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Delphix 2021 Predictions: The Unforeseen Consequences of COVID-Accelerated Digital Transformation & More

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

The Unforeseen Consequences of COVID-Accelerated Digital Transformation & More

By Dan Graves, CTO, Delphix

What unfolded in 2020 should give pause to anyone making bold predictions for 2021, but when it comes to advances in technology, one thing is certain: digital transformation will continue to shape the entire technology ecosystem.

Companies that take the time now to explore how they can better transform will be in a stronger position to capitalize on the potential to make every application and every business not just smarter and more efficient, but compliant with all of the expanding regulations that will hamper enterprises in the new year. With that in mind, I've shared three forecasts on evaluating the digital transformation barriers, innovations, and new regulations in 2021.

What's to Come in 2021

2020 brought unimaginable disruption to industries of all kinds and changed the industry landscape as we know it for years to come. As 2020 wraps up and 2021 begins to unfold, we're bound to see the impacts of accelerated digital transformation, and the resulting rush to the cloud. The shift to a remote workforce and the desire to quickly replace all physical interactions with online services served as catalysts for companies to rapidly accelerate digital transformation. In 2021, we'll see the consequences of these "rushed" transformations.

Another forecast is the accelerated ability to get new functionality out into the market in days or weeks, thanks to the rise of low/no-code solutions and PaaS services. The ability for teams to leverage better and better building blocks continues to advance, which democratizes the ability for technical teams to assemble new services more quickly.

We are also likely to see a growing patchwork of data privacy regulations spring up across different industries and geographies.  Given that 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19, there will be even more pressure to ensure that the uptick of data being driven to the cloud in 2021 is compliant with those regulations.

Unforeseen Consequences of COVID-Accelerated Digital Transformation

In 2020, companies everywhere turned to the cloud to support remote work and create new efficiencies in the face of the pandemic. As they adopted cloud for the first time or scaled their existing cloud strategy, they were faced with challenges that needed to be dealt with urgently. To make it happen, many organizations cut corners and fell short of building out modern digital-ready infrastructure, including the three pillars of infrastructure automation, SDLC automation, and data automation. In 2021 we will see the impact of rushed and ineffective transformation, such as data privacy violations, or long wait times for compliant data slowing down ongoing AppDev in the cloud.

Many companies have fully automated infrastructure and code for critical projects, but data remains a manual process. Companies will embark on another wave of transformation which will focus on ways to optimize how data is used in the cloud for critical application development and AI/ML projects, bringing their digital-ready infrastructure online.

Innovation Democratization

One of the biggest trends of the 2020s will be the ability of nearly every company to innovate in new and exciting ways that were not possible in the 2010s. New competitors to every industry are emerging, coming from tech, other industries, and startups. This creates the business pressure to innovate, and technology shifts are making this easier than ever.

Access to both high-quality data and highly scalable compute, most often via the cloud, has expanded so that any organization can benefit. At the same time, the rise of low/no-code solutions is empowering technical teams to easily implement and integrate 3rd party solutions and data, greatly accelerating their ability to test and deploy new applications or solutions which support modern infrastructures. The heavy lifting traditionally required to manage data for application innovation projects will no longer be an issue, and the ability to get new functionality out into the market in days or weeks instead of months or quarters will become the new normal.

Increase of Siloed Data Privacy Regulations

In 2021 we'll see more siloed data privacy regulations being drafted at all levels of the government, as well as across different industry consortiums. Balancing the benefits of data-driven innovation while navigating the risks of violating data privacy regulations is not new, but we might be approaching a tipping point. In 2021 we can expect to see additional governing bodies implement customized regulations, similar to what we saw with CCPA in California. If regulations increase in a widespread and non-uniform manner, businesses will be scrambling to adapt to and interpret these ever-changing regulatory requirements, which in tandem will slow down how companies can access and use data across territories.

And most of the regulations cover the citizens in any location a company wants to do business, so multi-national and even multi-state corporations will have to manage data compliance for dozens of semi-overlapping regulations.

Now more than ever, businesses and governments will be tasked with engaging in more meaningful ways to explore the technology that exists to preserve data privacy while concurrently enabling rapid digital innovation. Data platforms that combine compliance with API-driven automation will deliver the best of all worlds and enable true digital transformation in an increasingly regulated world.

Moving Forward

The business landscape as we know it has forever been impacted by the disruptive year of 2020. Moving forward, success will be dependent on companies' ability to adapt, and implement new strategies to ensure business continuity and continued customer satisfaction. Dealing with new privacy regulations, innovation democratization, and combating the backlash of a rushed digital transformation, will be at the forefront of companies' priorities come 2021.


About the Author 

Dan Graves 

Daniel is a software and cloud industry veteran of over 20 years. He is currently Chief Technology Officer at Delphix, responsible for strategic technology partnerships including AWS, GCP, IBM, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. Previously at Delphix, Daniel built the Product organization from the ground up, including Product Management, Product Marketing, Program Management, and Delphix Labs. Over his career, he has led product groups at a variety of leading technology firms including Symantec, NeXT / Apple, Sun Microsystems, NetDynamics, and Rockwell International's AI labs.
Published Monday, January 11, 2021 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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