The Covid-19 pandemic has brought lasting changes to the information technology landscape including the work-from-home boom. The evolution of those changes dominates a list of 2021 predictions by market research firm IDC.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated trends that were already underway in the IT industry. They include cloud computing, software as a service and workplace flexibility. Those trends will gain steam in the year ahead as the world continues to deal with the pandemic, IDC said in its 2021 predictions on Tuesday.
"This is the first crisis of the cloud era," Rick Villars, IDC group vice president for worldwide research, told Investor's Business Daily. Cloud computing has never been tested during a crisis before, Villars said.
"It turned out that technologies such as cloud and the use of SaaS (software as a service) as a delivery model for business applications helped companies react faster to the crisis than they would have otherwise," Villars said.
IBD 50 Stocks Capitalizing On Changing Landscape
The digital transformation trends associated with the changing IT landscape have boosted the fortunes of many tech stocks. They include IBD 50 stocks Adobe (ADBE), Amazon.com (AMZN), Atlassian (TEAM), Microsoft (MSFT) and ServiceNow (NOW).
In its 2021 predictions, IDC forecast an acceleration in the shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications. It sees enterprises making the cloud shift twice as fast as they had planned before the pandemic.
"Everybody who said it's going to take 10 years now says, 'We have to do it in five,' " Villars said. "And everybody who said we're going to do it in five years now says they have to do it in two."
2021 Prediction: Rise Of Hybrid Work Environment
In its 2021 predictions, IDC also said working from home will become institutionalized within organizations. And as the coronavirus threat begins to lift, we'll see an increase in hybrid work environments. That means workers spending some days at home and others in shared office spaces.
The Covid-19 pandemic spurred a fourfold increase in people working from home, Villars said. However, that still represents less than half of the economy in the U.S., he said.
The work-from-home boom has boosted sales of PCs and peripherals this year as information workers have upgraded their home offices. The increased sales trend is likely to continue in 2021 as companies commit to reaching "technical parity" for workers' home offices compared to their corporate offices, Villars said. The goal of that effort is to foster a more collaborative and productive workforce, he said.
All told, the Covid-19 pandemic will dramatically alter the global business ecosystem for the next 12 to 24 months and beyond, IDC said in its report.