The year 2020 is coming to an end, and it was clearly marked by the Covid-19 health crisis and the resulting massive economic crisis. On the IT market, however, we have observed a highly differentiated situation in terms of products and segments, industries, topics, and countries. For example, while the consulting and contract staff markets have substantially decreased, cloud-related services have all but maintained their pre-crisis growth dynamics. On the one hand, the crisis has created huge pressure on costs in many industries; on the other, it has led many companies to accelerate their digital transformation.

The growth topics have more or less remained the same. The strongest drivers of growth and change are cloud transformation as well as analytics, AI (artificial intelligence), and automation, supported by agile and DevOps models. These levers are the key enablers of the digital transformation taking place mainly in three areas: front-end processes and customer experience (CX, where transformation started), back-office and front-/back-office integration, and industrial IT/ OT/ IoT. Security remains a major issue, with increasingly numerous and diverse challenges. Both vendors and customers have difficulty finding skills, especially in topics such as cloud, security, AI, IoT, and CX. The skills shortage leads to rising, or at least stable, rates. Finally, raising operational efficiency is always part of the equation. While the past few years (2014-2018) were marked by an excellent economic environment, we already saw a slight slowdown in selected industries and countries in 2019. The current situation has dramatically reinforced the importance of this topic.

Table of contents
Introduction
PAC’s top ten predictions for 2021
 
 
As cyber security capabilities become the main source of C-Suite focus, expect to see automated SOCs
 
 
AI – the ultimate game changer in the CX market
 
 
Employee-centric new work style and digital workplace
 
 
Enterprise applications are moving towards the public cloud
 
 
Mass migration to the public cloud is now in vogue
 
 
Next-generation transformational outsourcing
 
 
Rebalancing supply chains – from efficiency to more resiliency
 
 
Secure access service edge (SASE) becomes the must-have cyber service
 
 
Smart factory automation – more agility around production efficiency
 
 
Sustainability and decarbonization
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