Rethinking Technology Road Maps for the Second Half of 2020

Businesses are now able to look again at the future of technology and their technology road maps in a new light -- and many realize that their priorities have drastically changed.

Andrew Froehlich, President & Lead Network Architect, West Gate Networks

July 2, 2020

3 Min Read
Image: metamorworks -

If there was ever a point modern times that one could point to and use as justification for digital transformation, we've just witnessed it. The massive disruptions and uncertainty that businesses and the global economy recently endured shows that successful businesses can no longer rely on disjointed tasks and manual processes. Instead, the goal for any business right now should be to streamline, automate and simplify how they conduct their day-to-day operations. As such, IT will play a major role in this evolutionary change. That's why it's important to consider rethinking IT spend in the second half of 2020. Here’s why.

As IT leaders look back on their original IT project goals for the first six months of this year, very little was likely accomplished. In most situations, projects were put on hold while the focus shifted toward remote workforce support. But as time moves on, businesses are now getting to the point where they're able to look again at the future of technology and how it can improve operations. And looking at their technology road map in a new light, many are coming to realize that their priorities have drastically changed.

One new priority that has come into focus revolves around the concept of IT automation. While automation was often considered to be a luxury for IT budgets of the past, modern automation and orchestration technologies are beginning to look increasingly appealing. With a bit of legwork performed up front, administrators can eliminate many of those time-consuming manual processes of old. Additionally, automation can assist with low-touch and no-touch deployments, greatly eliminating the number of staff required to physically deploy new infrastructure tools.

Cloud computing -- specifically public SaaS offerings -- have also proven their worth in the first half of this year. SaaS applications are perfect for highly distributed workforces as they eliminate the need for employees to securely access resources on the corporate network. This has been a major problem as of late as the number of remote workers has skyrocketed. With SaaS, that requirement to VPN into the business prior to gaining access to business services is eliminated. Thus, it may make sense to ramp up efforts to migrate legacy applications and data away from private data centers and into the public cloud.

A final example of a way to reconsider IT spend is in data security. While IT budgets undoubtedly have earmarked money for various IT security projects, unforeseen holes in existing tools and processes may have been recently identified. Much of this means IT teams are dealing with decoupled security tools that are time consuming to manage and don’t provide the end-to-end visibility necessary to quickly identify and remediate threats. This is why the concept of “security simplification” has been a popular topic of interest in 2020. Platforms such as artificial intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) and network detection and response (NDR) tools are now bubbling to the top as they can leverage AI to provide a single platform for network performance and data security management.

Agility has become the new rallying cry for businesses looking to learn from process gaps identified in the first half of this year. The good news is technology can help to alleviate those gaps. If you find yourself in this situation, now may be the time to make IT budget changes to help get started right away. Waiting for a new budget cycle may not be soon enough if similar local or global disruptive problems arise down the road.

For more on how IT leaders can innovate during and post-pandemic:

How CTOs Can Innovate Through Disruption in 2020

CIOs Shift IT Budgets Amid COVID Crisis

Technology and the Pandemic: Complete Coverage for IT Leaders

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich

President & Lead Network Architect, West Gate Networks

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Having lived and worked in South East Asia for nearly three years, Andrew possesses a unique international business and technology perspective. When he's not consulting, Andrew enjoys writing technical blogs and is the author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex.

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