2020 was a complex year, one of many changes at all levels. The way of relating to others was crossed by social distance, our health care incorporated masks and the paradigm of how to work completely changed. With regard to work, business mobility had been advancing very little by little, but the massive implementation of this model was something that nobody anticipated in the short or medium term.
As a new normal is built, companies in Latin America and the world adapt to the new rules of the job. And as a result of the lessons learned from the pandemic and the challenges that still lie ahead, Citrix Latin America shares a series of predictions for 2021 that will help companies organize their priorities for a new year.
- Return or not to the office?
Little by little return to the offices begins to look closer, but how will it be? The office as we knew it does not appear to be the one we will see in 2021In that sense, we believe that hybrid work schemes will be seen that will combine activities in the office and remote work. The office will become a collaborative space where meeting instances will be used to create with others, innovate, benefit from group thinking, socialize, evaluate where we are and define courses of action. Ultimately, the office is no longer the only place from which we can work.
2. UX and digital well-being as key areas for IT
User experience (UX) and digital well-being had several obstacles to overcome throughout 2020.And technology can be one of them, or it can be an enabler. In 2021 we will see companies focus on improving the way their employees work to unleash their full potential and also improve their relationship with technology. The technologies that can really help to avoid burn out and enhance productivity will be those that work in favor of employees by helping them in their daily work, eliminating noise, promoting a better balance between personal and work life and guiding them to meet their objectives.
3. Technologies «As a Service» will continue to support businesses in the region
During the pandemic, it was the easiest way to acquire vital technologies to implement telecommuting quickly, as it only involved subscribing to a service as opposed to purchasing a product and the entire purchase cycle that it entails. That led this model to consolidate much more. In 2021 this model will continue benefiting companies from its scalability to adapt to IT requirements that may change throughout the year according to business needs but also to the local situation.
4. Talent Without Borders
By confirming that people do not need to be in the corporate office to be productive, the possibility of hiring employees from other cities will begin to expand and become effective. Talent will increasingly cease to be restricted to a specific physical location as remote work continues to grow and new ways of measuring and planning employee work are introduced.
5. Multiple and hybrid clouds
In 2021 hybrid multi-cloud environments will continue to grow. This will happen because companies will continue to look for ways to decrease their dependence on data centers (Capex-based model) and increasingly rely on cloud providers for greater speed and flexibility (OpenX-based model) in tune with the needs of the new normal.
6. Smart technologies will become key in workspaces
Digital workspace is no longer enough. Today’s work life requires adding intelligence to it, and although there has been talk for some time about the incorporation of smart technologies at work, now it is real. Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques will allow us to learn how each employee works and customize both the space and their work experience. It will be possible to automate repetitive tasks and guide employees within an organized workflow. In addition, machine learning will strengthen security by learning to differentiate the normal behavior of each employee from possible attacks.
7. The focus of security (more than ever) has to be the user
With work schemes where employees are distributed in different places, the attack surface expanded, the networks and devices used were diversified, and vulnerabilities increased. Creating a security perimeter around the user without interfering with the way they work is very important. And having a Zero Trust architecture will allow us to constantly validate that the security perimeter remains intact; this is achieved by analyzing and verifying the identity of people, analyzing their context and their behaviors.
8. In a distributed work scheme, connectivity is key
With remote work taking hold, companies must be able to handle distributed traffic. In fact, connectivity was one of the main problems during the pandemic, making it difficult for employees to work. A greater focus on SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) will ensure secure Internet access for remote workers. It is time to re-engineer the network with a smart and secure approach. Incorporating intelligence also at the network level allows not only continuous monitoring and analysis of application and user behavior, but also high availability, performance, and anomaly detection.
9. The new business continuity plans
Many things around us have gone from focusing on hardware to being defined by software. The pre-pandemic business continuity plans had a greater focus on protecting the datacenter, having back-ups, guaranteeing the power supply, among others. The new plans, based on the challenges of 2020, will focus on ensuring workforce access to the data they need to work no matter where they are. And the key to that is software, the cloud, collaboration tools, and digital workspaces.
10. The new future of work
There is no doubt that in 2020 the arrival of greater business mobility and labor flexibility to Latin American companies were accelerated. However, if we were to define on a scale what level of remote work we are at (1 being the most basic and 5 being the most advanced), we are at level 1. What we will see from 2021 on is incorporating technologies that will have a real impact on productivity and user experience, taking the mobility we have today to new and better levels. This process of incremental improvements will bring greater automation, organization, personalization and great contributions to digital well-being.
“The way to successfully navigate current and future changes is to put employees at the center. The technological implementations that manage to help them work better and be better will also have a certain impact on their productivity, their work experience and therefore, on their commitment and motivation,” stated Luis Bashara, Director of Citrix Latin America. “In this sense, it is time to rethink the workspace, to definitively break the ties that link it to specific places and take it to the next level,» concluded the executive.