A safe and trusted digital ecosystem for all
By Hiren Parekh, VP Northern Europe, OVHcloud
It’s almost impossible to talk about 2021 without first referring to the seismic shifts that happened in 2020 – the year that changed the way we work, forever.
The acceleration of digital transformation across public and private sector industries from education and healthcare to manufacturing and trade has been significant, to say the least. As a result, we are now better positioned to take advantage of the increased agility and productivity as well as improved collaboration.
While we bed down into this new way of working, we can expect data to play a key role in the next step of the revolution. In the face of increased economic digitalisation, sustainability, data privacy and security will shoot up the priority list for businesses in 2021 while a more distinct move to the cloud will be a core focus for data storage.
Join us as we run through the likely shape of things to come in 2021 and beyond.
An increasing need for edge or hybrid technology
Alongside the development of the conversations on data sovereignty is a need for the cloud industry to develop a multi-local approach. The recent partnership between OVHcloud and German operator T-systems is a good example of this: OVHcloud brings its own infrastructure and technological stack within the T-Systems data centre. This partnership responds to various legal issues: compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) first of all, but also to prevent exposure to the U.S. CLOUD Act.
As more businesses look to continue their migration to the cloud, they will also look for cloud providers and data centres that are committed to becoming more sustainable. In 2021, forward-looking cloud providers and data centres will move towards using more renewable sources of energy to reduce their water and carbon consumption, whilst also trying to take part in the circular economy by reusing, recycling and upcycling their components. They will also start looking at their supply chains and ensuring that they, too, are meeting environmental requirements. At OVHcloud we’ve partnered with Inria, a leading European technology research institute to enhance monitoring and transform this into a customer facing asset.
Ahead of the COP26 in November 2021, we can expect that sustainability and the circular economy will be key factors to consider when looking at post-COVID recovery in 2021.
Data privacy and security
The speed at which companies have digitised and moved their businesses into the cloud this past year has been remarkable. However, with the increased amount of information – much of which is confidential data – accessible remotely, a key focus for businesses now must be ensuring this data remains secure and that privacy is maintained.
IT departments, faced with the challenge of ensuring their business applications migrated to the cloud are hosted in the most secure way, will increasingly look to implement tailored cloud solutions that utilise a dedicated and isolated environment, which offers a consistent level of performance providing high availability and reliability. These types of private cloud solutions provide optimum control and customisability to respond to changing organisational needs, whilst also meeting distinct security accreditations, data compliance and data privacy rules such as GDPR.
Therefore in 2021, we will see many organisations move key business applications to a private cloud environment.
Major growth in AI and Machine Learning
The constant flow of data represents enormous value from which to extract insights with AI and Machine Learning. However, despite the huge investments made by corporations, it’s still very challenging to utilise this value, as data science resources are limited and finding the right data system engineering skills is often difficult. Costs can easily spiral out of control and are very unpredictable. In order to fully harness these technologies, companies will have to turn to cloud providers who provide complete portfolios of easy-to-use and powerful AI solutions, with full control over budget.
Data storage becomes a focal point
As worldwide data usage is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025 (according to IDC), data storage has become critical for companies, particularly with regards to business imperatives, costs, and compliance-related risks. Data is the new goldmine, as it allows organisations to improve operations with predictive analytics to build new added value services or products. This is why standard – yet comprehensive, affordable and reliable – cloud storage solutions are key to cloud adoption and to answer business needs.
Over the past year, we have seen how technology can help us to overcome isolation with ongoing collaboration but 2021 will be the year that we take this to the next level. For remote or hybrid working to become a staple in our professional lives, the way that we access, use, share and store data must be aligned and embedded in transparency, sustainability, safety and respect. Through this approach, the intelligent cultivation of information can support both company and customer in a positive way while laying the foundation for the holy grail – an ethical technology ecosystem.