New opportunities arise after a year marked by the acceleration of digital transformation in companies, institutions, and society in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.

Red Hat looks at the new challenges and opportunities that will drive business innovation and digitization throughout 2021:

Culture Transformation

The benefits of cloud and distributed infrastructure will be evident in 2020. As soon as the pandemic hit, those companies and institutions that had adopted a cloud-native model could react quickly and continue to operate amid a completely uncertain landscape. The agility and flexibility with which organizations that have opted for the cloud-native model use is the result of the technology behind them and the cultural change they have undergone.

This is not a recent phenomenon; many forward-thinking companies have spent the last few years transitioning to cloud-native. These organizations, many of them long-standing, are reinventing themselves because they have understood that to capitalize on cloud, automation, and other technologies, they have to change from the ground up. These organizations have embraced open-source principles, invested in people, and developed new processes and structures. It should always be the organization’s culture that should mark the digital strategy and not the other way around.

In the coming year, we expect to see more organizations adopting the cloud-native model, especially those big-name brands. This will allow them to start being disruptors in their environment and perhaps create new markets, providing new services to new customers. These mature organizations have taken the lead from the hyperscalers and will soon begin to imprint their unique identity on the business landscape.

Convergence of Cloud-native Technologies

The increased availability of technologies such as the cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge computing, and 5G, to name just a few, combined with a better understanding of the possibilities they offer, will allow internal teams to start testing new concepts and ideas.

Those who are already contributing to open-source projects, and participating in the early stages of communities, will be able to take advantage of the advancements that are taking place in the open-source space. This will speed up application development and lead to new use cases based on real-time data collection and processing.

The disposition towards AI, ML, 5G, edge computing, and other technologies will be more entrenched. We will see companies working within the parameters of emerging technologies to get the best out of them. 2021 will bring out the practical side of businesses as they develop new capabilities to become cloud-native organizations. 

In addition, the confluence of technologies we will see throughout the year will inspire a renewed interest in Technology that some were becoming disillusioned with. It will help drive innovation and the development of new platforms, applications, and services well into the next decade.

Innovation Within the Platform Economy

In recent years, large companies have reinvented themselves as platform organizations. The platform economy offers excellent growth opportunities since it facilitates diversification and the creation of ecosystems by favoring association with other actors, making it possible to enter other sectors with new proposals. It also makes it possible to create new markets that connect customers with other providers. 

Uber started as a taxi service and now offers food delivery and electric scooter rentals.

The opportunities offered by the platform economy pose a challenge for the Innovation Centers (also known as Innovation Labs) of large companies since they will have to provide a new vision of the market and provide the necessary resilience to support these new models. Business based on the platform economy. 

Their challenges will include developing new products and finding new ways to scale them while helping the company explore new environments.

These Innovation Centers can take advantage of open-source methodologies and solutions that allow them to develop products faster and build new agile platforms. 

This provides them with the framework to coordinate the people and resources needed to create compelling proposals for the unique business style.

Innovation teams have a golden opportunity to reach new fields, integrate new technologies, build ecosystems, and drive new business results. Some will inevitably fail, but those who rise to the challenge will offer sustainable solutions that will enable their organizations to re-emerge as high-profile disruptors.


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