Well, the calendar has turned to 2021. Most people are glad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, as it was a challenge overall for many. Business wise, it was a good year for Roundstone Solutions, but COVID prevented it from being even better.
From March 2020-August 2020, companies hit "pause" on newer IT projects, as they made sure they were able to enable everyone to work from home and also evaluate the revenue hit they were taking from the pandemic. Corporate America soon found things were not all bad, and projects they started 2020 with still needed to get done. The same cannot be said for millions of small businesses, which, unfortunately, continue to suffer.
During the majority of 2020, most companies limited evaluating newer platforms, in exchange for continuing what they already knew. The logic was that there were bigger problems to solve and adding new platforms would make things more difficult. Some of this I agree with, but by now aren't we all pretty informed and knowledgeable about how to deploy newer, better platforms? The pandemic prevented many from taking advantage of a better way of doing things.
As we begin 2021, what will THIS year look like?
Here are my predictions for the IT infrastructure business for 2021:
1. COVID will be with us throughout the majority of 2021, but normalcy should be found by early summer 2020. By then, most of us will have gotten a vaccine and we'll have reached some sort of acceptable herd immunity that we've been hearing about.
2. Corporate America will resume as near normal patterns as possible, as early as late winter 2021.
3. IT infrastructure will continue to evolve, as it was doing before the pandemic. However, costs will come under much greater scrutiny, to fix "mistakes" that were made in the beginning of the pandemic. By this, I mean that the real costs for Public Cloud will be known, and users will be shocked at just how much they are paying AWS, Azure, and GCP for infrastructure they could do themselves for a lot less money. We're already seeing it. Sticker shock...it can be avoided and should be.
4. Smart companies will do financial analyses for each project involving IT infrastructure. The current mantra of "let's just put it in the Public Cloud" will be replaced with "let's put it where it makes most sense, performance-wise and cost-wise". Those who continue to just reflex to the Public Cloud without analysis of alternatives will fall far behind their peers.
5. Multi-Cloud will take center stage for deploying IT infrastructure. IT infrastructure won't be all on-premises, and it won't be all in the Public Cloud. Most will realize combination of both suits most companies. Applications should run where it makes the most sense to run them, after any analysis of the alternatives.
6. Companies will realize working face-to-face has real value, and while I don't think a 5 day onsite workweek is what we will return to, I see a hybrid approach instead. Maybe 3 days in the office, and 2 days working from elsewhere. Personally, I prefer the office and going face-to-face, but that's me.
7. The BI and AI business, while the darling of the industry right now, will have to show the value for all of the money being spent in the segment. Remember the value isn't in the information, nor in the analysis of the information...those are all costs. The real value is in what you do with the analyzed information that improves your business after all that.
8. Companies will realize that they will get the same benefits using a combined communications platform as they did when using Office365 or Google applications. Let's face it, managing all of the various phone, video, messaging, collaboration tools didn't get easier with the pandemic. UCaaS will simplify this quickly.
9. Backup technologies from last century will start to be replaced with newer platforms at an increasing rate this year. It's simply smarter.
So there you have it...my predictions for 2021. I'm not kidding about the part about doing financial analysis about IT infrastructure. You have to do it, because it forms the basis for better decisions which will help your company, and you, in your career.
Give us a call...we know how to do this and can help. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tim Joyce, Founder, Roundstone Solutions
Roundstone Solutions Inc.
Serving clients throughout Northern California
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