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5 Digital Transformation Predictions for 2021

Although 2020 might have been a year that no one could have predicted, shrouded with uncertainty, technology was the one constant. Helping businesses become more agile and connected with communities in different ways, it provided an essential part of our human and business adaptations to the so-called ‘new normal’.

In 2021, technology will continue to provide a path to our economic recovery – and channel partners will play a key role in guiding our progress. They must advocate for the technological transformations that will help businesses to do more than simply survive, but to thrive. And there’s plenty for them to talk about.

Here are five tech heroes to watch in the coming year, that will rock the channel and bolster business:

1. Hybrid cloud hype: understanding the full channel opportunity

While many talk a good game regarding the acceleration of multi-cloud and edge cloud in 2021, this is only half of the story. It will be down to channel partners to communicate the full opportunity, beyond the zany soundbites.

This year, we will indeed see investments in cloud operating models continue to grow. However, these will span public, private and edge environments as businesses desperately seek to apply cloud resources to the last of their legacy data and applications in order to enable rapid scale and management of IT everywhere.

Yet, with public cloud now a hefty chunk of many hybrid cloud environments, businesses are increasingly expecting to consume their whole IT architecture in the same way as their public cloud services – orderable and scalable with a few clicks, providing more options and less complexity.

This shift to an “as-a-Service” model is exciting for partners as it presents new opportunities for increasing recurring revenue this year and making their overall revenue more reliable.

2. Preparing channel partners for 5G and edge breakthroughs

Many experts touted 2020 as ‘the year of 5G’ with mobile network operators (MNOs) across Africa prepared for widespread deployment. Sadly, twelve months on, many of these rollouts have been marred by changing government policies, delays in the auctioning of spectrum, and a significant shift in reliance on broadband networks due to the pandemic.

Yet, in the background, another technology has been subtly fuelling a revolution – creating a sense of urgency for 5G acceleration in 2021. That technology is edge computing.

Fuelled by a growth in adoption of edge, last year MNOs will need to make big, long-term investments in modern IT that “cloudifies” their network architecture – helping to bring widespread connectivity and scalable edge processing ever-closer. For this, however, MNOs will need guidance – something that the channel is perfectly placed for.

Not only can the channel provide insight into key buying trends among businesses – as with the rise in edge computing – and give direction on the types of 5G offerings in demand, channel partners can also give invaluable advice on the technology and skills needed to meet this demand.


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