Who doesn’t want to move away from 2020 and step into 2021? No matter where you are located and what you do, I hope everyone is just as excited as I am to see what 2021 has to offer. In one way, Covid-19 has brought in a unilateral mindset among enterprises, organizations, and governments to see things differently. Differently meaning ‘To make it simple’. Yes, you heard it right. Companies are moving away from a complex matrix of operation and execution towards simple future-oriented lean strategic methodologies.
As I come from the IT industry, I would like to highlight the 5 major things or takeaways from 2020 for the future years.
1. Culture of not stepping into an office – Improving the employee experience
By not stepping into an office, it doesn’t imply just work from home. Rather, it broke the belief of having a centralized workplace. Distributed co-work spaces are going to be the future. Varieties of tools are available to help the employees work together even though they are all remotely located.
There are 2 scenarios to it.
A) Working from where you are, helps in building a good work-life balance. Also, with the increasing cost of living in the metros, it helps the employees migrate to a more affordable location.
B) Gives the employers, an opportunity to hire the resources from anywhere across the globe. This helps in normalizing the lack of skillset in a particular location in geography. We will see an upward trend with Talent as a Service (TaaS) in the coming years.
2. Focus on the core business – Amplifying the customer experience and confidence
IT is no more just a supporting pillar for any business. It is the backbone of the businesses, starting from customer web-apps, warehouse management, workforce management, supply chain, and so on. The main focus of the enterprise should be improving the customer experience thereby increasing customer engagement. As the digital engagement with the customer grows there are more chances of being closer to the customer and providing a digital journey with a personalized experience. A not long time before these personalizations came with the cost of customer privacy. The data were collected and processed in centralized locations. We have seen the big companies facing a lawsuit and the emergence of data laws like CCPA, GDPR, etc. So winning customer confidence is of prime importance for a digital promise. We will see an uptrend in technologies like federated machine learning, on-device learning, edge computing, and later leading as the industry normal for any digital exploration.
Read more here at – Making mobility applications smarter with AI and ML solutions
3. Delegate the infrastructure – Near zero time spent on maintaining infrastructure
Traditionally big enterprises are used to building and managing their own data centers. With the advantage of cloud computing, enterprises can delegate infrastructure management to cloud providers and fully focus on application development. Cloud providers have also evolved to a state where they just don’t offer IaaS but offer different services that can be readily used for specific needs or functionalities (SaaS/FaaS).
Other delegation examples that are mostly adopted by enterprises include –
- Identity management and security delegation to third party identity providers
- Adopting system integration by connecting different subsystems into a single larger system
- Utilizing different cloud services in the form of SaaS over IaaS/PaaS
4. Empowering the workforce with not just tech skills but also decision-making skills
One of the major themes that were insisted in the past couple of years was to ‘Unlearn and learn’ and make it a regular habit. This theme was mainly focused on the tech stack of the employees. The application development cycle is getting shorter and shorter and also, the maintenance and operations are automated by the variety of tools and COTS products available in the market. So it is not sufficient just to learn the new tech but also to understand the domain, stakeholders and come up with key decision-making skills about the solution architecture, environment, etc.
Examples include choosing the appropriate frontend stack (Experience-driven vs data-driven, etc.), right backend architecture (Event-driven vs traditional microservices, Serverless cloud offerings Vs Cloud IaaS, etc.), and so on. In other words, when to use google workplace vs on-prem vs cloud IaaS vs Serverless cloud vs Multi-cloud.
5. Start looking to design (Not develop) solutions with the Software 2.0 paradigm
Software 1.0 is about telling the machines what to do by giving instructions to them in the form of applications developed using programming languages like C, C++, Java, Python, etc. Even though there are complex definitions for software 2.0, I would like to put it like this – ‘Software 2.0 is nothing but programming with the neural net by designing models with data sets rather than instructions’. Examples include – Text translation, speech synthesis, visual recognition, and so on. There are more advanced IDE’s for software 1.0 which provides suggestions, validates syntaxes, hot reloads, etc. It would be interesting to see how software 2.0 would evolve. Ideally, the output of Software 2.0 would be used by Software 1.0 implementation engineers.
Github has the largest set of the code base for varieties of solutions. This is software 1.0. Can GitHub be used as a data set to progress it along the lines of Software 2.0?
Read more on this at – Decoding the future of coding.
It is altogether designing the solutions with boundaries rather than a specific set of instructions.
Share your thoughts on what you learned in 2020? what are you carrying forward to the next decade? And how you think 2021 will be?