http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/what-businesses-need-to-focus-on-during-2021/article/581586

What businesses need to focus on during 2021 Special

Posted Nov 24, 2020 by Tim Sandle
The last few years have seen a new raft of legislation that businesses have had to grapple with. As we move into 2021 it is likely that there will be a renewed focus on data privacy, as well as a continued vigilance upon cybersecurity.
A typical office.
A typical office.
To gain an insight into data trends that are likely to occupy businesses across 2021, Digital Journal caught up with Infoworks CEO Buno Pati. In the interview, Pati identifies the key themes. These include data privacy and cybersecurity.
Businesses will be overwhelmed by compliance, as privacy regulations increase
In 2021, we’ll also see businesses prioritize consumer control of consumer data as governments and regulators drive new privacy legislation. While an increasing number of states develop data regulations, the Senate Commerce Committee introduced broadened privacy legislation just recently, signifying how 2021 will be the first lap of a long marathon of data regulations. Aside from federal laws and regulations, the US enforces hundreds of data privacy and data security laws among its states that businesses need to comply with as they conduct businesses across state lines. Further, many countries are pushing their own versions of GDPR. This is just a starting point. CPRA, which recently passed on November 4th in California, is just the latest example of the rapidly changing regulatory environment across the world.
While each of these regulations are localized, the impact is global. As an example, California privacy laws affect all companies doing business with any resident of California.
Over the next year we’ll see businesses challenged with establishing a framework for compliance. Recognizing the need to ensure privacy is safeguarded, organizations will make modifications to accommodate the new law.
Businesses need to build a flexible foundation for privacy compliance, as it is certain that the requirements will continue to evolve as the regulatory environment changes at a rapid pace. As the importance of data privacy continues to grow as do the challenges for businesses to stay compliant, automation of data operations and orchestration is the only way to have the agility needed to stay compliant with the emerging and evolving requirements.
COVID will underscore a new urgent imperative for businesses to migrate to the cloud, realize the power of data and create new forms of digital interaction
COVID served as a true accelerator for the cloud and analytics industries. It forced businesses to migrate to the cloud faster and change entire business models virtually overnight. As a result, we’ve seen a proliferation of successful IPOs from businesses that combine cloud and analytics. The market will continue to reward companies that enable successful and productive cloud migration, helping businesses digitally transform and redefine the interactions with customers, partners and employees. The victors of 2021 will be businesses with the right foundation to harness data from a variety of sources and launch analytics, allowing leaders to consolidate, organize, extract meaningful insights and drive important new business initiatives.
We’ll continue seeing a flurry of bad COVID decisions unless THIS happens in 2021
Throughout 2020, we’ve seen efforts to “streamline the compilation of patient data and improve tracking efforts.” While the intent to better orchestrate and manage COVID data is a step in the right direction, simply shifting control from one organization to another is not enough, especially when this action has the potential to greatly limit data transparency. We have yet to find a largely effective way to keep the public safe, a concern that will continue to grow as we enter 2021. Without a single source of truth and a national platform for COVID analytics, we have questionable data scattered from various sources, and we’ll continue making misinformed decisions as a result. Without well-defined and transparent rules regarding how that data is collected, reported and managed, the CDC and HHS will continue to make data calculation errors and provide limited transparency to the public well into 2021 and beyond.
A shortfall of essential healthcare workers will inspire a new way of solving roadblocks to limited talent pools
Wars are won or lost on logistics, and we are currently at war with COVID-19. In early 2020, Americans were faced with the agonizing question of whether or not healthcare would need to be rationed just like during wartimes.
We are facing a shrinking supply of essential healthcare workers as we head into the final months of 2020. Healthcare providers using technology to proactively match and dispatch healthcare professionals to hot spots will ensure the demand-supply barrier doesn’t impede the provisions of quality healthcare. Healthcare providers that succeed will use automation and data insights to recruit and deploy underutilized healthcare professionals to offer their skills where demand is highest. Gaining access to data about qualified nurses, specialists, respiratory therapists and radiologists, hospitals will rapidly get patients the care they need. Those that don’t embrace automation will continue to scramble in meeting the demand for qualified healthcare professionals.
COVID vaccine developments will not be successful unless issues with data agility and analytics are resolved in the time we’re driving toward a vaccine
Data scientists will play a critical role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. From development of a vaccine to analysis of trials and deployment, data will be the key to knowing if we have found a preventative solution. Data scientists will be as important as traditionally trained scientists in producing the first viable vaccine. To accelerate the development of vaccines, people must be able to manage, make decisions and trust that data. Knowing that speed is critical, data agility is required and new automated systems will enable new innovations, ultimately leading to a vaccine. Accelerating the delivery of the vaccine will require a great deal of agility and automation in managing data.
2021 will see more cyberattacks on businesses as COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation
While COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation, it will paint a big, red bullseye on those businesses by hackers who are looking to score a big heist in 2021. As businesses digitally transform all their activities to try and achieve a competitive advantage they have created more points of vulnerability, expanding the attack surface for hackers.
How businesses store data varies immensely; now more than ever it is imperative for businesses to have full control over their data. In most businesses today, data exists in silos which opens up many challenges in protecting the data from cyberattacks. To secure the fort, businesses need to consolidate, organize and manage data in a centralized fashion. Businesses have a responsibility to their customers and partners to ensure their data is secure and they can least afford to have their data fall into the wrong hands. Those businesses that carefully safeguard their customers and partner data will survive because they will achieve higher brand reputation and as a result more business. Those that don’t will be out of business.