It’s impossible to imagine 2020 without the technologies that shaped it. The work-from-home boom made office workers more reliant than ever on Slack and Zoom and both companies’ stocks soared as a result. FaceTime has become the de facto way families communicate during the pandemic. Restaurants filled orders over delivery apps like UberEats and GrubHub. None of these products were available a decade ago, and some are only recently seeing widespread adoption.
No year has been more driven by tech than this one and there is no doubt that advancements in emerging fields will transform our world in the coming year. Here are a few ways in which that might happen.
Emerging Technology Predictions for 2021
Virtualization and Cloud Become More Mainstream
Picture the modern company. What does their IT department look like? Do you see rows and rows of servers crammed into a back-room of the office? Probably not, and you have virtualization to thank for that. Increasingly, businesses are relying on cloud-based technologies for their IT needs. The modern enterprise no longer requires expensive hardware to maintain business operations. Their email, storage, and other work-essential software is primarily accessed over the internet. Virtualization aids a business in scalability, security, flexibility and management. In a work-from-home world, this has become even more apparent as employees are more decentralized than ever. In 2021, expect more reliance on cloud-based applications and less hardware in the office.
Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Vision
The world of surveillance has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years. In the US alone the surveillance market is expected to grow to $68 billion by 2023. Enterprises’ adoption of surveillance tools have been further spurred on by new developments in computer vision, an emerging field of computer science that’s trying to teach machines how to make sense of images the way a person can. Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions like facial recognition have garnered major interest from police departments. Retail environments are utilizing computer vision in their cameras from everything from store layout changes to Amazon removing cashiers entirely. Service provider Velasea utilizes AI and computer vision in casinos, schools, and government facilities.
If trends continue, expect more cameras of all varieties than ever in 2021. Home surveillance systems like Ring and driver dashboard cameras will coordinate to produce a full picture of your package arriving at your door. Computer-controlled drones equipped with infrared cameras will analyze infrastructure to aid in inspection and search-and-rescue operations. You’ll be able to translate text in real time using your smartphone. Cameras will become increasingly important as AI helps machines understand the physical world better than ever and integrators who can help make them a reality will be in high demand.
MSPs, VARs, and CSPs will Flourish
Managed service providers, resellers and system integrators will flourish as the result of this diversification of cloud services because their expertise is needed to stitch together complete solutions from a variety of best-of-breed providers. For example, backup software vendors like Veeam sell exclusively through the channel. Veeam customers are offered a more complete solution packaged up with other storage options that would only be possible through partnering with the channel. Instead of selling on-premises hardware, the channel is now learning that it might be more profitable for them (and better for their customers) to couple backup software with cloud storage. In fact, a new generation of MSPs, called CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) has emerged who realize that there’s money to be made by working strictly with cloud-based products.
2021 will be a good year for the hyperscalers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google (no surprise there), but also for the many up-and-coming companies that offer components of a hybrid cloud model. Companies that focus on specific cloud services and execute on those limited functions better than anyone else will thrive. For example, Equinix’s recent acquisition of Packet gives customers a new “bare metal in the cloud” product that does not really compete with the value proposition of the hyperscalers. Similarly, Wasabi focuses just on cloud storage, while companies like Stackpath, Akamai and others focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics. These “best of breed” solutions need a solution aggregator to combine them into something greater than the sum of their parts, and we’ll need MSPs, VARs, and CSPs to take on the challenge.
Data Driven Growth
Underpinning the future of business is the collection of vast amounts of data. We study data as a way to model the future and as any statistician will tell you we get the most accurate models with large sample sizes. The Big Data phenomenon is nothing new but we’re only recently starting to see its effects. The more data we amass, the better we can train AI to recognize stop signs, create hyper-personalized user experiences, and get Pad Thai to your door in record time. Data is often called “the new oil” for the way it fuels growth, and nearly all of today’s most profitable companies are leveraging data for some advantage. In 2021 and beyond, the data collection will continue to accelerate growth and open up new avenues for enterprises and the integrators that can make it all happen.
This blog was provided by Wasabi – contact your Climb Rep to learn more about the best cloud object storage service.