Four cloud trends set to emerge in 2021
Kevin Hall, Infrastructure and Cloud Solutions Technical Lead, Datapac, outlines four cloud trends to look out for and ways in which cloud computing will help businesses in Ireland to overcome the challenges of the next 12 months.
In this unprecedented year for business, technology has emerged to help organisations across Ireland to meet new challenges. Cloud computing has played a central role in this trend – supporting home deliveries, underlying contact tracing, helping to manage surges and falls in demand and enabling remote working. Here are four emerging cloud developments to keep an eye on in 2021.
1. Increased focus on cloud security
It’s one thing to move to a cloud environment, but quite another thing to secure it. In 2020, we have seen organisations migrate more of their IT infrastructure to the cloud to enable employees to easily connect to the company network and access company data from home. However, enterprises are also responsible for securing data and workloads present on the cloud and face a new challenge in ensuring end-to-end protection of data across all of their employees’ devices.
This will drive renewed security-first thinking on cloud adoption. While the initial focus for businesses may have been to simply get employees up and operational remotely, the focus has now turned to implementing security measures such as multi-factor authentication, firewall protection and data encryption while mitigating the impact on employee productivity.
2. Rise of virtual cloud desktops
The majority of organisations are already well on their way in their cloud journey. Having first moved low hanging fruit such as email to Microsoft Office 365 online, hybrid cloud models are now most prevalent, combining on-premise, public and private cloud use depending on the organisations unique needs. We are now seeing organisations’ cloud strategies further mature with increasing numbers of business applications and workloads moving to the cloud.
In 2021, we will see more organisations take this to the ultimate step of deploying virtual cloud desktops, essentially meaning employees entire work environment is delivered as a managed cloud service to their desktop or laptop screens. This approach streamlines technology updates, centralises security and enables an organisation to easily scale up or down without the need to provide and tune hardware for individual users, making it an attractive option going forward.
3. Investment in collaboration and user experience
Since the beginning of this year, the use of cloud collaboration and communication tools has sky-rocketed. The vast majority of employees are now reliant on tools like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint for conducting meetings, sharing data and collaborating on documents. As remote working embeds itself as the new normal, organisations will seek to further invest in these cloud collaboration tools to enhance overall productivity and efficiency.
The successful integration of new collaboration tools doesn’t end with implementation. Organisations will look to continually invest in training and onboarding staff on the full suite of features available to them through these applications and services. Having acted as the glue in keeping teams together during the pandemic, the focus will shift to extracting the maximum from collaboration tools to boost employee engagement, improve productivity, enable flexibility and reduce costs.
4. Technology advancements driving wider adoption
In addition to the above, ongoing technology advancements will further drive cloud adoption – all feeding into the feasibility of a cloud-first or cloud-only IT infrastructure model. The rollout of 5G networks for instance will improve the quality of internet coverage and enable more intensive compute functions to be carried out by remote employees no matter where they are based.
The cloud also offers better insights from big data. Analysing the huge volumes of information that are created by businesses on a daily basis is key to unlocking new competitive advantages. Without heavy investment, most on-premise storage systems don’t have the information processing capabilities to keep up with this high-volume data generation, whereas cloud-supported analytics tools are readily available to enable informed decision making. More enterprises will need to rely on the cloud to avail of advanced technology solutions.
While there is an abundance of benefits that cloud computing can enable, every organisation has unique needs and requires a bespoke approach to their IT infrastructure. Determining the optimum model can be a complex task and a managed service provider such as Datapac can provide invaluable insights into how to tailor cloud solutions to organisational needs.
For experienced advice on what cloud solutions and services are best suited for your business, contact 1850 328 272 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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