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It’s more than curiosity that makes us wonder what the future holds. It’s our job to look for patterns and trends, we want to be certain that we’re making sound investments and applying digital technologies in the right way, helping our businesses stay intelligent, agile and competitive.

No one could have predicted where 2020 would take us: The last six months alone have produced more digital transformation than the last decade, with every transformation effort already underway finding itself accelerated, and at scale.

5G and Wi-Fi 6 Will Finally Go Mainstream

5G has already hit the mainstream, and in 2021 and beyond we will see increased adoption of the ultra-fast infrastructure. It wasn't until remote work, videoconferencing and digital collaboration became core parts of our lives this year that the need for reliable connectivity and more bandwidth became a real, concrete benefit. The growing number of connected devices demand faster, more efficient, and smarter network capabilities. With Wi-Fi 6 and 5G working together to deliver faster processing and wireless connection speeds, every home and workplace will benefit. Today, businesses cannot afford to be disconnected, and 5G deployments have become a vital part of the solution.

Hybrid Cloud Declared the Winning Enterprise Architecture

The global cloud computing market size was valued at $266 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.9% from 2020 to 2027. Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms. By allowing workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options. Over the past year, we have seen major investments in hybrid from large public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google, IBM and Oracle. We are also seeing OEMs like HPE, Dell (VMware) and Cisco increasing investment in building tools that enable simpler connectivity between on-premises data centers and cloud. Addressing the challenges of exponential data growth, while also being proactive on issues like privacy, security and compliance.

Cybersecurity Gets a Jolt

GDPR continues to dominate the realm of data privacy also in 2021, a recent survey by PwC highlights the following:

- 44% of CEO respondents rank data privacy among top 3 policies most impactful to their business.

- 69% of respondents are "very actively" looking to shape data privacy policy.

Privacy is fast becoming a brand differentiator with consumer preference tipping in favor of brands that give them control over their data. As such, we'll see more companies getting serious about privacy and data security issues shortly.

Headless Tech Disrupts Industries, Reshapes Commerce

It sounds scary, but all “headless tech” means is that businesses are now able to separate their front-end presentation layer from their back-end data functionality to create custom shopping experiences. This can be as simple as telling your Amazon Alexa to refill your favorite coffee or being able to make instant purchases off social media.

So, why is that so important? In short, people are doing a lot more of this type of commerce. Research shows that 86% of businesses say their customer acquisition costs have increased in the last 24 months. This means two things:

- The first is that organizations need to maximize the ROI of their net new customer acquisition costs.

- The second is that it is more important than ever to also focus on customer development and retention.

By moving beyond the omnichannel experience to connect everything from warehouses to storefronts to online services, companies 2021 could become more efficient, more streamlined.

A big year ahead, hopefully one with better health and stability, but either way it is coming fast, and digital transformation will continue to be the focus of organizations around the globe.





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