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Three Key IT Predictions for 2021

Ty Amell, CTO, AppDynamics, shares predictions to expect around observability, user experience and the evolving role of technologists in the New Year

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Ty Amell, AppDynamics
Ty Amell, AppDynamics

2020 was a year that will go down in history as one of the most challenging, tragic and complex years of our lives. And yet, amid all of the loss and hardship of this year, it has also shown how resilient and strong human beings can be when we work together toward a common goal.

In the technology industry, we watched IT leaders become the overnight superheroes of their organisations. They enabled entire workforces to shift to working remotely, supporting the IT needs and their entire businesses to be set up and supported while working from home. They accelerated digital transformation projects, delivering in weeks what would normally have taken months, empowering their organisations to deliver flawless customer experiences as businesses shifted to a digital-first approach. From supporting hospital management to COVID-19 contact tracing applications and contactless grocery orders — IT teams played an essential role in all aspects of our lives throughout the course of this unprecedented year.

Technologists have never been more critical to the success of the businesses they support, and I see 2021 as being the year they have the biggest opportunity to elevate their careers and truly change the perception of the IT industry and its impact on meaningful business outcomes.

It will be paramount that IT teams are granted the tools, technologies and support needed to deliver on this opportunity. Research we conducted in May found that 97 percent of UAE technologists believe that having visibility and insight into the performance of the technology stack and its impact on customers and the business is the most important factor right now.

It’s that opportunity for technologists that has me excited about 2021 and all of the meaningful change these teams can bring to every industry around the world. As we look to the new year, here are the top IT trends I predict will be most critical to the technologists looking to grab hold of this opportunity:

Observability Will Take Center Stage

As more organisations have shifted to accommodate our new digital lives, observability connected to business outcomes is now a necessity.

The past year has been incredibly transformational for teams across industries. 2021 will be the year of observability as companies continue to develop more complex IT systems and expand their technology infrastructures. Using observability solutions will enable developers to cut through the noise and focus on the performance issues that have the biggest impact on the business.

User Experience Will Determine Business Decisions

Part of the reason it is important to keep technology solutions operating at their highest level is to maintain a consistent digital user experience. In 2021, user experience will matter more than ever before as workers and consumers become more accustomed to digital solutions across their day-to-day lives and their expectations for flawless engagement increase significantly.

To successfully navigate this need for a seamless digital user experience, organisations will need to view maintaining their applications and technology stack as not just one-off projects, but as business-critical solutions that serve as the backbone to providing the ideal experience for end users.

Another element of this renewed emphasis on user experience in 2021 will include an elevated focus on observability not just at the application level, but beyond. For businesses that want to thrive in 2021, incorporating network visibility into existing monitoring efforts can ensure that nothing impedes the user experience, whether it’s an anomaly in an application or an issue that stems from the Internet. This enables end-users to have the best possible experience as IT teams are able to spot and address issues efficiently.

Technology Will Bring Even Bigger Impact to Business Outcomes

This year has put a spotlight on IT teams and demonstrated just how important technologists are to the success of any organisation. In particular, the Agents of Transformation, those elite technologists driving successful digital transformation within a company.

The AppDynamics Agents of Transformation Report 2020: COVID-19 Special Edition showed 85 percent of UAE technologists said the rapid response of their IT team to the pandemic positively changed the perception of IT within their organisation and 86 percent said digital transformation projects that would have taken years for sign off were now being approved in a matter of weeks.

2021 will be the year that positive perception will kick into overdrive and technologists will have the opportunity to impact business critical outcomes more than ever before. The emphasis that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the need for flawless digital experiences will have lasting impacts in 2021. Organisations are already seeing the benefits of enabling their IT teams to take calculated risks and drive a faster, more innovative approach and will continue to invest in those teams and solutions in the new year.

Wishing everyone a healthy and peaceful 2021.

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