Infographic: The Biggest Biz IT Trends of 2021
Another year, another jump in technology investment as businesses scramble to take advantage of the competitive benefits that tech adoption and implementation can bring to a modern organization.
Not all technology, however, is equally sought-after, and there are certain areas in particular that are driving substantial levels of investment.
As you will see in the infographic, these areas are cloud adoption and cybersecurity—two crucial aspects of modern business tech that are driving investment more than anything else.
In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at why these trends are at the forefront of business tech adoption and what it means for the future of businesses in 2022 and beyond.
Technology Adoption In Business
There are not many businesses today that have no plan whatsoever for technology adoption, as investment opportunities become more widespread and tech projects become more viable—particularly for small- and medium-sized companies.
Almost every technology solution available to modern organizations offers some kind of competitive advantage today, and businesses compete on the basis of their level of digitization more than ever.
In short, those who digitize find themselves taking advantage of new opportunities while those who lag behind find themselves struggling to find new customers, improve internal operations, and deliver a service that keeps existing customers coming back for more.
Let’s take a look at the key IT trends in business today and shed more light on their significance.
Cloud Adoption Is Key
Cloud adoption consistently ranks as one of the most important IT trends in business year after year, and 2021 has been no different.
While the adoption of cloud solutions, tools, and services among organizations was on the rise in any event prior to 2020, the onset of the COVID pandemic meant that it became a necessity for them to implement these solutions into their operations in order to survive.
The top three initiatives for technology spend remained the same in 2021 as in 2020—digital transformation, cybersecurity, and the cloud.
This is a trend that continued heavily into 2021 and will into 2022, too.
The adoption of cloud services opened up new opportunities for digital transformation, with many businesses using the chance to update their IT infrastructure and establish lines of business that are cloud-based and prepared for the future—especially as it pertains to scalability and the integration of software applications.
Such is this fervor for companies to implement these solutions that the need to update outdated infrastructure was cited as one of the most sought-after business needs by two-thirds of companies.
Rise of the SaaS Model
Much like the rise of cloud, the rise of software-as-a-solution applications has been a consistent fixture in the plans of tech adoption plans among companies today.
SaaS represents over half the total cloud market spend among businesses, far exceeding other forms of as-a-service solutions like IaaS and PaaS.
As a result of the pandemic, half of all organizations have increased public cloud and SaaS spending.
SaaS solutions are attractive to businesses today for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they are hosted in the cloud, meaning a business does not need to invest in hardware or servers to host an organization-wide application, reducing overheads.
Secondly, because they are hosted in the cloud they can be more scalable, meaning the customer only has to pay for the resource allocation (for users) that they need—useful for those who want to streamline their IT budgets.
Thirdly, most SaaS applications today are able to readily integrate into other cloud systems, like ERPs such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, providing an opportunity to better unify business data and applications into a central repository.
This has huge benefits when it comes to more ambitious digital transformation goals, such as data analytics, which requires streams of data from integrated software platforms to work effectively.
As with cloud adoption and SaaS, cybersecurity has been thrust into the limelight because of the enduring effects of the pandemic for all the wrong reasons.
Cyberattacks on businesses across the world, but in the US in particular, have been on the rise for a number of years, and the environment of business security has become especially volatile over the last two years.
Cyberattackers are more sophisticated in their techniques than they’ve ever been, and something of an arms race has taken off between hackers and the security professionals trying to prevent their attacks.
79% of companies that have been the victim of a cyberattack say attacks are more sophisticated than ever.
As a result of more sophisticated attacks, more sophisticated defensive measures have to be taken by businesses of all sizes in order to prevent data breaches.
Related Post: What Is Next-Gen Antivirus?
These tools take a proactive approach to security, using algorithms which can accurately assess attacker behavior, examining processes, data, application use, network activity, and end-user behavior to spot deviations from the norm and potential threats in order to contain them before they can strike.
Many businesses continue today to operate with outdated, legacy methods for cybersecurity, too often relying on reactive approaches to network protection and falling victim to attack as a result.
The reputational harm that data breaches cause businesses is a big concern—75% say a breach has prompted a negative view of their organization, which 82% report engaging with an investor relations (IR) firm to overcome reputational issues in the aftermath of an attack.
Cybersecurity Present and Future
Businesses are setting aside more and more of their technology budgets to put towards investment into cybersecurity.
It’s quickly becoming apparent that the investment levels of previous years are not adequate to keep up with the new and emerging threats of the future.
30% of SMBs have increased their cybersecurity budgets in 2021 by at least 6%.
As a result, organizations are looking to put more money into their cybersecurity budgets in an effort to protect their data and maintain regulatory compliance.
There are considerations, however, chief among which is the difficulty that companies are having in recruiting in-house cybersecurity staff—the wages of which can mount up high in a high-demand and under-provided job market.
Because of this, managed security service providers (MSSPs) are seeing their stock rise significantly as SMBs increasingly seek their services and expertise.
The global market for managed security services was $24 billion last year—by 2023, it is expected to have nearly doubled to almost $48 billion.
IT trends in the business world are following similarly to what we’ve seen in recent years, with a particular emphasis on a few key technologies.
These are cloud solution adoption, the use of SaaS, cybersecurity tools, and an emphasis on needing cybersecurity expertise (whether in-house or external) to protect business data for the future.
As the infographic demonstrates, these are considerations that are being felt by many businesses across the country and world, and will continue to play a big role in technology investment in 2022.
If you would like to learn more about business technology investment in 2021 and 2022, check out our webinar on the topic where Impact experts Patrick Layton, Daniel Alfaro, and Erick Olea discuss these trends in depth.