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Navisite 2021 Predictions: Cloud-native, Service-based staffing, FinOps, Analytics and Remote Work

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

Cloud-native, Service-based staffing, FinOps, Analytics and Remote Work

By Peter Berry, CTO of Cloud Technologies at Navisite

It's hard to believe we're weeks away from 2021. And that means, for many companies, IT planning and budget season is well underway - making it the perfect time to reflect on the IT developments that took the business world by storm over the past 12 months and think about how those changes will impact priorities in the New Year. 

Here are a few trends and priorities to keep an eye on for 2021:

1.       Cloud-native projects will accelerate. 

When starting their cloud journey, many companies choose the "lift and shift" migration approach because it offers the fastest path to the cloud - and this is because on-premises workloads are moved with little or no change to the underlying code. While lift-and-shift continues to fuel digital transformation, it has mostly been about virtualizing existing on-premises infrastructure, rather than architecting for the cloud.

In 2021, expect to see this change as organizations look to take advantage of modern hardware and cloud-native features of the hyperscale cloud. IDG's 2020 Cloud Computing Survey notes that while 54% of enterprises' cloud-based applications were moved from an on-premises environment to the cloud, a significant 46% were purpose-built for the cloud. (1) We expect to see the percentage of purpose-built, cloud-ready (refactored) applications increase in 2021 as organizations look to gain the elasticity, scalability and cost benefits of the cloud.

2.       IT teams become business specialists. 

The need for highly specialized expertise has placed a big burden on IT leaders as demand skyrockets for skills in new cloud tools and approaches, data analytics, cybersecurity and other technologies. Not only is it challenging to find and retain the right people, certain skills are only needed some of the time. 

In 2021, we'll see organizations take a service-based approach to the skills gap. In this model, internal teams become domain experts in the business. Instead of being consumed by ‘keep the lights on' daily management, they'll look to partner with outside experts and MSPs to help design, build, architect and execute on their vision, as well as take on (or take over) management of highly repetitive operational tasks.  

3.       FinOps expertise will be in high demand. 

According IDG's report on The State of IT Modernization 2020, 69% of respondents said their companies "experienced higher-than-expected public cloud costs." (2) To get control over cloud costs, organizations will increasingly seek the expertise of specialized cloud financial operations (FinOps) experts, who can analyze cloud workloads to find where overspend is occurring and offer recommendations and strategies to reduce costs. In 2021, we'll see the FinOps role grow in importance - and FinOps careers rise as well. 

4.       Public cloud drives analytics adoption. 

According to Gartner, "by 2022, public cloud services will be essential for 90% of data and analytics innovation." (3)Expect to see significant progress on this front as more organizations move to the public cloud and benefit from a common framework and for pulling data sources across platforms and processes. Taking advantage of advanced analytics-especially around technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA)-is now a realistic option for near-term digital transformation projects.

5.       Remote work becomes the norm. 

COVID-19 prompted the "work-from-anywhere" trend, but remote-work policies will be a mainstay even after the virus ends. We recently polled over 100 C-level executives and IT professionals in the U.S. to determine how their organizations were impacted by the "shelter-in-place" mandates from COVID-19, and 83% of respondents said they believe their company will continue with more liberal work-from-home policies post-COVID 19. (4) With remote work here to stay, in 2021 we'll see IT teams focus on optimizing the "quick fix" solutions they deployed in 2020. For example, many IT teams rushed to the public cloud to take advantage of virtual desktops such as Amazon WorkSpaces and Microsoft Azure Windows Virtual Desktop. They deployed the easiest and fastest configuration-a single image across all desktops. By optimizing their virtual desktops, organizations can create a taxonomy of desktop images tailored to different groups (finance, HR, marketing, etc.) and individuals, which creates a customized end-user experience and can significantly reduce costs. 

We'll also see companies strengthen their security by taking new risk mitigation measures, such as adopting a DevSecOps model, automating desktop provisioning, and applying canary build concepts to how desktops are deployed.


About the Author

Peter Barry, CTO of Cloud Technologies at Navisite

Peter Berry 

Peter leads the technical vision and development of Navisite's managed cloud services portfolio to support the migration and optimization of customer environments in the cloud. Peter's expertise spans infrastructure and cloud technologies, and he brings over 20 years of project and technical leadership experience across industries and in the public sector. Prior to joining Navisite as the director of AWS solutions, he was the co-founder and CTO of clckwrk, a London-based AWS migration specialist and consulting partner that was acquired by Navisite in 2019. As part of the founding team at clckwrk, Peter was instrumental in building a successful business helping global enterprises throughout Europe and North America migrate Oracle and other enterprise applications into the public cloud.


We cover these trends and predictions in more detail in our 2021 Trends webinar, and we are available to talk about any of the above in more detail if needed. Let us know if you have questions or comments. 


2020 IDG Cloud Computing Survey, IDG (1)

The State of IT Modernization 2020, Insight and IDG (2)

Gartner Top 10 Trends in Data and Analytics for 2020, Gartner (3)

The Overnight Shift to a Remote Workforce: Impact on Business Operations, Navisite (4)

Published Monday, November 30, 2020 7:55 AM by David Marshall
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