Trends 2021

North America 2021: Making the smart move in digitisation

Like much of the world, 2021 will see North American tech managing the effects of the pandemic – with all eyes on President-Elect Joe Biden and his coronavirus strategy.

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The elephant in the room when talking about any trends for the coming year in North America will be incoming US president Joe Biden and the pandemic strategy.  

The US, as well as its neighbours in Canada and Mexico, will continue to grapple with their coronavirus recovery plans next year. The virus has dictated 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021 but how much so remains to be seen while businesses hope for robust governmental support and keep their fingers crossed for a vaccine soon.

With the pandemic weighing on people’s minds, the way that we work will continue to evolve according to Mukesh Khare, vice president at IBM Research, overseeing hybrid cloud.

“2020 has been quite a year for the IT industry and despite all the issues with the pandemic, the IT industry has actually accelerated tremendously because we are all working from home and we're all still trying to be as productive as possible,” Khare said.

It has pushed more people to move to the cloud and ramp up digitisation, he said, but the impact of the mass exodus from the office forced many companies to make decisions they weren’t prepared for. In many cases, companies found themselves implementing two-year IT investment strategies in two months.

There is still a reluctance among some decision makers to move “mission critical” data to the cloud, he said, but he expects that this will progress further in 2021.

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