2020 has been a roller coaster for businesses all over the world, forcing business owners to make decisions outside of their comfort zone in the midst of a pandemic. In 2021, businesses focused on getting back on track can benefit greatly from careful strategizing as well as a better understanding of growing IT trends. Axiom has put together a list of five major IT trends for 2021 to help your business stay a step ahead of the curve.
As data requirements move into terabit territory, upgrading IT systems continues to be a major priority for businesses. Although the pandemic has put the brakes on spending, a full rebound in IT infrastructure investment is expected moving forward. According to Gartner, spending on data center systems decreased by 3.1% in the past year, with 2021 spending projected to increase by 5.2%.1
While greater spending will be necessary, much of the economy is in recovery mode from the pandemic, making it critical for businesses to protect newer IT investments as well as legacy hardware with reliable hardware support. According to BusinessWire, a report conducted by Technavio predicts that the global data center maintenance and support services market is expected to post a CAGR of more than 12% from 2020-2024.2
Up-and-coming IT solutions such as third-party maintenance can be a difference maker for data centers in maximizing server uptime. Axiom’s third-party maintenance platform, Axiom Maintenance Services, offers affordable hardware support and covers EOL, EOSL and post-warranty hardware, extending the product lifecycle for IT products. With 24/7 technical support and the guidance of expert technicians, AMS keeps datacenters up and running, around-the-clock at full strength.
Many companies will likely make the transition back to full-time or part-time office work in different waves as the year progresses. In the meantime, WFH (work-from-home) will continue to be the predominant work practice for non-essential businesses, with some companies already making long term plans to retain WFH in some form. (Learn more about remote work trends in our Digital Workplace article here).
Even in WFH environments, on-premises datacenters play an integral role in daily business operations. Many businesses utilize on-prem datacenters to run intranet-based applications such as company email, digital asset management systems, HR tools and much more. Upgrading server hardware will greatly enhance the responsiveness and reliability of these applications, improving the quality of the WFH experience as well as overall employee productivity. Third-party, cloud-based contract management tools also work great for situations where managers are working off-site.
Hybrid cloud has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. In a Forrester and Ensono survey, most companies utilize a hybrid IT approach with 89% deploying a dedicated hybrid cloud strategy.3 Hybrid cloud features combinations of on-prem deployments paired with cloud-based deployments. With hybrid cloud, businesses are able to fine tune how much they want to invest in each of those respective solutions. This is ideal for businesses because the amount they invest in the cloud and on-prem datacenters should be contingent on the size of their business, application usage and their general business model.
Cloud usage offers great scalability but also incurs high operating expenses with its pay-as-you-go model. On-prem datacenters are a higher initial investment but over time, offer better bang for the buck with superior computing capabilities as well as lower storage costs. With on-prem, companies have full control of their IT infrastructures, which can be tailored to their business needs. On-prem also allows businesses to keep confidential data in-house, which is important in industries such as financial and medical that may require customized data protection protocols.
In a hybrid cloud deployment, companies may opt to keep data stored on newer or legacy on-prem datacenters while backing up non-confidential data to the cloud. This offers greater flexibility, which is particularly valuable in times like a pandemic because it enables businesses to stay quick on their feet for any potential pivots. As the saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” so hybrid cloud is definitely the way to go for businesses that covet greater flexibility.
Many businesses will also be focused on reducing real-estate expenses in response to the pandemic. For businesses with server sprawl, running a copious amount of datacenter hardware while cutting down on overall private datacenter facilities can be tricky. With colocation, businesses are able to migrate private datacenter hardware to public datacenter colocation facilities. These facilities offer shared power, cooling, rack space and more, which helps businesses reduce real estate expenses while maintaining key datacenter capabilities. Businesses have already started to invest greatly in colocation, and Statista reports that by 2023, colocation industry revenues will increase by over $50 billion USD per year.4
On a broader scale, edge computing will likely gain traction much in the same way that 5G and IoB (Internet of Behaviors) will in the upcoming year. Edge computing deploys smaller, more agile servers in areas closer to on-site locations. This reduces latency by minimizing the travel time for back-and-forth data transfer between a centralized datacenter and brings the computation closer to the on-site location. TechRepublic cites Forrester’s 2021 tech predictions, forecasting that new business models will emerge that work with edge deployment.5 To fuel edge computing, more server firepower will be needed in a variety of edge deployments.
Axiom features a wide assortment of IT solutions to help you upgrade and rearm your IT infrastructures for the upcoming year. Axiom’s cutting-edge IT solutions range from memory, transceiver and storage upgrades to our third-party maintenance platform, Axiom Maintenance Services and our cloud-based contract management tool, Cover3IT. Explore our full lineup of IT infrastructure upgrades, and contact our team today to get a free quote.