PARSIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Experts from Tangoe®, the global market leader in enterprise technology expense management and managed mobility services, today offered their point of view on the technology trends that will influence business the most in 2021. In contrast to trends from recent years centered around driving innovation, Tangoe – with 20 years of experience as a leader in technology expense management – expects 2021 will be about adapting to changing market conditions driven by the global pandemic and finding targeted ways to push the transformation envelope.
“In 2020, we experienced unprecedented disruption, forcing businesses to quickly shift operations and focus relentlessly on business continuity and finding a new normal. Organizations of all types and sizes are confronted with tough decisions, cost-cutting imperatives and resource constraints,” said Brandon Henning, Chief Product Officer at Tangoe. “In the year ahead, it will be critical for IT leaders to tap into digital technologies to not only enable business agility, but to accelerate digital transformation initiatives that may have been on hold or derailed completely during the previous 12 months.”
Tangoe experts indicate these five trends will drive business strategy over the next 12 months:
Automation Matures, Moving from Innovation to Essential.
While automation has been making top trends lists for years now - trumpeted as one of the biggest innovations for the year ahead - in 2021, automation will move from innovation to table stakes. In fact, companies are open to investing in automation as a way to accommodate changing market conditions brought on by the pandemic, according to a recent study.
Business processes are maturing a great deal and so is automation. Over the next 12 months, automation use cases will continue to grow from repetitive and routine robotic process automation to AI and machine learning-based hyper-automation.
The way IT leaders talk about automation will evolve as well, from a technology in and of itself, to the specific use cases automation enables. As organizations increasingly rely on automation to drive business processes, new capabilities and cost savings, it will move from a nice-to-have to an essential element to running a business.
BYOD + 5G = The New IoT.
The sudden rise in remote work is driving the convergence of existing trends into a megatrend. As the workforce relies on a variety of devices - including personal devices - to get their jobs done from home or the office, bring your own device (BYOD) is once again a hot topic, posing the question of how organizations can not only gain visibility into their holistic technology ecosystem, but also manage these proliferating devices.
This challenge is only compounded when it comes to the adoption of 5G, which is poised to create new categories of smart “things” that will need to be managed alongside mobile devices.
The Internet of Things (IoT) generally refers to the explosion of devices and endpoints with connectivity. But the anticipated convergence of BYOD and 5G will give way to a new definition for IoT. Rather than associating a device with an individual employee, an office location, or its connection to the network, it becomes about how the device fits into the business - and that requires a different type of registry. In the year ahead, organizations will need to think about IoT differently and figure out to how to manage the explosion of devices and new categories of “things,” in addition to the associated costs.
Businesses Finally Reap the Benefits of 5G.
5G is another trend that’s appeared on predictions lists for the last few years, but in 2021, businesses will finally be able to reap the benefits, as the technology enters mainstream use. In fact, in just three more years, Statista predicts that there will be around 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide.
The shift to remote work is accelerating 5G deployments. Carriers are beginning to push the envelope in delivering the technology more quickly to allow organizations and individuals to take advantage in the coming year. Apple already introduced its first 5G devices and over the next several months, businesses will tap into the power of 5G.
To best capitalize on the technology, IT and finance leaders will need to put a strategy in place for introducing 5G into their business in order to mitigate the risk of out of control cost structures.
The Cybersecurity Mandate Becomes Urgent.
Perhaps one of the biggest trends to take place in 2021 will occur in the cybersecurity sphere. Cybercriminals tend to capitalize on times of chaos and the COVID-19 pandemic has been no exception. Of the 723 cyberattacks the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has handled over the past year (up from 658 the prior year), nearly a third were related to coronavirus.
The increased use of remote endpoints, personal devices and home WiFi can put organizations at a greater risk and make it harder to control their security environments.
With the heightened security risks brought on by the pandemic, IT and security leaders will need to adopt endpoint management solutions, employ a cybersecurity-conscious culture and place a greater emphasis on cybersecurity strategy - before it’s too late.
Business Continuity and Cloud Go Hand-in-Hand.
As the business world becomes less and less dependent on physical offices, cloud migration strategies will continue to accelerate. Organizations will look to cloud services not only for their new and evolving infrastructure needs, but also to enable stronger collaboration among remote teams.
Over the next 12 months, organizations will depend on the cloud for business resiliency and scalability as they navigate the new normal. The challenge they face is moving operations to the cloud without breaking the bank - and doing so requires great diligence and discipline.
By achieving clear visibility into existing usage, reevaluating infrastructure needs to optimize spend and establishing tools for future and ongoing cloud environment maintenance, IT and finance leaders can maximize their cloud investment and improve efficiencies for years to come.
“After a year of mass disruption that transformed business as we know it, organizations should enter next year with an eye toward enabling business agility to help them navigate changing market conditions and prepare for future disruption,” said Yaakov Shapiro, Tangoe CTO. “To achieve agility, IT and finance leaders should focus on understanding and maximizing technology investments. Those that apply strategic and targeted technology use cases to drive meaningful transformation will find success in the year ahead.”
Tangoe helps nearly half of the Fortune 500 work smarter, save money and be confident by managing and paying their enterprise technology expenses and mobility services. Customers count on Tangoe to pay their bills, process their orders, manage their inventory and find them savings for their global telecom, mobile and cloud environments. Tangoe provides a complete solution through a unified customer experience that offers the best products and capabilities, powered by cutting-edge technology and the top people and expertise in the industry. Tangoe’s 1,400 technology, product and service delivery experts, fueled by an innovative automation framework, deliver comprehensive expense management and advanced auditing for telecom; seamless MMS program management for mobile; and expert expense management and advanced usage and optimization for cloud. With Tangoe, customers have everything needed to confidently manage assets, roll out new programs, and improve the bottom line. To learn more about Tangoe, visit www.tangoe.com, or visit Tangoe on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.