2021, the death of glamour?

AN OVERVIEW OF IT TRENDS FOR NEXT YEAR

MARÍA LUISA PARADINAS LÓPEZ, Business Development, Marketing and Communication Assistant Director at Innova-tsn

ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON COMPUTING.ES (15/12/2020)

For 16 years, Innova-tsn has been a leading company in customised solutions for data exploitation throughout their whole life cycle. What has happened in 2020 in the industry? Finally, it has been the year of “on-going”: Most companies have tried to keep their existing services intact and finish ongoing IT projects, while they are cautious with the new ones. Despite the tension and concern, the unpredictability of changes and the different financial aids have partially alleviated the effects of the crisis, which are expected to be especially felt starting next year.

Innova-tsn has right now 5 offices in 4 countries (Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico and Colombia) and carries out end-to-end projects focused on data exploitation in all of them, in sectors such as Banking, Utilities, Retail, Media, Pharma and Services. Despite this variety of scenarios, we are witnessing a common trend beyond the acceleration of digitalisation processes: expenditure restraints entail a need to justify in a much more comprehensive way the appropriateness of every project. What projects survive? Those which are strictly necessary (due to regulatory or operative requirements) or the ones which have a clear unquestionable ROI and preferably, do not require large initial investments. Although this is not new, the requirements of the justification and the tangibility of the return on investment will be what will leave many projects fallow until the circumstances improve.


“We have lived through a tremendously convulsed year; the arrival of the pandemic in the first quarter blew up all the plans and expectations we could have for the year and led us to a health and economic crisis which have radically changed individual behaviour”.


TRENDS FOR 2021

Once this general background is defined, what trends will prevail in 2021?

The top managers of each of Innova-tsn’s four cross-cutting areas -Solutions Architecture, Data Value, Big Data and Advanced Analytics, and Customer 360- tell us.

Both Luis Jorge Fernández, Solutions Architecture manager and Ignacio Barahona, Data Value manager, emphasise Data Governance as one of the big areas which will see new projects in 2021. Moreover, every project, regardless of its final goal, has to take Data Governance into account for a correct design and an effective execution.

Data Governance is also regarded from a broader perspective. Data are many companies’ most important asset and their democratisation makes many processes easier. Just because of this, the need to control data is stronger. We have to bear in mind that we are not only talking about Governance in the face of possible security breaches or the level of security in the face of external agents, but we are also considering data access control from inside the company and especially under the current teleworking conditions.

There are tools to know and manage the whole data flow and lineage, but are companies ready for this radical change in the rules of the game?’ (Luis Jorge González). In this sense, Ignacio Barahona points out that ‘maybe they are not as “glamourous” but no doubt they will be among the most important trends next year: cybersecurity and the regulation of privacy and data protection.’

There are tools to know and manage the whole data flow and lineage, but are companies ready for this radical change in the rules of the game?’ (Luis Jorge González). In this sense, Ignacio Barahona points out that ‘maybe they are not as “glamourous” but no doubt they will be among the most important trends next year: cybersecurity and the regulation of privacy and data protection.’

 

 

 


“Data Governance will be one of the big areas where projects will still be carried out”. 


Some years ago, the need for exhaustive data control will have come with a bet on on-premise solutions and a certain mistrust of the cloud. This situation has been overcome and neither the advantages nor the security of the cloud is questioned.

Once the plunge into the cloud is taken, Ignacio Barahona, Data Value manager at Innova-tsn, tells us 2021 will be the year of the plunge into multicloud. The fear of depending on a single provider and getting trapped in one of the clouds, the desire for making the most of the advantages of each one and the possibility of reducing costs are the pillars of this trend, which is here to stay.

Although the Architecture and Governance projects may be included in a context of need and, in some cases, regulatory demands, we will also see advanced analytics and customer-related projects. Which ones?


“In the customer field, it is indisputable the forced digitalisation we have lived through have accelerated trends we were already seeing”.


 

Arancha Ortiz, Big Data and Advanced Analytics manager at Innova-tsn, foresees a 2021 when we take on the challenge of including artificial intelligence mechanisms extensively in the digital services.

‘Digital transformation has changed the company’s processes round and exposed many pending tasks. Automating repetitive services, engaged in recognizing thousands of images/videos or transcribing hundreds of complaints and classifying them will allow to employ high-value resources in more specialised tasks. In this sense, optimisation, selecting among all the combinations of reality the one that suits an aim best, is a territory still unexplored by companies which current technologies bring within reach and that, well executed, provides benefits that easily turn into economic profit.  

Lastly, in the customer field, it is indisputable the forced digitalisation we have lived through has accelerated trends we were already seeing. Ignacio Barahona, as Customer 360 manager at Innova, affirms that ‘no doubt it will be the year of the explosion of CDPs (Customer Data Platform). We have already started hearing a lot about them in the past few months of 2020 and in 2021 we will hear much more, undoubtedly.’ The CDP is regarded as the point the customer 360 vision had to reach. It is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to all other systems in the company (taken from the definition of CDP according to the Customer Data Platform Institute). A CDP is made to include browsing data, data from profiles, products… Data that are irreplaceable in the current environment.

After talking with all of them, we conclude that in 2021 there may be glamour, but inevitably, we will see fewer projects and high stringency levels. Only excellence will suffice to survive in a hard year where Data Governance and projects fostered by the forced digitalisation we are suffering can provide some shelter.

We have lived through a tremendously convulsed year; the arrival of the pandemic in the first quarter blew up all the plans and expectations we could have for the year and led us to a health and economic crisis which have radically changed individual behaviour.


“Most companies have tried to keep their existing services intact and finish already ongoing IT projects, while they are cautious with the new ones”.