Deloitte’s “Tech Trends 2021” report explores the technology trends most likely to cause disruption over the next 18 to 24 months. With the boundary between the physical and virtual worlds having disappeared almost entirely in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these tech trends could have profound implications for businesses, governments, and society in the coming months and years.

Deloitte has chosen “resilience” as the theme of this year’s report, which can be consulted in full here. “To us, this means a stubborn determination to adapt and thrive in the face of change. We have seen countless, inspiring examples of resilience this past year as organizations and entire sectors assessed their circumstances, revised their strategic plans, and marched toward the future”, state the report’s authors. “The COVID-19 crisis has driven change in an important and unexpected way. A growing number of organizations across sectors are accelerating their digital transformation efforts not only to make their operations nimbler and more efficient, but to respond to dramatic fluctuations in demand and customer expectation.”

Technology – a source of new competitive advantage

The report reads: “Technology today is a source of new competitive advantage for some organizations and a threat to ongoing survival for others. Savvy corporate strategists are looking beyond their organization’s current tech capabilities and competitive landscape to consider a broader range of future possibilities about how technology can expand where they play and how they win. But the complex range of uncertainties and possibilities can be too much for the human brain to process on its own. That’s why strategists are turning to strategic technology platforms equipped with advanced analytics, automation, and AI.”

Migrating the legacy systems to the cloud

The report’s authors believe that migrating the legacy systems of an enterprise to the cloud could help unleash an organization’s digital potential. “For many, the cost of needed cloud migrations and other core modernization strategies can be prohibitive. This is about to change. In what we recognize as a growing trend, some pioneering companies are beginning to use clever outsourcing arrangements to reengineer traditional business cases for core modernization. Likewise, some are exploring opportunities to shift core assets to increasingly powerful platforms, including low-code options. Finally, many are advancing their platform-first strategies by addressing technical debt in ERP systems and migrating nonessential capabilities to other platforms. In a business climate defined by historic uncertainty, these innovative approaches for extracting more value from legacy core assets may soon become standard components of every CIO’s digital transformation playbook.”

zero trust

Making supply chains more efficient and safer 

The report also highlights that manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and others are exploring ways to transform the supply chain cost center into a customer-focused driver of value. “They are extracting more value from the data they collect, analyze, and share across their supply networks. Finally, some of these organizations are exploring opportunities to use robots, drones, and advanced image recognition to make physical supply chain interactions more efficient, effective, and safe for employees. Granted, transforming established supply chains into resilient, customer-focused supply networks will be a challenge, and for most organizations, it will be an ongoing journey – one of critical importance.”

Strengthening security with a ‘zero trust’ approach

“Sophisticated cyberattacks and shifting enterprise environments have undermined the traditional – and somewhat flawed – castle-and-moat approach to cybersecurity”, reads Deloitte’s report. “Zero trust is rooted in the concept that modern enterprise environments necessitate a different approach to security. In zero trust architectures, every access request should be validated based on all available data points, including user identity, device, location, and other variables that provide context to each connection and allow more nuanced, risk-based decisions. Data, applications, workloads, and other resources are treated as individual, manageable units to contain breaches, and access is provided based on the principle of least privilege. The automation and engineering required to properly implement zero trust security architectures can help strengthen security posture, simplify security management, improve end-user experience, and enable modern enterprise environments.”

The report adds that zero trust could change, in a substantial way, the day-to-day activities of the cyber workforce. “To design and continually refine and evolve the zero trust architecture, enterprises likely will need more cyber engineering skills. In addition, to embed zero trust principles into every business initiative from inception, organizations will likely need more collaboration and integration between security teams and the lines of businesses they support. Business-function system owners likely will need to become more engaged in security planning.”

The global ‘zero trust’ market will grow

“As the benefits of zero trust continue to pile up, enterprises are catching on. The global zero trust market is expected to grow to US$38.6 billion by 2024, a 20% increase from 2019”, reveals the report. “The zero trust approach is not a product, solution, or platform – it’s a philosophical shift in the way enterprises think about security. The process of migrating to an effective zero trust security architecture tends to be a marathon rather than a sprint, with organizations not only tackling foundational cybersecurity issues and embracing security automation and orchestration but preparing for the organizational and cultural changes that accompany such mindset shifts.” 

Furthermore, “to build confidence in zero trust, organizations will need to engage stakeholders ranging from cyber and IT to business area system owners and application end users. By removing the assumption of trust from the security architecture and authenticating every action, user, and device, zero trust helps enable a more robust and resilient security posture. The organizational benefits are complemented by a considerable end-user perk: seamless access to the tools and data needed to work efficiently.”

Modex BCDB, a foundation for ‘zero trust’ environment

In an enterprise context that is evolving towards a higher level of complexity in terms of the infrastructures and services they provide, Modex BCDB emerges as a zero-trust enabler that distances itself from the traditional reactive approach to data protection, taking instead a proactive stance towards  answering the data security challenges posed by the rapidly expanding cybersecurity threat landscape. As companies now operate on several internal networks, multiple satellite offices spread throughout the world with their own local infrastructures, accompanied by an increase in remote working as well as bring your own device (BYOD) practices has led to the expansion of the cybersecurity threat area as well as the number of potential vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit to gain entry to a company’s system to target their data.

Paired together with the trend ushered in by the advent of cloud computing and IaaS offerings in which control over data assets are handed over to cloud providers in exchange for hosting services, it becomes clear that traditional data security strategies aren’t compatible with the new data management reality. Through its technological layer, Modex BCDB helps the digital industry, tech companies, and governmental institutions, basically any type of organization that relies on a database to get back control over their most valuable asset, their data. Read more on this topic here.