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Adaptiva 2021 Predictions: What Does 2021 Look Like? A Rollercoaster of Ups, Downs and Rapid Turns

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

What Does 2021 Look Like? A Rollercoaster of Ups, Downs and Rapid Turns

By Jeff Harrell, Vice President of Marketing, Adaptiva

This time last year, few, if any, technology companies imagined what we were in for during 2020. Three months in, COVID-19 turned businesses of all sizes upside down. Entire workforces were sent home almost instantly, and in this one move - establishing a distributed, fully remote workforce - a number of changes were set in motion that will heavily influence both the business landscape and overall technology adoption as we move into 2021.

Here are two areas that we see as particularly noteworthy.

Seamless Functionality

Despite promising news on the vaccine front and hopes of eradicating the virus in early 2021, many companies plan to operate remotely for the foreseeable future. As such, their technology priorities will continue to shift in favor of the products and services that assist them in seamlessly functioning from wherever employees are located.

This is an important shift, given that we are situated in a period of economic uncertainty. It signals that while IT budgets overall will shrink (Gartner estimates a decline of 8%), strategic spending will continue - and in some areas even increase from prior estimates. Budgets for cloud-based services, for example, are on the rise (projected by Gartner at 19%). This is because the transition to remote work has accelerated enterprise plans for digital transformation. Companies are now actively seeking the greater cost savings, flexibility and accessibility the cloud provides given their new structures. In fact, IDC recently highlighted that spending on digital transformation technologies specifically will increase as much as 10.4%.

Money is there for the technologies that fit the new world order, which is great news for some vendors. Many of the perennially delayed "nice-to-have" projects, like digital transformation,  modern device management, and advanced disaster recovery will now get top visibility as true needs arise, prompting a move out of the planning stage and into the execution phase. Yet because these initiatives are snapping up the lion's share of IT spending, technology vendors in other market segments will suffer throughout 2021 unless they pivot their strategy to map to their new reality.

Sizeable Gaps

COVID-19 has also highlighted income inequality gaps, which continue to deepen across the country. A recent UBS report shows that billionaires increased their wealth by 27.5% at the height of the pandemic while tens of millions of people were losing their jobs. In 2021, a similar trend will emerge in business - where the biggest companies will get richer while smaller companies will face increasing pressure without the same access to opportunity they once had.

Younger and/or smaller independent companies will be forced to make tough decisions about whether to push ahead, close their doors, or get snapped up by larger players in their space. Expect a lot of consolidation in 2021 as industries inevitably begin to thin out or if they fall into segments where budgets are slashed.

Just as we never imagined the massive upheaval of COVID-19, we cannot be sure what 2021 holds and if there will be significant new surprises. But, what we do know is that 2020 has been such a pivotal year, such a wild ride, that landscapes will change dramatically. Companies, and even some market segments, will fall off, as new leaders rise above challenge to evolve and create products and services for today's environment.


About the Author

jeff harrell 

Jeff Harrell, vice president of marketing at Adaptiva, manages the company's marketing strategies and initiatives across a growing range of products designed to assist global enterprises with pressing endpoint management and security needs. With more than 20 years' experience, Jeff is known for his domain knowledge, creativity and vision as well as the ability to execute. In his free time, Jeff can usually be found looking for birds through a pair of binoculars. For more information, please visit, and follow the company on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Published Wednesday, October 28, 2020 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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