The 10 most important IT trends 2021 (part 1)
In an international comparison, Germany is not perceived as a leading tech nation in digitization, and there is also a lack of "big players"; that surprises many other nations.” This is one of the results of a survey by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The plans of German industry are not bad at all: according to Bitkom, more than 70% of companies already have a digital strategy. But when it comes to implementation and practice, things get stuck: More than half are not making good progress.
You can read in the following trend article which topics are on the agenda in 2021 and what challenges lie behind them.
Number 1: AI-powered automation
Digitizing and automating processes has always been considered a key driver of efficiency, productivity, new business areas and innovative products.
However, the classic data warehouse approaches and generic processes are no longer sufficient for the increasing individualization and complexity of decisions. Increasingly, unstructured and unexpected data must be included in the automation, e.g. from sensors, spontaneous behavior, dialog-oriented processes, image analysis, etc.
AI-supported automation is important in order to be able to map even complex processes and make them more flexible, and AI also holds the competitive advantage of the future.
Number 2: cloud native
Once a virtual database, today a powerful application infrastructure: Cloud computing is replacing more and more conventional applications and at the same time integrates numerous services in a central yet scalable platform.
Cloud-native application development ensures that applications for the cloud architecture are designed in an agile manner and developed efficiently. The cloud-native applications consistently use the services provided by the cloud and are based on microservices and a corresponding orchestration. Monitoring and security are also changing fundamentally.
The demands on the companies and teams in the course of this change are great; there is often a lack of IT know-how, capacity, strategies and implementation experience.
Number 3: Workplace of the future
Before the Corona crisis, the proportion of workers who work from home at least sometimes, ie at least once a month, was 11,8%. As early as April 2020, around 35% of the employees surveyed stated that they worked completely or partly in the home office. Ascending trend.
2021 will continue to be characterized by health protection, digitization and virtual collaboration. Although it can be assumed that the physical presence of employees in companies will increase again after the crisis, it will not return to the old level. This affects millions of jobs in Europe.
In 2021, companies will therefore increasingly rely on virtual, cross-functional and national teams. This increasingly includes legal aspects with a view to work equipment, times and places, training, safety, welfare and much more.
Remote workplaces not only have to be technically sound and efficient, they also have to be integrated systematically and culturally. The changeover is accompanied by experts in many large companies.
Number 4: Products instead of projects
Projects are a common and popular way of planning, organizing, and funding in software development. Define goal, describe scope, estimate effort, set milestones, allocate resources. Thinking in projects means thinking in project completions.
In this context, products are above all a different way of working and thinking.
A team in product mode works iteratively and agilely; with strategy and goals, but without specifications. One of the most important elements in product development is feedback and monitoring. The focus is on the step-by-step improvement of the product and is primarily based on user feedback, which is decisive for the further course of product development.
This is also how the team composition and financing are set up: not long-term and rigid, but at short intervals and dynamic.
The roadmap will be further developed and implemented step by step for as long as it has business relevance and still creates added value.
Last but not least, products are developed, managed and operated by DevSecOps teams.
The advantages of the product philosophy are higher quality and benefits in the application, shorter deployment times, higher iteration density, more committed teams and usually significantly lower costs.
Number 5: Smart ecosystems
Applications, data and interfaces are growing together: it is the decade of platforms and ecosystems.
The basis for this are cloud systems, dynamic and modular platforms and intelligent algorithms. They link the networked objects, manage applications, process data, provide reporting and contain advanced analytics functionalities that enable machine learning and smart automation. Standardized and ergonomic interfaces and access enable users to access the platform's services. Security, data protection and compliance are optimized across application boundaries; and much more.
Digital platforms and ecosystems offer a level of standardization for organizations that have grown heterogeneously and allow companies to network, expand or scale additional systems without creating more complexity.
However, the decisive factor is the architecture: the basic foundation of the platforms and ecosystems must be good, modern and robust in order to be able to support the applications. This task is often taken on by service providers who have experience with many systems and can therefore implement best practices and lessons learned.
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