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Reflections of a CTO on 2021 from an IT perspective…

As a dynamic yet fickle 2021 comes to a close, it brings forth some thoughts and realizations with it.

It is a fact the earth is round, but actually, the world as we know it has become flat.  Have we used the term Covid enough this year? Well, it is still very relevant – Covid has greatly accelerated the trend of the workforce becoming physically more distributed. Companies were forced to acknowledge that and have actually come to terms with it (even if reluctantly). Human beings are social creatures, and social distancing is probably the toughest side effect of Covid to bear. But you can always try and find some benefits from any situation. Seeing how Covid is here to stay for some time, 2021 IT leaders have had to deploy every possible trick in their arsenal to flatten their information infrastructure, so as to enable employees to be equally productive from anywhere. Hence, the world has become flat…

As if one pandemic is not enough, it seems that another has emerged at the same time. This one is called Ransomware.  In 2021 traditional enterprise security was seriously challenged, facing an extraordinary $6 trillion in annual damages as a result of global cybercrime. Ransomware is so prominent that it has caused a shift in how CISOs view data protection: local networks, traditionally considered a “trusted haven” for storing data, with lax levels of internal isolations, are now proving to be a dangerous place – with local threats lurking and attempting to spread laterally, in an effort to steal or encrypt enterprise data. And right when we thought this year in IT couldn’t get any worse – right at the very end, Log4shell hit the world with a perfect storm, leaving us with more questions than answers: How has this backdoor managed to remain undetected in a popular open-source library, affecting hundreds of millions of devices, since 2013? How many similar time bombs exist that are yet undetected? What are the lessons to be learned about the open source software which our world runs on?

Leaving you with one last reflection about 2021 – Storage is going global. Whether accelerated by the pandemic or just due to the continuous fast growth of unstructured data, the storage market has realized significant adoption of global data services, providing equal access to unstructured data or files from everywhere. This trend has been driven by edge-to-cloud storage solutions becoming more technically mature and easier to use, together with the emergence of new business initiatives which benefit from remote accessibility of data – including practices such as work-from-home, VDI, edge computing and multi-cloud.

As we part with a challenging 2021, we are also intrigued to find out what surprises 2022 holds for us; whatever those may be, it will surely inspire us to discover new capabilities and drive us to new levels of innovation in our continuous search for a balanced yet constantly changing future.

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