Most organizations make annual predictions for the year ahead, but 2021 is different. The past 12 months obviously proved incredibly unpredictable, but this year we already know the world has changed. IT, in particular, has needed to move quickly to support a widespread shift to supporting remote workers. One month into 2021, and we’re already seeing the trend continue, and it looks likely to be the same in the years to come.
Throughout the pandemic, IT professionals have needed to be on the ball more than ever, embracing the latest technologies to drive change and help their organizations survive. With that in mind, join us as we look at the technologies every IT professional needs to get to grips with during the rest of this year.
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
It sometimes feels like individuals, organizations, and the internet at large have been laying the runway for artificial intelligence (AI) forever: it’s just around the corner, it’ll be replacing humans before you know it, and we’re all doomed! The reality is unlikely to be anything like that for IT professionals, but one thing is true: you can already embrace AI in the here and now. And just to make things clear, we’re not talking about replacing your workforce with smarter-than-average software but augmenting your IT team and helping them focus on the things they do best.
AI and automation solutions can save huge amounts of time for IT professionals, optimizing the environment they work in and helping them avoid boring, repetitive tasks. This could be things like configuration management database (CMDB) updates or other time-consuming tasks such as workstation patching and compliance checks.
Or it could be your company’s service desk, where self-service technology can make a revolutionary difference to your IT team’s regular working day, along with making things quicker and easier for the end users of such systems. Modern solutions can suggest knowledge articles for simple troubleshooting, and intuitive AI can take the time to learn what users are searching for, how often they’re searching for answers, and what tickets they’re submitting. Armed with such knowledge, your technology can really work for you, categorizing tickets and helping answer the easy questions.
Sure, your IT professionals could carry out these tasks in person, but what’s the point if you can use the technology at hand to do such jobs automatically? By embracing AI and automation, your IT pros can instead concentrate on delivering more complex projects. With automation picking up the slack, your tech team can focus on innovation to help your organization get ahead in what’s already shaping up to be another topsy-turvy year.
Hybrid IT and Multi-Cloud
Organizations have been migrating from on-prem to the cloud for years, adopting a hybrid approach that helps them achieve more agile operations and really get the most out of their software, applications, and data. Then COVID-19 came along. The global pandemic solidified a trend that was already proving increasingly popular, with even more organization embracing hybrid IT solutions to deliver smoother-running operations, regardless of the societal and political landscape.
With cloud providers offering a wide array of services, however, choosing a single solution isn’t necessarily the right answer for your business. IT professionals should be looking towards hybrid IT in 2021 and asking whether multi-cloud could prove a worthy investment for your organization, your employees, and your customers.
Sure, there are challenges when it comes to multi-cloud; it can be expensive, complex, and—if done badly—confusing, but overall, the benefits are clear cut. Multi-cloud offers more flexibility, a greater array of services, and better reliability to cost-performance optimization.
That’s not to say your organization should automatically embrace multi-cloud—it may not be the best solution for your business—but it should definitely be something IT professionals are considering, assessing their organizations’ needs and current infrastructure to determine the best approach.
Implement Full-Stack APM
As many an IT professional will attest, making the switch from an on-prem environment to hybrid IT is just the beginning of a long journey. Moving between platforms means juggling legacy and modern applications, and this can be made all the more complicated when organizations also opt for multi-cloud.
This is where full-stack application performance management (APM) comes in, helping IT pros optimize their environments and resolve application performance issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
By implementing full-stack APM, IT professionals can carry out application-level assessments such as root cause summary, response time, load patterns, and resource usage to identify issues. This makes it possible to keep your systems running as efficiently as possible, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or running multi-cloud. And this, in turn, frees up time for IT professionals to deliver other efficiencies in the business.
So, while 2021 may broadly be more of the same in terms of technology, the ongoing global situation and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 means IT professionals will get a chance to build on the trends we saw during 2020. After all, remote working isn’t going anywhere, organizations are only going to have more platforms to juggle, and IT pros will be required to master hybrid IT, multi-cloud, full-stack APM, AI, automation, and more if their organizations are going to thrive over the next 12 months and beyond.