April 14, 2021. | Backup and disaster recovery, Data security, Financial services, Infrastructure, News, Tips, Understanding cloud

5 Critical Technology Trends to Follow in 2021

2020 saw a significant increase in emerging technologies’ performance and a steep acceleration of digital transformation. Keeping innovation on the outskirts is no longer possible, it is the core of every successful business today.

How do you determine which emerging trends to follow? What type of investments will bring your business high ROI in today’s ever-changing landscape? When should the modern business start the metamorphic journey to hybrid operations? Let’s find out!

 1. Zero Trust Security Architectures | Cybersecurity

A zero trust strategy ties employee access to their IT-managed device, and governs the level and range of access each employee has, and which devices can access sensitive data.


Zero-trust Security is becoming a baseline for protecting data, applications, workloads and other resources. Shifting enterprise environments and sophisticated and elaborate cyberattack operations undermine the traditional caste-and-moat approach to cybersecurity. Traditionally, a large, single perimeter around a corporation was protected while everything within its bounds is trusted by default. The weak link is often inside: the user. Where this traditional security architecture worked for on-premise applications, the age of cloud-based applications has rendered them vulnerable. 

The Zero trust approach is rooted in the concept that modern enterprise environments necessitate a different approach to security: the single perimeter is obsolete, every access request needs to be validated through all existing data points: identity, geolocation, device etc., and make a risk-based decision depending on the variables at play. Data, applications, workloads are treated as exposed to threats, and potentially compromised units that have to be managed to contain breaches.

Cybersecurity is a constantly-expanding domain. By the end of 2021, it will see $6 trillion spent globally on Protection. We can understand why, as most companies overestimate their cybersecurity performance, only 24% meeting the bar (source: Bain).

Security should be proactive, not reactive. A performance engineered IT strategy no longer needs to be an overwhelming undertaking with prohibitive costs that can drain a company’s digital transformation budget. It can now be a resource and cost-efficient endeavour, through clever, flexible outsourcing arrangements

2. Hybrid Workplaces and Experiences | Operations

“As onsite workspaces and headquarters evolve, organizations can use data to create thriving, productive, and cost-effective offices that are seamlessly interwoven with the remote experience.”


2020 was an obstinate year for companies all over the world, that is for sure. Businesses were forced to find a way to swiftly integrate remote work into their operations, and now employees don’t want to entirely give up that perk. As Colin Angle, Founder & CEO of iRobot states, “We expect many will continue to work from home or shift to a hybrid working arrangement”. This is reinforced by a recent survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) concluding that the percentage of workers permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021.

Reengineering traditional business for core modernization was central to 2020. Having a metamorphic approach to business and the workplace will be elemental to 2021. The eventual return to part office-based workflows is in sight as vaccinations are rolling out. We now understand that hybrid workplaces and experiences are the future of work. They promote higher autonomy and ownership and create a thriving environment for overall employee experience and satisfaction. Skill takes precedence over location in 2021 as we deliberately embrace digital workplaces and create seamlessly entwined, end-to-end remote and on-site environments.

Video conferencing services, web-based team tools and products will continue to evolve in 2021, making room for accelerated delivery and increased collaboration on a wide scale and at higher speeds. To achieve this level of optimization these tools are always measuring and monitoring, fine-tuning to nudging forward employee activity. Businesses will also need to make sure that the collaboration benefits of office work are worth the cost of the commute for the employee. It’s essential for the 2021 business to have performant, cost-effective, agile IT architectures and Cloud Services that foster a failsafe environment employees can access anywhere and anytime.

3. Distributed & Edge Cloud | IT Infrastructure

“You could implement edge computing without a distributed cloud architecture, but Distributed Cloud makes edge application deployment and management a lot easier.”


Distributed and Edge computing are the logical next steps from Hybrid and Multicloud environments. They are efficient and cost-effective: Edge-Distributed integration managing expanding Edge environments is a lifesaver. It is far more expensive to build a physical Datacentre than to integrate Distributed Computing to carry data to Edge devices. 

Distributed Cloud refers to using a cloud computing technology that runs on Public Cloud infrastructure with multiple locations, all managed from a single control plane of the cloud-delivered services. Services are then ‘distributed’ to physical locations in the public cloud infrastructure, in other providers’ Datacenters, or even on-premise.

Edge Cloud is focused on being as physically close as possible to the point in which data is generated and locating and running applications from there. This simplifies processing large volumes of data at high speeds or in real-time, enabling low latency when it is required. IoT-devices such as machine sensors, security cameras or devices that collect and generate data are where Edge shines, bringing the computational power where data is generated instead of moving and storing it in a Datacenter, then transferring it back when needed for processing.

You could implement edge computing without a Distributed Cloud architecture. Edge fits in across Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud environments, but Edge Computing performance is exponentially levelled up with Distributed Cloud. Not only does Distributed Cloud make deployment and management substantially easier, as you have a single control point, it also provides benefits like faster content delivery, cost-efficient scalability, and easier industry-specific, localized regulatory compliance. 

4. Telehealth & Telemedicine | Services

“Healthcare’s big data market is expected to reach nearly $70 billion in 2025, almost six times its 2016 value of $11.5 billion. The rapid acceleration of health data collection gives the industry an unprecedented opportunity to leverage and deploy groundbreaking digital capabilities.”


When technology and health combine, humans reap the benefits. 

Telehealth wearable devices improve life quality through remote monitoring of conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Telemedicine spares patients of the stressful and potentially dangerous wait and commute times necessary for medical checkups and appointments while having the positive side effect of a renewed focus on mental health and accessibility to mental health services like therapy sessions or psychiatric consults. 

The pandemic has brought forth rapid growth of these two technologies, bringing about faster technological advances and scaling than ever before. The shift from in-person care to virtual-care took place in early 2020 and access to these services was broadened significantly by the end of 2020. 

Telehealth is projected to keep growing in 2021, widening access too all categories of patients, from the elderly to pediatric patients and “expand healthcare access to a much greater percentage of the population, especially those who traditionally have been left behind”, according to Forbes.

Technology and the Internet continue to play an immense role in healthcare, providing smart solutions for challenging times. The rapid surge in expansion and accessibility to data opened unprecedented opportunities for innovation, like using AI and machine learning-powered devices image recognition to recognise and identify different injury types and cut healing time. 

5. Expanding 5G Networks | Innovation

“5G will unlock a broad range of opportunities, including the optimization of service delivery, decision-making, and end-user experience.”

World Economic Forum

5G is the newest global wireless standard, a network that can connect machines, objects and devices, all virtually. Considered by many as the investment for the next decade, the wireless technology will deliver people higher enhanced mobile broadband, reliable low latency communication increased reliability for a better, more optimised user experience and the potential for machine-type communication (source: weforum). 

The 5G value chain is expected to support up to 22.8 million jobs on its own and enable up to $13.1 trillion worth of goods and services by 2035, according to an IHS Markit study. The reliability of an established and fully-fledged 5G network guarantees a stable and constant network connection that can be used to create value across industries and society. This technology can push industrial advances through predictive intelligence, increased workplace safety and enhanced operational effectiveness. The social impact of 5G has the potential to be broader than any we’ve seen, potentially increasing social value to 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and revolutionizing services that rely on the enhanced mobile broadband 5G has, like AR, VR or cloud-based gaming.

Caroline Chan, Intel VP says that “Enterprises will work diligently to implement 5G technologies to make these use cases a reality” while According to PwC, bringing the internet to those who are offline would add $6.7 trillion to the global economy and lift another 500 million people out of poverty (Source: BusinessReview).

The Penta Innovation Team’s recommendations are here to help you determine what the best choices are for your business. So if you’re not an expert, relax, Penta has it handled. You can book a complimentary audit call with one of our experts and access a tailored plan that solves your current challenges and ensures your business is set up with the right IT solutions.

Is your IT infrastructure ready to tackle the operational challenges of remote activity? Assess your IT Remote-Readiness with our 5-minute complimentary audit.

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