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Predictions 2021 – Technology trends for 2021

A new year also means wishes, expressed remotely from now on, due to the coronavirus. It is also the opportunity to lift a corner of the veil on the major technologies which will mark the upcoming year. Therefore, Gartner provides a ‘top of the concepts’ that should hold the CIO’s attention.

Traditionally, the end of the year is the time for Gartner to publish its ‘Top strategic predictions’ for the next few years. In short, it’s a ‘who’s who’ of what will be the daily life of the IT departments and technology providers. It also implies many new buzzwords the users and service providers will have to become familiar with.

2020 has been a very special year, especially because the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a profound disruption of the businesses and global economies, having forced organizations to consider the future from a different – and necessarily new – perspective. “It became clear that businesses need a reset, not only due to the pandemic, but because technological advances demand it,” says Daryl Plummer, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. “Technologies are being stretched to their limits. Non-traditional approaches will enable the next rebound of innovation and efficiency.”

Buzzwords…

According to Gartner, 3 major trends are emerging: people centricity, location independence and resilient delivery.

With ‘people centricity’, Gartner refers to the user and customer technologies. The Internet of Behaviors (IoB), for instance, aims to combine existing technologies (RFID, sensors, 5G, edge computing) in order to collect and analyze the behavioral data of people, no matter whether they are office employees, citizens or buyers. Moreover, the total experience aims to combine the customer experience, user experience and employee experience in order to provide more comfort during a commercial activity. Finally, strengthening privacy and the protection of personal data is the third axis of the orientation towards the individual (securing the processing and storage of personal data within the framework of the GDPR, in particular).

Furthermore, Gartner thinks that work independent from any location will prevail in the future since it will particularly be stimulated by the coronavirus crisis and by telework. For this purpose, companies will have to implement a distributed cloud, combining public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud by means of the emergence of edge computing and of the Internet of Things (IoT). Also within this framework of location independence, the company will have to provide its employees, customers and business partners with tools for the virtual and secure access to the data. The overall leitmotiv will be: ‘Digital first, remote first’. Likewise, Gartner refers to the ‘cybersecurity mesh’, which will allow secure access to the IT infrastructures by creating a security perimeter in the form of an access identity, no matter where the user and the information are located.

Finally, Gartner regroups under the title ‘resilient delivery’ the ability of an organization to be or become resilient. In this context, Gartner speaks of ‘intelligent composable business’. This is an approach allowing companies to face potential disruptions in digital technology, by combining different operational entities which will be able to anticipate the necessary changes and to plan the appropriate reaction in a creative way. Moreover, this resilience must rely on artificial intelligence and governance in order to create high-performance, scalable and reliable models, by integrating AI into the DevOps process, or even into the DevSecOps (see our previous blogs). Furthermore, resilience will require hyper-automation (see also a previous blog) by abandoning legacy applications and platforms and by optimizing the operational processes.

… or real innovation?

Gartner insists on the need to combine these different trends within the framework of a combinatorial innovation, namely “the use of multiple functions, rather than a single technology stack, and the creation of new business capabilities by intelligently and creatively integrating them.”

Therefore, Gartner concludes that the IT departments must combine these technologies in order to create a truly innovative approach which will allow to reduce costs and to create added value for the business, and thus to turn IT into a strategic priority for the organization.

The mission of Aprico Consultants is to support companies in their IT and business transformation projects. This support should be strategic as well as technological. In order to support its strategy, Aprico has developed an original work methodology articulated around 3 axes: smart, lean and agile. Aprico’s transversal approach combining business, technology and methodology, all of this associated with our requirements criteria, is one of its key success factors.