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As the calendar turns to 2021, we will look at the biggest technical challenges for IT in 2021 and provide my most popular forecasts for the next 12 months.

The change in modern business is now revolving around a new IT concept – digital change. It is a process that takes organizations into the cloud service and the digital age. Today, companies are leveraging the power of their data centers and combining the power of the cloud to achieve a new generation of business solutions.

While companies in the digital transformation are likely to have enjoyed increased market share and customer engagement, IT teams seem to face similar barriers each year, and the technology and methods they use to meet these challenges are improving and evolving rapidly.

Having said that, here are the five most important technical challenges in 2021:

Cyber ​​security

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to relocate their businesses remotely, the number of security breaches has increased significantly. Violation of Marriott customers ’personal accounts forced us to join consumers who felt their personal information was compromised on March 31, 2020. Not to mention Nintendo, the Twitter spear-attack attack, Easy Jet, Zoom credential hacking, and Antheus Technology leaking. Based on the Version Infringement Investigation Report, in 2020, 2,216 security breaches and more than 53,000 cyber security incidents were reported in 65 countries.

Cyber ​​security became one of the biggest technical challenges of 2020, as a major event with far-reaching and even historical implications defined much of the COVID year. And it seems that we need to keep seat belts twisted as we continue to address these issues in 2021.

IT budgets are not enough to achieve goals

It’s not just large companies with large-scale IT budgets that should invest in new skills for their team. Information technology and security should be a business priority in all industries, and lack of funding is not an excuse. While many organizations say budgets have increased in 2020, they may still not be enough to meet business goals. And many budgets are likely to continue to recover after years of cuts and freezes. For this reason, “IT budgets are not enough to meet targets” we see as the second biggest challenge for IT in 2021.

IT administration

IT governance is another that provides a structure for adapting IT strategy and business strategy. By following a formal framework, organizations can produce measurable results in achieving their strategies and goals. IT administration as a whole is an integral part of the company’s overall management.

Today, organizations are subject to many regulations that govern, among other things, the protection of confidential information, financial accountability, data retention, and emergency recovery. They are also under pressure from shareholders, stakeholders and customers.

Cloud governance is also another challenge for many organizations that embarked on digital transformation. The cloud has provided unprecedented speed and agility as well as global scale to organizations around the world. But this also poses a problem because in terms of resources and environments, you can either control or speed, either one or the other. For example, Azure Management is a cloud solution where you have both speed and control and provides built-in compatibility to ensure that your organization complies with external laws, regulations, and internal policies.

Shadow IT

Many employees admit to using shadow IT applications and cloud services at work. For the most part, their motivations are not harmful or careless; they are just trying to do their job better. However, the use of shadow IT is a serious compliance and increases security threat. These applications or cloud services may have security or compliance issues that users are not aware of. In many cases, sensitive business information is uploaded to these services, threatening the company with data breaches, and because internal IT departments don’t even know, they can’t monitor access logs, ensure regular backups, or apply important data for software updates.

Dealing with so-called shadow IT is hardly a new challenge, but one thing is to prevent a user from installing a new printer on their computer – another is to prevent them from using an online cloud service.

There are not enough IT staff and the right technical skills

Again, we see the impact of other challenges, in this case the lack of expertise and know-how are the biggest challenges for IT. Many organizations reported facing IT capability shortages in one or more IT areas, and capability shortages are hampering IT innovation. According to the study, the biggest impact of the IT skills gap on business is delayed IT projects, followed by low-quality IT projects.

Going through digital change requires a combination of talent and technology. One without the other does not cut it. It is possible that you do not currently have the in-house expertise to implement digital change. This can provide you with the opportunity to look outside and find business partners or new employees to help you on your digital transformation journey.

Here are the five most important forecasts for 2021:

Cyber ​​security

The online threat environment is becoming more and more dangerous every day. Recently Research by the World Economic Forum revealed that cyber attacks were a concern of leaders in Europe and other advanced economies during the pandemic, and we have not yet done so.

In 2021, cybersecurity issues will be an important topic on the board and management positions of every major company. The biggest data breaches that leading companies have suffered from various industries have feared CEOs, other officials and board members that their company could be next. Many government discussions discuss cyber risk mitigation and how they can improve the security position of their organization.

So it’s no wonder that the beginning of 2021 was full of expert predictions about the many cyber threats we’ll see in 2021. Here are the most anticipated cyber threats you should look for:

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware, which is malware that uses encryption to lock files on your computer, is a popular hacker weapon because of its relative simplicity. While ransomware attacks have been shown to cause damage to many organizations, this year’s forecast focuses on cloud services. The world’s largest cloud players (Azure, Amazon, Google) are not easy to hack because their top-level digital security measures are strictly enforced. This leaves smaller resources for smaller companies more vulnerable to such attacks.

Attack on IoT devices

Intelligent devices are proliferating like rabbits, but the lack of common security standards means that many devices suffer from serious security vulnerabilities. IoT is a high risk due to inadequate design security, such as inadequate security settings.

Cloud security

The biggest problem that CIOs face in the cloud service is reducing the chances of misplacing sensitive data and increasing the development of secure environments.

Cloud computing has changed the way we live and run businesses, but it has also given hackers a broader attack surface and created a whole host of entirely new security threats and vulnerabilities from cloud malware to misconfigured Azure Virtual Network or Azure Storage devices. Cloud security needs to be addressed differently from local information security, and robust cloud service protection starts with secure cloud service migration. Looking to the future, it seems that security issues remain a primary concern in the cloud services sector.

Public cloud

Along with large cloud and storage providers, there are a growing number of vendors offering certain cloud services that allow companies to use cloud services for specific loads that typically require the use of applications built just for them. Cloud types are classified and differentiated according to their infrastructure characteristics, and an entirely new group of cloud categories is created.

Businesses should be prepared to address these future trends in cloud services so that they are ready for the future.

Hybrid cloud

The cloud has been on the market for some time, so most customers are now part of this journey, they are in the cloud and comfortable with how to use it and how they interact with the platform. However, security considerations and compliance regulations are important drivers for organizations that choose to manage their infrastructures in hybrid clouds while using IaaS and PaaS technologies to modernize their applications. There are some companies that have applications and some barriers to transferring them to the cloud due to data sovereignty, data security, and compliance. These applications cannot be migrated immediately to the public cloud service.

Azure-pinoFor example, it is designed to address data sovereignty, data security, and compliance. Azure-pino is actually just a public Azure plug-in, so you have Azure software running on your hardware, delivering it to you as an integrated system from one of the following certified service partners, connected to your server center, and running in your local environment.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI), and in particular machine learning and in-depth learning technology, were ubiquitous in 2020, and do not expect the artificial intelligence explosion to slow down over the next 12 months. But at least for the next year, and probably even longer, we expect amazing breakthroughs as well as continued excitement.

Autonomous vehicles are equipped with cameras, sensors and communication systems so that the vehicle can produce huge amounts of data that, when used with AI, allows the vehicle to see, hear, think and make decisions just like drivers.

At Microsoft, for example, artificial intelligence researchers are leveraging the explosion of digital information and computing power with advanced algorithms that enable human-machine collaboration and natural interaction that expands human ability to sense, learn, and understand. Research brings to computers, materials, and systems the ability to decide, communicate, and perform with human skill and agility.

In this article, I provided insights into the key IT challenges and forecasts for 2021.

Businesses continue to rapidly move loads from data centers to the cloud, leveraging new technologies such as serverless, containers, and machine learning to take advantage of increased efficiency, scalability, and faster deployment through cloud services. Cloud security challenges remain high as deployment of public cloud services continues to increase, especially in the wake of the 2020 COVID crisis and the consequent accelerated transition to remote work environments.

I hope you have noticed that some of the things I share are useful in IT planning and strategy for 2021.
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-Charbel Nemnom-

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