Optimism within the technology industry regarding the year ahead remains strong thanks to the continued trend in the digital market. Despite being a very disruptive and challenging year, many technology businesses experienced a surge in business and forecasted rise of new opportunities in 2021. The significant shift towards remote working created a wave of demand that had never been experienced and resulted in several technology tools becoming critical in business operations and management. For these technology organisations, they proved to play an important role and support in challenging conditions. Many tech leaders anticipate a gradual process of recovery next year where demand for technology will continue due to a fragmented workforce and society that has more complex solutions that cannot be fulfilled in a regular office environment. Many technology businesses have proven to be capable of supporting customers through the crisis and the implications of this on business culture has been positive due to a more personalised experience between businesses and customers. David Watts, the managing director of Tech Data UK and Ireland explains that businesses have responded well to the pandemic and have demonstrated both resilience and adaptability and a genuine care for their customers, partners and own employees. Watts admits it hasn’t been easy and overall trading customers has declined in the UK and Europe by around 10% and while corporate resellers had a very successful first half of the year, the second half has presented more challenges. Nevertheless, industry leaders believe 2021 is looking positive. Many projects are emerging and coming back online and more businesses are reviewing their cloud strategies and investing more in this arena. Companies are now actively engaging in security systems since moving to remote and hybrid working facilities.
There are a number of both challenges and opportunities available around the management of data. The potential that was there before the pandemic, with cloud, security and other emerging technologies remain. Industry leaders that show agility to the impacts of Covid and Brexit will require speed of change, but opportunities do exist across many markets. Many infrastructure projects that may have been paused while management observed how the pandemic played are likely to restart as demands change and begin to increase.
Accelerated Digital Transformation Technology leaders believe this year accelerated digital transformation for many companies, adding resilience and increasing the level of expertise and relationships between companies and the customer. Rob Tomlin, VP at Dell Technologies states that what is evident is that digitisation isn’t slowing down and will continue to remain central to further growth in the UK. Tomlin predicts the edge computing sector to be a primary focus of sales, referring to many innovative technologies like AI and IoT. It’s very difficult to predict what exactly the next year will look like as the business landscape is changing continuously. Stable growth will be dependent upon creativity, solid customer relationships and staying close to business developments. Industry leaders in cloud, cyber and communications networks explain that enabling companies to work securely and remotely is an important requirement and as a result, all these area and the associated services have seen considerable growth. IT technology has proven vital during the pandemic, enabling many businesses to continue to trade, albeit in a remote and digital environment. There are still many challenges, and one of the biggest one predicted is a sustained period of lockdown and the existing recession which would directly impact the success of businesses and investment for the technology industry.
Technology leaders are cautiously optimistic about next year and looking to continue building on successes from 2020 while being prepared for possible disruptions on a similar scale. The rise of remote working and shift towards subscription models has generated an accelerated decline in demand for traditional systems. The recurring revenue stream will prevail more in overall revenue streams uring the next year. Businesses will need to remain focused on support their customers and ensuring they reach their goals and generate clear value. Some businesses have invested a significant amount of time supporting their customers by acquiring and integrating the tools they require to operate their business in the ‘new normal’. Software, technology updates and security services will likely be a focus for businesses and an area that customers will require support during 2021.