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Mission 2021 Predictions: Data Science and Cloud Native Rises, But Talent Gaps Open

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

Data Science and Cloud Native Rises, But Talent Gaps Open

By Jonathan LaCour (Chief Technology Officer) and Jaret Chiles (VP, Consulting Services) at Mission

Among the (many) cloud transformation trends that will play out in 2021, here are three specific areas where we expect outsized activity in 2021:

1) Actionable data science moves from nice-to-have to a competitive requirement.

Cloud-fueled data science deployments will be a critical (but now much more realistic) strategy for more organizations in 2021 as the availability of new products and services spurs accelerated adoption. Expect AI/ML, data lakes, advanced analytics, and related solutions to make it significantly easier than ever to collect and manage data, discover actionable insights, and reap the benefits of data-driven decisions.

As a case in point, AWS made data analytics a major theme at AWS re:Invent to close out 2020, and the cloud giant will continue putting wind in the sails of analytics technologies. AWS will, of course, press its users on the strong case for adopting its own data services, and for many - if not most - this will be the best path forward as AWS offers relatively easy starting points with plenty of firepower. Clear examples include Amazon SageMaker JumpStart, which offers pre-built machine learning solutions, and Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler for easy machine learning data preparation.

As AWS simplifies what had been complex roadblocks to adoption and enables a rapid path for businesses to begin benefitting from integrated data analytics services, expect more and more organizations to confidently set off down this road in 2021.

2) The case for moving faster with cloud native strategies becomes even more clear.

Businesses that understand the real impact of the cloud when it comes to innovation, agility, and streamlined application development are quick to put the pedal down on cloud native strategies and tools - and that's exactly what we'll see much more of in 2021. Past trepidation around cloud lock-in and resulting friction and obstacles will quickly evaporate in the face of analysis confirming the benefits of faster cloud adoption. More mature and accurate TCO and ROI metrics will continually confirm why embracing cloud native tools to go faster is a clear advantage.

Contributing to this shift is the fact that AWS is continuing to improve services that provide critical support for businesses who are going truly cloud native (rather than performing simple lift-and-shift migrations but still expecting the full ROI the cloud has to offer). AWS is advanced in its transition from a pure IaaS provider into a powerful platform service, which will continue to develop in 2021. AWS' support for serverless adoption offers strong evidence of this reality, so much so that companies must now seriously evaluate whether they need to adopt cloud servers at all as they migrate to the cloud. While upfront investments in serverless development are significant, they're miniscule compared to the long-term operational advantages. At re:Invent, AWS case studies on Coca-Cola and Capital One backed up these advantages for enterprises. Expect enterprise adoption of cloud native / microservices architectures to rise significantly in 2021.

3) Cloud partners fill the gap as expert talent becomes even more scarce.

Security and talent are most often the top two barriers to cloud transformation. But security best practices are maturing, and the biggest hurdle remaining is talent. Whether around data analytics, microservices, full-fledged cloud migrations or beyond - these cloud transformation trends put a strain on organizations searching for the right personnel (and premium salaries) needed for success. Recruiting and retaining the requisite expertise only figure to get more challenging in 2021. In response, more organizations will turn to a growing ecosystem of cloud-service-providing partners who can close up their talent gaps and give them economies of scale.

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About the Authors

Jonathan LaCour 

Jonathan LaCour is the Chief Technology Officer at Mission, a managed cloud services provider and AWS consulting partner, where he guides the development of Mission's product and platform. He also leads business development initiatives and shares his expertise on current cloud trends and best practices at industry conferences and Mission events.

Jaret Chiles 

Jaret Chiles joined Mission in 2020 a Vice President of Consulting Services He brings more than 22 years of experience in the IT services industry to the role. For the past decade, Jaret has focused on leading customers through transformational journeys to cloud-based operational models and driving modernization through advisory and implementation services around strategic planning, migrations, and data and application modernization, among other services.

Published Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:55 AM by David Marshall
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