Even though the pandemic has had some negative impact, for startups, it has proven to open a world full of opportunities. With the onset of what we expect to be a post-pandemic world, we are seeing many startups coming to the forefront and making the best use of the current situation by introducing solutions backed by deep tech that caters to the challenges of the new normal world. This is also attracting many investors, helping them sustain their long-term priorities. This will further impact the data center market and other aspects associated with it.
The new normal scenario is expected to continue for a while, but the future is undeniably Hybrid. Everything is now influenced by consumers – the digitalization of services is not only popular in metros, but also receiving great traction in tier 2 and 3 cities and even in rural areas. This has opened possibilities for businesses to expand to these segments and establish micro-data centers in these regions. 2020 has allowed people to experience what the connected world looks like, and this can only become a better experience going forward. In 2020, accessing the digital world was a compulsion, which now is gradually becoming a generic part of life. With edutech, telehealth, e-retail, etc. services expanding to deeper parts of the country, we can see rising demands of micro-data centers to provide a richer experience to the consumer in these regions.
BFSI to kick-off
In 2019, BFSI was projected to transform enormously through serious conversations and positioning around data localization; global players were also investing heavily in the market. Unlike the projection, 2020 has been a year of survival with relaxations from the governments around the world to ensure there is continuity in services. The BFSI sector has made minor progress, owing to challenges like low collections, providing services at the same cost of operations, etc. While these challenges are not limited to one sector, BFSI specifically has not been able to expand as much compared to education, retail, or healthcare.
2021 will be a page-turner for BFSI as the need to keep consumers on a digital platform will grow. Unlike the traditional ways of standing in queues and visiting branches for services, digital services have proven to be more efficient and cost saving for the banks and provide a better experience for the consumer. Many banks have limited the amount of cash withdraw or are charging extra on card transactions, to reduce the traditional ways of banking and retain the customers on digital platforms where they are offered a better experience.
With increased competition, customers will have more options and will always lean towards a seamless and reliable experience. This will lead to greater investments by banks in edge and micro-data centers.
Security will continue to dominate 2021 and the next few years. With multiple endpoints in the remote working culture, security has become the key to business operation. Technologies like remote access management or virtual desktop infrastructure have been designed to simplify operations, ensure access from multiple locations without compromising on security. Even with storage or online communication tools, end-to-end encryption has become a necessity and industry standard. These trends and practices will only strengthen in the coming years.
The trend of CPU virtualization has been seen emerging where virtual desktops come in. In 2020, OTT platforms have seen massive growth with an increase in the volume of consumers. To serve these growing needs, the hardware requirements of high-performance computing, enabled by the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) with a much higher capacity to deliver the content quickly and accurately. While the technology is already available, we will see larger deployment and adoption of graphic-based servers in 2021. This will also increase the capacity and computing power of each rack, providing better output. Focus in 2021 would be to provide better services to more consumers, with increased computing power in lesser space.
4G or 5G?
Initially, when everyone started working from home, connectivity and speed were huge challenges. The issue is particularly high in tier 1 cities. A lot of discussions are happening around 5G, innovative solutions being launched to ensure a smooth rollout of the technology. 5G will definitely boost the economy and industries like manufacturing, healthcare, etc. However, it appears to be a distant dream when we haven’t yet explored the true potential of 4G or even have the last mile accessibility of 4G connectivity.
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