Technology Lessons Learned in 2021

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Events of the past two years have led to a fundamental shift in how, when and where we work. Accommodating this shift is forcing organizations to rethink many of the technologies and processes they have traditionally employed.

It’s been a work in progress.

While some changes have clearly boosted productivity, efficiency and collaboration, others have been less effective. Some challenges such as data security and network remain as persistent as ever while others are only beginning to emerge. Following are some of the key issues most organizations had to deal with in 2021:

  • The cybersecurity skills gap is real. Two-thirds of IT leaders worldwide say their organizations are dealing with critical cybersecurity skills gaps. That was a contributing factor in making 2021 perhaps the worst ever for cybercrime, with damages expected to exceed $6 trillion globally. Facing pressure to reduce their risk profile, many organizations are turning to managed security providers to take up the slack. Top consulting organizations have deep benches of specialists with certified expertise across a broad range of security products from a variety of vendors.
  • Data protection is getting harder. Remote and hybrid working models have made backup more difficult than ever with critical data scattered across multiple data centers, cloud platforms, edge servers and endpoint devices. A Vanson Bourne study found that 58 percent of organizations experience regular backup failures. Analysts expect double-digit growth of backup-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions that connect to cloud-based resources and enable near-real-time backup and restore operations from offsite IT infrastructure.
  • IT is increasingly difficult to manage. Modern technology environments are so large and complex that they’ve outpaced our capacity to efficiently manage them. It’s estimated that the average mobile or web application transaction crosses 37 different technology systems or components. With everything from network configurations to security orchestration moving at nanosecond speed, you’ll never have enough time or people to handle all the repetitive tasks required. According to a recent Gartner survey, more than 80 percent of organizations plan to continue or increase spending on IT automation projects in 2022.
  • Supply chains lack resiliency. Pandemic-triggered disruptions to supply chains created significant challenges for companies across most sectors over the past two years. Two-thirds of companies surveyed by Capgemini Research Institute say improving supply chain resilience is now a top priority. Expect increased investments in supply chain analytics that apply predictive modeling and machine learning techniques in order to improve forecasting and identify potential bottlenecks.
  • Cloud sprawl is a significant problem. The expanded use of cloud resources has been instrumental in supporting remote workforces, but there’s been a downside. Spinning up new cloud services is so easy that organizations often wind up with overprovisioned and underutilized cloud assets, which wastes money and expands the attack surface. Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud report finds that companies are wasting an average of 30 percent of their cloud spend. Now is the time to conduct a thorough assessment of your environment to determine how many cloud applications and services are actually being used, who is using them and how they were provisioned.

Throughout history, technology advancements have driven more efficient workplace processes. It’s usually a messy process, however, marked by equal measures of success and complications. In our next post, we’ll take a look a few more of the technology lessons we learned in the recent past.

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