At this time in 2019 none of us could have predicted the enormous impact the global pandemic would have on our industry or our lives. The meaning of the “new normal” seems to change each week, and yet there are some things we have learned as a result of this experience that we can anticipate in the coming year. Many of us were pleasantly surprised at how effectively we could function in a virtual world through the use of advanced technologies born in the cloud. The pandemic brought into sharp focus the advantage organizations that had moved aggressively to blend cloud technologies into their existing operations and offerings had over those that took a more cautious and measured approach. To put it simply, COVID-19 has been a cloud catalyst, accelerating the digital transformation trends already well underway.
As we approach the coming year, Cohesity leadership weighed in on the changes, challenges, and opportunities they see ahead with an eye to the ever-increasing value, volume, and vulnerability of data. Our leaders offered their thoughts on a wide range of issues. Whatever 2021 brings, we are certain that the importance of data will be central to our businesses and our lives.
Storage Management is the Past, the Future is Data Management
The focus in 2021 will no longer be about managing storage, it is going to be about managing data. In 2021, businesses will focus more on how to easily access data and generate value from it. This includes data that is stored in the cloud. While hybrid cloud models will continue to grow in popularity and adoption in 2021, we will see more and more organizations embracing cloud-based services that enable companies to derive much more value from data, whether that’s applying analytics and machine learning capabilities to the data, improving securing or elevating compliance.
Mohit Aron, CEO Founder, Cohesity
With Attacks on the Rise, Increased Security and Rapid Recovery Will Be Requirements
While ransomware attacks became much more prevalent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped nations around the world, in 2021, we will continue to see attacks grow at unprecedented levels — not only in terms of volumes but in terms of sophistication. Verticals particularly at risk, will continue to be those with large personal data sets, such as healthcare, financial services, federal, and retail. State-sponsored attacks will continue to disrupt transportation and supply chains. Organizations that can recover in minutes instead of days will be much more immune from ransomware extortion and have a tremendous advantage in their respective sectors. As a result, expect data management vendors to continue to focus heavily on security offerings that help organizations improve their security postures, including threat response and threat identification.
Vineet Abraham, Chief Product & Development Officer, Cohesity
Data Management as a Service Will Level the Playing Field
We know today that inefficient data management really hampers midsize organizations. In fact, recent research shows that nearly a third of respondents from midsize companies claim to have lost 25-50 percent of business deals to larger rivals because larger enterprises have more resources to manage and derive value from their data. This value is realized as innovation and customer insight, which in 2021 will be key to winning new business and customer retention — regardless of industry. Next year I believe the rapid adoption of enterprise-grade ‘as a service’ solutions will level the playing field in sales, giving midsize companies utilizing cloud technologies much more opportunity to compete against larger rivals. This can only be a good thing for the global economy as businesses seek to rebuild after 2020.
Michael Cremen, Chief Revenue Officer, Cohesity
Successful Marketers Will Develop Ever Richer Digital Interactions
In 2020, we saw marketers embracing creative ways to reach customers and prospects to drive awareness and demand, especially with the absence of large events and in-person gatherings due to COVID-19. In 2021, I believe this new way of working within marketing organizations will continue, with marketeers creating new levels of creativity coupled with online and digital skills to drive their campaigns. I don’t see massive global events and trade shows coming back in 2021 given the time it will take to bring vaccinations to populations around the world, coupled with the lead time, complexity and cost of organizing such events. Smaller events will gain popularity, potentially in 2H, but with much richer digital integrations based on the learnings from 2020.
Lynn Lucas, Chief Marketing Officer, Cohesity
Collaborative Learning Will Help Everyone Embrace 21st Century Modern IT
Federal agencies will take a more collaborative, cross-agency approach to modernization in 2021. The impact of COVID put a stress on IT across the board and put a spotlight on agencies that were more agile and progressive in contrast to those with antiquated infrastructure. This created an increased focus on modernization and digital transformation. In 2021, agencies with more advanced technologies will work with other levels of government to bring them up to speed, deliver better basic data protection and security. The cloud will be at the heart of this solution delivery and new-found agility, helping more departments become more resilient and progressive.Steve Grewal, U.S. Public Sector, CTO, Cohesity
Customers Will Demand Ever Greater IT Simplicity
When IT can download exceptional innovations from an App store for free, who has the patience for outdated, costly legacy infrastructure? Enterprise Tech will catch up with other industries by creating more consumer-like experiences that you can simply sign up to access and increase productivity without incurring new costs. Hybrid data management across on-premises and cloud solutions will become increasingly simple to deliver similar to consumer services, making it that much easier to manage, protect, and derive value from data.
Matt Waxman, Vice President, Product Management, Cohesity
Partners Need to Stay Ahead of the Game with Modern SaaS and Hybrid Offerings
In 2021, channel partners will be put to the test when it comes to providing strategic value that can help customers flourish as the pandemic continues to impact companies and economies. Customers will continue to face increasing threats from ransomware attacks, a growing need to embrace hybrid-cloud models, to embrace SaaS offerings that offer much greater cost predictability and agility, and to derive value from mountains of dark data that continue to grow exponentially. Partners that can step up and provide this type of strategic value to customers will flourish. Those that can’t, will fall behind as they become increasingly less relevant to their customers.
Michael Houghton, Vice President, Worldwide Channel Sales, Cohesity
Zero Trust Design Will Be a Requirement
In 2021, Zero Trust will move to mainstream adoption in healthcare organizations. In 2020, these organizations were often core targets of cyberattacks. This didn’t go unnoticed. Cybercrime in all its forms will be a driving factor that forces healthcare institutions to modernize their approach to security and data management. We fully expect cybercrime attacks in 2021 to get more frequent and dynamic. As such, Zero Trust architectures and technologies will move into the mainstream as the pressure to continuously protect healthcare organizations from all manner of attacks grows significantly.
William Burns, Vice President, Vertical Markets, Health & Life Sciences, Cohesity