The Most Impactful IT Trends of 2021

Article originally posted by Citrix CTP, Theresa Miller

As we look back at technology in 2021 it can always be interesting to reflect on what we thought was going to be and what actually came to fruition.  Reflecting, one thing that was for certain is that there was more interest in cloud than ever, but who could have realized the hype that cybersecurity would get?  Today, let’s look at the technology trends that came out of 2021 to kick off a year in technology review.

Hybrid work

The trend towards remote working options were amplified in the past couple of years just by way of the pandemic, but the reality is that most employees want the flexibility that comes from working remote.  Gartner estimates that “remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021, and as offices reopen throughout 2021, 51% of those employees will be working in a hybrid environment at least one day per week”.

My observation around the flexibility of work remote as a side effect of the past couple years is that this was a much-needed change for many industries.  This shift is crucial to employee wellness, balance, and proved that productivity is possible regardless of where someone works.  I would expect to see this flexibility ongoing well into the future.

Multi-cloud

When cloud was first introduced the concept of multi-cloud was not widely received.  IT departments knew that once their data was in the cloud it would be near impossible to move the data around.  Plus introducing multiple clouds to an enterprise meant more complexity by way to on-prem integrations with the cloud, DR planning and more.

Fast forward to today and we are embracing a multi-cloud trend that is unavoidable.  Enterprises may make a commitment to one cloud provider, but other work teams may opt to start working with a different cloud provider without thinking twice or pulling in Central IT.  SaaS applications also leave enterprises with little to no choice around what the backend cloud is. The bright side around all this, is that today there are tools that give enterprises the flexibility to move and migrate their data to any cloud which makes the multi-cloud environments of today more supportable for the long-term. And there are solutions available to IT professionals that enable monitoring and troubleshooting across these disparate clouds and across a hybrid ecosystem.

Cybersecurity

Cyberthreats are no joke, and the rate of occurrence has become so frequency there are new headlines in the news daily.  The advancements around cyberattacks make it a viable and profitable business for the attackers and is why enterprises need to be more proactive than ever.

The modern technology trend is to stay ahead of advanced threats, it’s important to have a data governance plan that allocates internal owners of data, audit/compliance of data, protection of data and routine system patching as a foundational means to planning and protecting.

Additionally, the adoption of multifactor authentication and use of frictionless biometric factors continues to increase as methods of disrupting bad actors. Cyberthreats are no joke and protecting enterprise data is critical to long-term business success.

Analytics via Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The last of the technology trends we are covering today are analytics via artificial intelligence. What is being seen with outcomes from AI in tech varies greatly, but AI foundationally gives technology the ability to learn.  Applications that use foundational AI that learn behaviors in a human way to be critical to advance cyberthreat detection, can transform monitoring and response, and provides innovation in a way that I am excited to see transform in the future.

Technology Trends 2021 Wrap Up

It’s always fun to reflect on the year’s technology trends and consider how they will impact how we do business today, tomorrow and in the future.  The continued impact of the pandemic on how we conduct business and live our lives has certainly fueled technology uptake. Are these trends here to stay? More likely than not. What will 2022 have in store for us – we will look at some predictions next month.

About the Author:

Theresa Miller

Citrix CTP, VMware vExpert, Microsoft MVP (Office Servers and Services), and Nvidia Grid Advisor Theresa Miller is an IT professional that has been working as a technical expert in IT for over 20 years. She is a Citrix CTP, VMware vExpert, Microsoft MVP (Office Servers and Services), Nvidia Advisory Council, and MBA. Her areas of expertise are in the areas of Exchange, Office 365, Active Directory, VMware, Citrix XenApp, and XenDesktop. She is the Founder of 24×7 IT Connection, LLC, a Windows IT Pro Contributing Editor, Pluralsight author, and is an author for TechTarget. You can find her on twitter @24x7itconnect.