2020 has been a rollercoaster ride in so many ways. But as we (finally) close out the year and start turning our attention to what’s just around the corner, there’s a lot to be hopeful about in 2021. We had the opportunity recently to sit down with NetMotion CEO and resolute optimist, Christopher Kenessey, who shared some of his hopes and predictions for the new year.
Naturally, this is a completely unscientific list. We don’t have a crystal ball and our engineering team hasn’t invented time travel – yet. You’d just have to take a look at our list of predictions for 2020 to realize that we have no way of truly knowing what is ahead.
Looking back at 2020, what’s striking is how well humanity actually endured. Not only have we faced incredible challenges and survived, we’ve also shown enormous patience and sheer determination. We’ve proven that we’re resilient. It’s been a tough year. A sad year. A year that many of us want to leave in the rear view mirror. But when we do that, let’s not forget the valuable lessons we’ve learned along the way.
So without further ado, here are just five of CK’s top predictions for 2021.
Restored faith in humanity
I believe that in 2021 people will have a restored faith in humanity. There has been so much divisiveness and darkness in 2020, so I’m hoping that 2021 will bring a new wave of optimism. With effective vaccines on the horizon, I believe that people will feel less combative and the new year will bring a lot of healing.
But 50% of the workforce will never go back to the office
As we get a better handle on the pandemic, we can expect workplaces to slowly open back up. The good news is that many people will start working at their offices again, but the difference is that perhaps as many as 50% of employees will never go back to the office full time again. Employees realized that they could be effective at home while employers found that they could trust employees.
Consolidation of remote worker tools
In 2020 a hodgepodge of security and collaboration tools were thrown at remote workers in an attempt to mimic the office environment. In 2021, organizations will have a bit more breathing room to evaluate the products they’ve been using, and finally provide employees with secure, mobile access solutions that don’t compromise between IT visibility and worker productivity.
5G’s Trough of Disillusionment
If we were to follow Gartner’s hype cycle, I think that 5G is about to dip into the trough of disillusionment. With the launch of the iPhone 12 putting more 5G devices into consumers’ hands, people are going to realize that nothing magically changed overnight from a connectivity standpoint. Even with all of the investments being made by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, people’s expectations are so high that they are likely to be disappointed. Not to mention the fact that telehealth, augmented reality and truly autonomous vehicle deployments all still seem a bit too far out.
Zero Trust Networks
Network infrastructure upgrades are always costly and require long-term planning. The evaluation, testing and deployment of major network changes can easily take two or even three years, which is why IT teams tend to prefer incremental change. Regardless, as 2020 has shown us, it’s time for some genuine upgrades that improve the way we monitor and enhance the work experience of remote employees. Zero Trust technology shows the biggest promise, and 2021 will be the year.
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