Following the chaos of 2020, the most significant cloud managed service trends for 2021 have a consistent theme: providing the tools IT departments need to evolve from the pandemic as a true strategic ally for their companies. As CIOs scurry to offload non-strategic work and focus their efforts on high-value activities that support the company's growth goal, the IT managed services sector is predicted to reach $329.1 billion by 2025.

Here are some of the most important cloud managed service developments for your business in 2021 and beyond.

1. Meeting the need for remote operations/virtual team

Global lockdowns have proven that remote teams can produce excellent results. Gartner projects that by 2023, more than 90% of IT infrastructure and operational workers will be working remotely. According to Gartner, 82 percent of companies aim to continue doing some remote work across all activities after COVID, with 47 percent allowing it full-time.

Cloud managed service providers  are a perfect choice for IT shifts toward "anywhere operations," which acknowledges that IT personnel may and must be able to support an enterprise's distributed operations while working from anywhere.

Cloud managed service providers  have extensive expertise supporting a wide range of customers in numerous locations; supporting workers in their homes adds to this practice. In 2021, cloud managed service providers  will create managed service packages to meet the needs of the remote workforce, which will include:

a). Hybrid approaches: More cloud managed service providers  will likely replace traditional all-or-nothing bundles with tailored solutions that allow CIOs to keep core services while filling in gaps where in-house teams fall short.
b). Support from a help desk and secure remote access for off site workers: Because of the large number of low-tech employees who are struggling with home technology, efficient, prompt, and competent help desk services are more necessary than ever. It's also critical to ensure that remote workers have secure access to sensitive data for operations to run smoothly.
c). End-point management: cloud managed service providers  are expanding their toolkits to support secure and distributed end-point management technologies and best practices.
d). New collaboration: tools that improve virtual interactions and boost productivity.
e). Doubling down on cloud infrastructure: In today's distributed environment, a solid cloud foundation is critical for effectively deploying IT services.
f). Metrics that quantify the digital experience: allowing businesses to better evaluate and implement IT strategies.
g). Faster everything: Forward-thinking cloud managed service providers  will continue to use agile methodologies and fast-tracking technologies such as low-code tools to help IT keep up with the current rate of change.
h). Resolving Cloud complexity: Cloud complexity is on track to become a top tech issue in 2021 – and a significant opportunity for cloud managed service providers  to support IT with operations and management expertise.

More than 70% of IT leaders observed "bad consequences" as a result of the hasty adoption of cloud technologies during the sudden move to a remote workforce. Without appropriate planning, compartmentalized cloud initiatives employing disparate tools sprouted up across many firms, resulting in costly redundancy and complexity that exacerbated security risks.

The ever-increasing number of cloud options adds to the uncertainty, with businesses attempting to keep track of the best solutions, such as public vs. private vs hybrid clouds.

Now that the mayhem of 2020 has subsided, businesses are looking to cloud managed service providers to help them standardize their architecture, make educated cloud selections, and correct mistakes caused by the quick pace of digital transformation. Companies are also aiming to outsource cloud migrations, continuous service, and end-user support in greater numbers.

Gartner predicts that the market for cloud system infrastructure services will nearly double to $81 billion by 2022, up from $44 billion in 2019.

Also read: Cloud Computing Prediction for 2021

2. Enhancing service delivery through the use of AI and machine learning

Progressive cloud managed service providers  are looking into ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve the quality and efficiency of their service delivery. Intelligent capabilities can alter many  cloud managed service providers  by assisting decision-making and improving IT Service Management (ITSM) processes with features that allow human workers to focus on more critical tasks. AI also facilitates automation by allowing bots to learn rather than simply executing directions.

For example, AI could support help desk personnel by automating approvals and tailoring service request workflows. AI and machine learning could also help with incident management by proactively predicting and preventing problems, resulting in fewer service interruptions and repeat crises.

Cloud managed service providers  can also use machine learning models to improve service quality and security. Intelligent data mining, for example, can show the best times to deploy fixes to various end-points, reducing errors and enhancing customer satisfaction. It can also help with security management by detecting data exfiltration intelligently and determining the cause of account lockouts.

3. Increasing cybersecurity measures

Cybercriminals took full advantage of the enormous surge of people working from home on insecure workstations or mobile devices in 2020, resulting in an unprecedented number of cyberattacks. A data breach can be triggered by just one successful hack, with estimated cleanup costs of $3.86 million in 2020 (According to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute) and irreparable reputational harm to a corporation.As companies look to normalise remote work, cybersecurity is unsurprisingly a top concern in 2021 for many cloud managed service providers.

As a result, cloud managed service providers  are assisting clients in achieving enhanced cybersecurity protection. Cloud managed service providers  will likely enhance their security skill sets in 2021, in addition to defending clients with robust technology, processes, and controls.

New prospects include constantly analysing firms' security positions and searching for methods to improve and close security gaps 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because the dispersed workforce relies significantly on mobile devices that corporations were previously slow to secure, mobile device security knowledge is in particularly high demand.

Cloud managed service providers  are also expected to play a larger role in maintaining the security of clients' emerging remote and hybrid work environments. If managed improperly, digital transformation activities such as cloud-based collaboration tools and applications, among many others, can greatly increase security risk.

Also read: Migrate your On-premises Oracle to Azure

Conclusion: Cloud Managed service providers can assist IT firms in navigating the issues that will face them in 2021.

The way businesses operate will never be the same after COVID-19. Cloud managed service providers are using pandemic lessons to ensure IT is ready to meet the challenges of this new normal, according to the top IT managed services trends for 2021.