Gartner Xpo: Announcing the 2021 class of tech buzzwords
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

Add one more “transformation” to the growing list of changes that businesses can credit to COVID-19: A fresh new class of tech buzzwords for 2021.

“Plasticity” was one of the many flex-themed buzzwords being played out in real-time during this week’s virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo. The company outlined its Top Strategic Technology Trends for CIOs and CTOs during the event, with “the ability to adapt to changing conditions” (ie. a global pandemic) being the theme of this year’s ranking.

While many of the buzzwords are new, that isn’t to say they’re wholly original.

Buckle up for another “Internet-of” initialism with IoB (the ‘B’ standing for ‘Behavior’), which is a combination of tracking technologies and data mapping that Gartner predicts will involve half the world’s population by 2025 in some capacity. Whether through a government or a commercial partner, IoB technology will inevitably raise some ethical flags as it matures, though much of the infrastructure is already in place thanks to IoB’s more passive cousin, IoT.

Going back to the theme of Total Experience (TX), this new classification combines customer, employee and user experiences, as each of these areas of the business are increasingly entwined with the others’ success. The technologies that fall under this categorization will rely on a robust enterprise network infrastructure to ensure that complementary and dependent systems are continuously in sync with each other, which emphasizes the need for comprehensive, end-to-end visibility across the network for IT ops teams.

The next few trends arrived in full force midway through 2020 and are set to dominate 2021 as “distributed cloud” and “anywhere operations” speak to the infrastructure and workflow needs related to ensuring TX in the first place.

“Distributed cloud,” for instance, is akin to existing edge computing strategies (just managed like ala private cloud), while “anywhere operations” marries and expands on the remote work conversation by emphasizing the need for consistent network performance at any time, wherever users are located.

The concept of “anywhere operations” also shouldn’t be confused with “WFH” or even the traditional notion of a branch office, as Gartner predicts that by the end of 2023, 40 percent of organizations will adopt a more fluid, hybrid-office model where workers won’t be tethered to long commutes or standard 9-5 schedules (though they may have to work more fluid hours in exchange for the freedom).

This all confirms that going forward, teams will need to deploy management solutions that can tie together a decentralized enterprise network footprint and grant teams visibility to virtually any location their workers log on from.


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Filed Under: Industry Insights

Tags: buzzwords , digital transformation , gartner , distributed cloud , anywhere operations , hybrid office , hybrid cloud , wfh , work from home , enterprise IT , network performance monitoring