For many organizations, 2020 brought with it a sudden shift regarding how daily business operations are conducted. COVID-19 forced many organizations to pivot, pushing workers out of their workplaces and into their homes. This sudden shift made the ability to leverage technology effectively critical for continuing operations.
Many of the technological advancements and adjustments 2020 introduced will continue well into 2021 as workers around the world wait their turn for the vaccine.
Here are some of the new and continuing technology trends the experts at Bird Rock Systems think the world will see in 2021.
What 2021 Has in Store
Stay at home orders have shuttered many offices and other workplaces worldwide, forcing organizations to quickly adopt robust work from home policies. By leveraging video conferencing products, the cloud, and other technologies such as Cisco’s Intersight Infrastructure Service, organizations have been able to quickly and nimbly pivot to work from home environments.
Cisco’s Intersight Infrastructure Service offers proactive support, allowing you to stay ahead of problems that may arise. It also simplifies your Security as a Service offerings, allows you to streamline deployments, and handles AIOPs, offering global intelligence and insights as well as actionable recommendations.
Another Cisco product our team recommends is ThousandEyes Enterprise Digital Experience. This product is ideal for organizations undergoing complex digital transformations (such as a pivot to a work from home model), allowing you to simplify and unify your IT Operations approach. This product is ideal for managing:
- Remote workforces
- SaaS applications
- Internal applications
- Enterprise WAN
- Internet health
Increased Cloud Adoption
Cloud adoption skyrocketed in 2020 as organizations looked for ways to ensure remote employees could access the networks, tools, and applications they needed to complete their daily tasks as well as support long-term organizational goals and initiatives. As many employees continue to work from home, cloud adoption is only set to increase.
In a previous article, we discussed how SASE can help organizations securely embrace the cloud.
Zero Trust Security Framework Adoption
Distributed workforces bring with them unique security concerns and challenges. Cybersecurity remains increasingly vital, particularly in the wake of large scale attacks like the SolarWinds attack. This renewed focus on cybersecurity has prompted many organizations to adopt zero trust security frameworks, such as the Cisco Umbrella’s SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) model.
The zero trust security model is precisely what it sounds like: don’t trust any users or devices unless they have been verified. Traditional security models focused primarily on the edge of the network, so if an unauthorized user made it past your perimeter, they faced minimal security resistance past that point.
Zero trust security models are built on the belief that organizations should never automatically trust anything or anyone either inside or outside their perimeter. Instead, all devices and users should be verified anytime they try to move to a new part of the network, open an application, or access data.
As the old saying goes, you should never put all of your eggs in a single basket. Leveraging a variety of technology and security solutions that include AI or machine learning has many benefits. This approach can allow you to layer your workflow automation, decreasing the amount of time and effort it might normally take for your team to respond to a security incident such as a ransomware attack. This model also offers a highly efficient way to handle new business requests and initiatives, allowing you to automate simple routine tasks and freeing up workers for more complex jobs.
All of these initiatives are driven by the changing “edge” of the network. Before remote work became the norm, most organizations’ primary focus from a security standpoint was their internal network. They had full control over all of their endpoints and could easily monitor all internal traffic. However, work from home means that many workers use personal devices and logging on from their home networks, which may be less secure than their workplace-based counterparts.
Distributed workforces differ significantly from their workplace-based counterparts, and these differences need to be taken into account and addressed from both a security and an operations perspective. As such, technology trends in 2021 will continue to support this fundamental shift, empowering organizations, and giving their workers the tools they need to remain productive.
Why We Feel Confident Suggesting Cisco Products
Cisco is one of our many trusted technology partners. At Bird Rock Systems, we know our customers are relying on us to provide them with cost-effective, reliable, and scalable solutions as well as advice and support. That’s why we only partner with companies like Cisco that share our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
How Can My Organization Leverage These New Technologies Effectively?
The trends 2021 brings with it require organizations to consider their IT solutions from a new perspective. Though some pre-COVID approaches to IT may still support your business just as effectively as they did before, all organizations should reassess their IT posture to optimize network performance and ensure it is continuing to meet their needs.
Re-Assess Your Security Roadmap
All organizations should be re-assessing their security roadmaps regularly to ensure they continue to meet their needs. However, the rise of distributed workforces means that many organizations will need to significantly adjust their security roadmaps to ensure their network and data remain secure.
The experts at Bird Rock Systems have extensive security experience and can help your organization update your security plan to reflect best practices, address any current gaps in your security, and ensure you are adhering to any relevant compliance regulations.
Re-Assess Your Cloud Roadmap
The cloud has become a vital tool in the distributed workforce era, providing critical services to businesses. As such, you need a cloud solution that is reliable and scalable. The expert cloud and infrastructure architects at Bird Rock Systems can work with your team to create a best-value solution that supports your continually evolving business needs.
Adjusting to the work from home era can be challenging, particularly for emerging companies or organizations who weren’t already planning to support distributed workforces before COVID-19. Fortunately, the friendly team at Bird Rock Systems is here to help. For more information about how your organization can leverage these products effectively, or to begin the implementation process, please contact our team today.