers have used the epidemic to expand attacks against global businesses. From January to April 2020 alone, attacks against banks increased by 238%, and attacks against cloud servers increased by 600%. As the number of employees working on the same security network decreases, companies must upgrade their network security policies and extend them to home networks and mobile devices that work from home.
05 privacy and confidential computing will increase
Another way to enhance network security is confidential computing, especially in solving the problems of communication and data privacy. The concept of secret computing is to encrypt the whole calculation process, not just data, so, as to create an additional security layer around sensitive information. Google, Microsoft, IBM, Alibaba, and VMware are helping develop new protocols and best practices through the “confidential Computing Alliance.”. This technology is still in its infancy, but we should see that confidential computing will gradually become the mainstream in 2021.
06 headless tech subverts industry and reshapes business
“Headless technology” means that enterprises can now separate their front-end and back-end data functions to create a customized shopping experience. It’s as easy as telling your Amazon Alexa to add your favorite coffee or to be able to make instant purchases through social media. People are doing more of this kind of business. According to the study, 86% of enterprises said their cost of getting customers has increased in the past 24 months. This means two things: first, organizations need to maximize the ROI of their new customers’ net acquisition cost; second, enterprises should pay more attention to customer retention than ever before. Through a cross channel experience, from warehouses to stores to online service connections, businesses will be more efficient in 2021, and if they can adopt this approach faster than they are now, they may have more advantages in market competition.
07 working at home is more persistent than the epidemic situation
For a long time, people have been calling for more flexibility in work situation. This year, suddenly, working from home has become the only viable option for many companies, and it’s a matter of course, especially in areas where the epidemic has been severely blocked. Even as the economy recovers and eventually allows employees to return to work, the company still has the responsibility to protect its employees from possible outbreaks of disease. Big high-tech companies like Google and Facebook have extended their scope of work from family policy to 2021 or part of 2021. Even small and medium-sized enterprises also take this working mode as a business choice. Part of the reason that makes it possible is the rapid deployment and development of intelligent home office technology. Of course, we’ve heard a lot about zoom / WebEx and Microsoft teams. These platforms, as well as other platforms in this category (8×8, RingCentral, Pexip, Poly) have experienced explosive growth in use and development, making them both easy to use and secure. Investment in new secure connections, has now been increased, providing connectivity to the office and flexibility that VPN does not have. Now, the company has tried its best to provide employees with better tools and technologies to improve their productivity. In the next few years, we will see a continuation of this. Many companies have been caught off guard by the epidemic, which also proves that telecommuting employees can still work effectively, sometimes improving productivity and reducing operating costs.
08 large scale democratization of artificial intelligence
The epidemic has accelerated the democratization of AI and data. Almost overnight, companies, governments and others found themselves working together to create a faster solution to stop the spread of the virus. Data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are the tools they use naturally. Work from 2020 will continue into 2021, and there are likely to be more opportunities, and these types of teams now have unique capabilities to address these challenges, such as addressing global and market issues faster, better, and on a larger scale.
Overall, the epidemic has changed the trajectory and speed of digital transformation and is likely to continue until 2021. The trends and new priorities that we observed in 2020 for organizations of all sizes will inform the focus, decision-making, and technology investment of the digital transformation strategy identified in 2021. The coming year will be an important one. I hope this year will be a healthy and stable one. However, it will develop rapidly and digital transformation will continue to be the focus of global organizations.