4 top tech trends Middle East tech leaders need to confront in 2021

It’s time to define the ‘new normal’ after a year that caused a move to remote work, new reliance on cloud technology, fresh cyberthreats, and increasing pressure for automation.

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Massive societal shifts spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic include new work models, new privacy and data storage regulations, and new advancements in emerging technologies — permanent changes that highlight the need for CIOs to shift from a reactive position that is called upon in a crisis, to a proactive role critical to formulating business strategy.

The lessons we learned in 2020 will inform the decisions we make in 2021. The past year has seen disruptions in supply chains, educational systems, political institutions, and societal norms. As vaccines enter the market, we face 2021 hopeful, but exhausted. Emerging from a year that saw much of the world self-isolate, many CIOs have highlighted the potential for IT departments to serve as a champion for the security and comfort of employees.

Among other things, IT leaders will need to keep a sharp eye out for how they can best help their businesses and colleagues adjust to a new normal. "When we do go into offices or schools in person, we'll need more privacy, space, and breaks than before," Wendy Pfeiffer, CIO at  Nutanix, wrote in the company's recently shared predictions for the coming year. "Helping people to be comfortable as they leave the relative sanctuary of their homes will require unprecedented access to validated health and safety data from our employers, local and regional governments and educational institutions."

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