2021 - A Year of Security, Performance, & Decentralization
The writing is on the wall. 2021 will be a year where every technology professional will be adjusting and adapting to the titanic forces that came to bear in 2020.
Security Will Remain Job #1 (with a vengeance)
The malware compromise exposed by the SolarWinds event in Q4 of 2020 served as a stark reminder that network and data security is never “done.” Hundreds of businesses, enterprise organizations, and government agencies have been compromised and the repercussions will be felt for the entire year to come. This event will go down as one of the worst security events in history and prompted the official Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to issue a rare Emergency Alert — only its 5th ever.
This — on top of dozens of other major breaches and ransomware attacks in 2020 — has refocused the world on security. We’ve seen inquiries into our app and website security evaluation services increase dramatically as a result and we expect this trend to continue well into the New Year.
Application & Website Performance — The Dawn of .NET 5.0
Demand for data-rich applications requires new levels of performance optimization from databases and services to user interfaces. Just in time, Microsoft delivered on their promised unification of the .NET development framework in December of 2020. The results are very impressive. As we work with our business and enterprise customers to update their systems, we are seeing performance increases orders of magnitude faster than the old ASP applications of just a few years ago.
Demand for performant business applications shows no sign of slowing down. Smaller businesses and brands are recognizing this emerging trend as technology gatekeepers like Google use automated performance scores as a part of organic search algorithms. This means that website page and app speed are no longer just minor conversion assets, they are becoming mission-critical competitive advantages. This will reshape the business technology landscape for years to come.
Decentralization — Remote Work & Enterprise Mobile
2020 was the year where “Zoom” became a verb as Zoom.us arguably “won” web-conferencing. As the pandemic forced millions of workers out of the office, the tools used to facilitate remote working were put to the test. Many were found lacking. Zoom.us was able to scale rapidly while maintaining stability — an accomplishment worth noting.
But for a lot of businesses, results have been mixed with regard to their dedicated business applications and internal websites such and HR and collaboration portals. And businesses are recognizing new needs for robust and secure mobile applications to deliver enterprise-class features and performance to mobile devices.
This has resulted in a spike of requests for our team to create new or update existing mobile business apps — integrated with existing systems and services — that will allow knowledge-workers to have a productive technology experience no matter where they are. Additional demand will be generated as networks roll-out true 5G service across the United States and the world — allowing even more available bandwidth to support new services.
The trends are clear and we have expanded out team and talent stack to support more remote and mobile app development.
Looking Ever Further Ahead — Enter The Edge
We are seeing a major shift in infrastructure investment. While development of hyperscale datacenters will continue, the greatest growth is shifting to smaller Edge and special purpose micro-datacenter nodes to serve metropolitan communities and specialized, high-speed applications. We expect this trend to pick up steam in 2021 and to generate demand for custom apps and database structures in 2022.