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4 Major Market Changes In 2020 That Can Help You Build A Successful Startup In 2021

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As the economy is recovering, a sea of opportunity lies in front of startup founders. Here are 4 … [+] major market changes that happened in 2020 that can help you build a startup that succeeds in 2021.
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The pandemic was, and still is, a driver for unprecedented market opportunities for startup founders. As tough as 2020 was, it shook several industries to the core and forced them to transform in order to remain relevant and grow. 
As the economy is recovering, a sea of opportunity lies in front of startup founders. Here are four major market changes in 2020 that can help you build a startup that succeeds in 2021.
1. Stronger Customer Adoption Of Digital Channels
According to Mckinsey, significantly more people are comfortable using digital channels today compared to just a little less than a year ago. As an entrepreneur building technology-enabled products and services in 2021, this radical change in consumer behavior means a bigger market, tech-friendlier buyers, and it goes without saying, emphasizes the importance of leveraging technology and digital channels to serve customers, no matter the industry or business model. 

Today, the ability of a business to leverage digital channels is plan B as much as it has become plan A. 
2. Remote Hiring And Working Became A Norm
At the peak of the pandemic, over 40% of workers in the U.S. were working remotely from home, and CEOs expect 36% of their employees to be working remotely by January 2022. According to a Deloitte survey, 60% of C-suite executives also stated that their work transformation objectives for 2021 and beyond are focused on achieving new or different work outcomes with new combinations of technology and people.

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This reimagining of the workplace will be primarily fuelled by remote hiring, remote working, and collaboration. As companies made permanent changes to their work from home policies, nearly 100 new or enhanced digital collaboration products were launched in the market by August 2020 to address consumers and businesses’ growing needs.
Pre-pandemic, companies were already looking at remote work and collaboration solutions, although at a slow pace. The pandemic forced companies to adopt a remote work culture almost overnight, and to do so, they had to leverage startup products that specialized in remote workplace management.
Although many existing technologies facilitated collaboration, there is still a need for solutions that can make remote work collaborations more immersive and make the overall experience less forced. We live in a world where it has become feasible to build and run a billion dollar company entirely remotely. Every hard-working entrepreneur anywhere in the world can build a thriving business remotely today.
3. Accelerated Investment In AI And Machine Learning
The adoption of AI in the workplace has become a driving force in shaping the future of work. However, while 58% of the organizations use AI to improve consistency and quality of work, only 26% are currently using it to improve productivity. With product development and service-operations optimization being the most prevalent use-cases of AI, the scope for new startups in the AI and machine learning startups is immense. 
Large companies that don’t have in-house AI development abilities are looking for solutions outside. Real estate, healthcare, e-commerce, retail, fintech, entertainment, supply chain, and logistics are sectors that are aggressively looking for AI solutions that can create value. There is no better time than now to build an AI startup that can deliver the value sought by multiple industries.
4. Sustainability Is Becoming A Critical Business Concern
Companies managed with environmental, governance, and social considerations have been gaining investors’ interest for some time now. 2020 saw a broadening of the investor spectrum with both retail and institutional investments in sustainable assets growing from $12 trillion in 2018 to $17.1 trillion, a whopping growth of 42%. The positive investor sentiment towards sustainable business is further bolstered by government support and increasing consumer interest. 
Startups in 2021 have an immense opportunity in the climate-tech space. Mobility, transportation, food, agriculture, land-use, and energy are dominant sectors with scope for net-zero transition businesses to grow. The demand and supply gap is still huge and the urgency for sustainable solutions is imminent.
In conclusion, the world today needs and will reward problem solvers. It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur.

Finding the Good in Bad Times (AKA 2020)

It’s time to take on 2021, but don’t completely push 2020 out of your memory.
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January 23, 2021 4 min read
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Dear 2021: I don’t want any trouble from you. Just come in, sit in the corner, don’t touch anything and keep your mouth shut.
I ended 2020 with a humorous social media graphic containing the above message. Although it was pithy and pretty funny, there is an important flip side to this sentiment. That flip side begs the question, “what did we personally learn from 2020?” I think that question is important to consider.  Complaining about the things that went horribly wrong is easy. Finding the positive in difficult situations is not. I believe that finding the gems in life is the best way to move forward successfully.
Related: Why 2021 Could Be the Best Year For You to Start a Company
I learned a great deal from 2020. Here are my seven takeaways.
Microdose the news! I learned to get what I needed to know from news apps and to not obsess about problems by watching the news hour after hour. Negative news sells and the media has become the master of sharing negative news (technically, it’s now opinions as much, or more, than actual news).
One valuable lesson I observed involved a man who told me he was able to keep his job but that he had to work from home. He also needed to care for his children and help to keep them on task for their schoolwork. The double duty stressed him out. During our conversation, he realized his situation was actually an opportunity to spend much more quality time with his young children. Although this was challenging, it might be a time period they look back on with fondness because of the experiences they had together. When he embraced this idea, his vision of the situation completely changed. That was a lesson I hope many others with children experienced.
I witnessed focus beating out fear for many entrepreneurs. When people are frozen by fear, they have no hope. But when fear gives them focus, they not only have hope but are much more likely to weather the storm. Hope is more powerful than fear. Hope is that little voice inside you whispering to you what “can be” when everyone around you is screaming about “what can’t be.” Hope plus a plan plus action will lead you successfully through challenges.
I learned that during difficult times your network will be there for you. I saw people support each other emotionally and professionally. I witnessed people give one another ideas that kept their business alive and thriving. Two of the best examples included the furniture re-upholstery shop that became a Covid mask manufacturing company and a brewery that became a Covid hand sanitizer company.
I learned that if you wait until tough times are over, your business will be over. During difficult times, you need your network more than ever. Social distancing is the wrong attitude; physical distancing is what was critical. We need to be more social than ever! I saw successful businesses activate their network and not abandon it.
I learned that I could travel the world without getting on a plane. I have 2.3 million miles on one airline alone! It was a gift to be able to spend months with my wife at home. It was the longest period of time we had together in our 31 years of marriage. I will forever be thankful for that.
Lastly, I learned that friends are more important than ever. The quality of the people in your life (or in your room as I call it in one of my books), will determine the quality of your life. 
For me, that last lesson was profound. It was a tough year for me, as it was for many people. But I came out of 2020 with a clearer vision of who my friends are and who truly cares about me as a person.
Related: Entrepreneurial Takeaways From 2020 to Guide Your Next Big Move
I will forever be grateful for that. So, I suggest that you not completely write off 2020 and erase the year from your memory banks. Instead, consider what you learned from last year. What was something positive that you learned or took away from the most challenging year in recent history? Give some thought to this question and write down your observations. I believe that kind of reflection will help you recognize the good that took place during a tough year.

IKEA will open a store in Puebla, this would be its second branch in Mexico

The multinational furniture company unveiled its new store located in the Vía San Ángel shopping center, in Puebla, which will start operations in the first half of 2022.
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January 23, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

IKEA is the chain of furniture, accessories and solutions focused on the home , now it announced that its second store in Mexico will be located in Puebla , in the Vía San Ángel shopping center.
This Friday, IKEA reported through Twitter that “its dream of reaching more homes is coming true”, since from the first half of the following year it will reach that state.
In the message of his publication IKEA.MX he expressed, “We are very excited because little by little our dream of reaching more homes is coming true and today we can say Hej! mole, cemitas and sweet potatoes; because from the first semester of 2022, Puebla will be the home of our second store! ”

Image: @mx_ikea via Twitter
The Swedish company planned to open its first store located in Mexico City in the fall of last year. However, due to the pandemic, this date was moved to the first quarter of 2021. It is worth mentioning that in October of the previous year they launched their e-commerce site in order to start serving their consumers. Its online store has 16 categories and deliveries only in Mexico City and some municipalities in the State of Mexico.
According to the furniture multinational, IKEA , there are already a total of 422 stores in more than 50 markets worldwide.
Image: Depositphotos.com
To learn more: IKEA launches its online store in Mexico

Hone Your Email Marketing Writing with Zoho’s Free Webinar

According to HubSpot, There are almost 4 billion daily email users. And 99% of consumers check their email every day and it is the preferred way of getting an update from a brand. So it goes without saying, being able to write a writing an impactful email marketing copy is extremely important.
ZOHO is holding a free webinar titled, Email Marketing Basics: Writing Effective Copy, that will show you the tips and tricks to write a better email for your marketing campaign.
In this webinar, you will learn how to establish your brand’s voice, hone in on your goals, and get some campaign ideas. And once you get these skills under your belt, you can continue to further your email expertise with the next three webinars ZOHO will be holding in the month of February.
The first one, Email Marketing Basics: Writing Effective Copy, will be on February 10, 2021, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST.  All you need to join the session is to have the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Opera browsers.
Click the red button and register now.
Register Now

Featured Events, Contests and Awards
Women in Cloud Summit 2021January 28, 2021, Online
The Women in Cloud Summit is a three-day, life-changing event for women tech entrepreneurs, corporate and community leaders, policymakers, and allies from around the globe. Women are key drivers of economic growth, and the Summit strives to change the industry narrative by creating economic access for women in the cloud economy. Summit attendees will hear from inspirational speakers, connect and communicate with industry leaders and experts, and network with other community members and entrepreneurs. Join us virtually from January 28-30, 2021.
Email Marketing Basics Webinar: Writing Effective CopyFebruary 10, 2021, Online
Want to write impactful email marketing copy that utilizes your unique voice? Join this webinar for tips and tricks! Learn how to establish your brand’s voice, hone in on your goals, and get some campaign ideas.
WEBINAR: Email Marketing Basics: Building and Maintaining Your ListFebruary 17, 2021, Online
Learn how to build, segment, and nurture your email lists in order to improve engagement and retain quality campaign subscribers. In this webinar you will also gain a better understanding of GDPR, avoiding spam filters, and the importance of keeping your lists clean.
WEBINAR: Email Marketing Basics: Automating and Monitoring Your CampaignsFebruary 24, 2021, Online
Learn how to build, segment, and nurture your email lists in order to improve engagement and retain quality campaign subscribers. In this webinar you will also gain a better understanding of GDPR, avoiding spam filters, and the importance of keeping your lists clean.
Email Marketing Basics Webinar: Automating and Monitoring Your ListsFebruary 24, 2021, Online
Learn how to create automated email marketing campaigns to streamline your customer acquisition process. You’ll also learn about managing your sender reputation score, as well as key email marketing metrics to track to make sure your emails are performing as well as they can.
WEBINAR: What Business Structure is Right for You?April 28, 2021, Online
Picking a business structure is usually the first big legal decision for a new business owner and one of the most confusing. However confusing, it is an essential step to protecting your personal assets from any liabilities of the company. In this webinar, Nellie Akalp CEO of CorpNet.com, will share insight on business entities to help guide you to the best decision for your new venture.
WEBINAR: Best State to IncorporateJuly 28, 2021, Online
Some say Delaware, others say Nevada while someone else may say your home state. What is the best state to register a business in? What if your business is expanding into new territory? At what point should you Foreign Qualify? Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will go in-depth to answer these questions and more in this webinar.
WEBINAR: Steps to Start Your BusinessOctober 20, 2021, Online
Starting a business can be an exhilarating time, where everything seems full of potential and purpose. But navigating the logistics of launching a business can be daunting. In this webinar Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will outline the steps necessary to legally start a business and get up and running on the right foot.
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Talent Acquisition Week | VIRTUALJanuary 25, 2021, Online
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neXco National New Chapter Info Session – Montgomery County, MDFebruary 5, 2021, Online
Rail Cybersecurity Summit USAFebruary 9, 2021, Online
neXco National Presents B2B Speed NetworkingFebruary 9, 2021, Online
ProductWorld 2021February 17, 2021, Online
5th Advancing Project Controls Summit 2021February 22, 2021, Online
Free Thought Leadership Webinar!February 22, 2021, Online
Employee Wellness SummitFebruary 24, 2021, Online
Social Media Strategies Summit | Virtual ConferenceFebruary 25, 2021, Online
Chief Data and Analytics Officers, Financial Services: Live 2021March 2, 2021, Online
Digital Marketing World Forum – North America Online 2021March 24, 2021, Online
Power BI in 2021April 1, 2021, Online
HR Benefits Conference, April 2021April 7, 2021, Las Vegas, NV
TECHSPO New York 2021 Technology Expo (Internet ~ Mobile ~ AdTech ~ MarTech ~ SaaS)April 15, 2021, Online
DigiMarCon Mid-Atlantic 2021 – Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising Conference & ExhibitionApril 26, 2021, Philadelphia, PA
DigiMarCon At Home 2021 – Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, Online
Sitecore CMS in 2021May 1, 2021, Online
DevOps Engineer in 2021May 1, 2021, Online
DigiMarCon New England 2021 – Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising Conference & ExhibitionMay 6, 2021, Boston, MA
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This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.
You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.
Image: Depositphotos.com

Amazon’s Small Business Empowerment Team Is Helping Entrepreneurs Sell More – Can They Help You?

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Keri Cusick, Head of Amazon’s Small Business Empowerment team
Courtesy of Amazon
Many entrepreneurs have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. On the one hand, Amazon’s success has contributed to the transformation of the retail industry, making it increasingly challenging for small business retailers to compete. At the same time, Amazon’s store has made it possible for entrepreneurs to sell their goods globally, without having to create and maintain their own web presence.
Amazon first opened its online shelves to small businesses in 2000 and has invested in supporting entrepreneurs, handmade artisans and small businesses selling in its store ever since. In 2018, the company doubled down on that support and created an internal Small Business Empowerment team, currently led by Keri Cusick, an Amazon veteran since 2014. Keri’s motivation to help small companies succeed arises from her childhood, watching her parents, and a grandparent, grow their own businesses.
John Greathouse: Thanks for taking the time, Keri. Let’s start with Amazon’s definition of “small business,” which can vary widely between companies. Also,  I’m curious as to the relative impact these small companies represent within Amazon’s overall store? 

Keri Cusick: Thanks for having me, John. First, it’s critical to us that we define small businesses in the same way our customers and business partners do. In the U.S., we follow Gartner’s definition – small businesses are those with fewer than 100 employees and total annual revenue of less than $50 million.
There are over a million independent businesses selling in our store worldwide and they account for over half of all products sold. Actually, their sales continue to outpace our own retail sales which is exciting to see. We know that customers value a wide selection and the opportunity to discover local small businesses. Our selling partners play a key role in that for us and offer products across all categories.

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Greathouse: Obviously, some sectors outperformed others, but in general, how have small businesses fared on Amazon during 2020?
Cusick: While COVID-19 has created many challenges for small businesses, we’ve seen smaller companies continue to grow with Amazon, despite the crisis. In 2020, the number of U.S. SMB (small and medium businesses) sellers that surpassed $1 million in sales grew by more than 20% and more than 3,700 surpassed $1 million in sales for the first time. And, SMBs selling on the Amazon.com store have created an estimated 1.1 million jobs.
That success and growth continued through the holiday season, which was the best ever for our selling partners, with worldwide sales growing over 50%, compared to the same time period in 2019. The impacts of the pandemic have touched every one of us, but it’s inspiring to see how our small business partners have pivoted and found success.
One story that exhibits the passion and ingenuity these small business owners have displayed this past year is the impact Sheets & Giggles, a sustainable bedding brand out of Denver, Colorado, has had in their community. They sustained their business on Amazon through the pandemic and they were able to donate $40,000 in cash to COVID-19 emergency relief in Colorado and thousands more in sheet sets and comforters to homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and healthcare workers across their state.
Greathouse: I’m a small investor and advisor to CLIQ Products – which created a bottle-sized chair that became an Amazon category leader during 2020. Because of our sales growth, Amazon proactively reached out and helped us optimize our Amazon store.
Given the help Amazon has provided CLIQ, I’m curious as to what other programs or services are available to entrepreneurs using your platform.
Cusick: First, congratulations on your small business success with Amazon. We have a number of programs and initiatives that help guide small businesses on how to successfully sell and grow.
We offer free education and resources through programs like Seller University and Amazon Small Business Academy. The academy’s free educational webinars and events take place throughout the year and are available online. They’re open to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to give them resources to learn more about strategies to help them be successful. In fact, in 2020, we hosted over 1,000 educational events for SMBs around the world, with more than 150,000 attendees. Topics include learning how to become a seller on Amazon, how to publish your book through Kindle Direct Publishing and tips for launching business-to-business sales through Amazon Business.
Examples of paid services include Strategic Account Services, which pairs sellers with a designated account manager to provide coaching and advice in key areas like fulfillment and inventory, account health, selection and conversion growth, merchandising and advertising, and global expansion.
We also have programs like Amazon Launchpad that provides sellers with resources, expertise, and global support to help them jumpstart and accelerate their business and Amazon Handmade which is an artisan-only community of sellers who sell their handcrafted goods in Amazon’s store.
Greathouse: Good to know. In addition to helping us sell more on our store, someone (from Amazon) reached out to CLIQ about participating in Prime Day, as part of a small business initiative. What were the mechanics of this past year’s campaign – are there plans for similar campaigns that smaller ventures can leverage in 2021?
Cusick: This was one of my favorite projects in 2020. We designed this last Prime Day to support small businesses and committed more than $100 million to help their growth over the shopping event and through the holiday season. This included holding our biggest small business promotion yet, during which customers who purchased $10 in products from a participating small business selling on Amazon earned a $10 credit to spend on Prime Day.
In the two-week lead-up to Prime Day, small businesses included in the promotion generated more than $900 million in sales. Overall, Prime Day 2020 was the biggest two days ever for our SMB partners. They surpassed $3.5 billion in sales, which was a nearly 60% increase over 2019’s Prime Day. We are looking at additional opportunities to highlight and promote our small business selling partners again in 2021.
Greathouse: A common concern I’ve heard from entrepreneurs, especially those who have successful crowdsource campaigns, is that pirates knockoff their products before they have time to meet the demand they’ve created. I was pleased to see that Amazon recently issued a high-profile lawsuit against some alleged bootleggers.
What should vendors do to mitigate counterfeit sales of their products on Amazon? Are there specific programs they can turn to?
Cusick: Yes, we are focused on preventing counterfeits from ever being listed in our store. We’ve created many ways to help brands protect their intellectual property through programs like Brand Registry, Transparency, IP Accelerator, and Project Zero to ensure only authentic products are sold in our stores.
Our IP Accelerator helps businesses more quickly obtain intellectual property rights by connecting businesses with a network of law firms who charge pre-negotiated fees, making it easier for SMBs to obtain trademarks. Since the program’s launch, we have connected SMBs with participating law firms, resulting in more than 6,000 trademark applications. Additionally, businesses using IP Accelerator get access to our wider brand protection services months, or even years, before their trademark registration officially issues. We also investigate any claim of counterfeit thoroughly, including removing the item, permanently removing the bad actor, pursuing legal action or working with law enforcement as appropriate.
We established the Counterfeit Crimes Unit in June 2020 to work with brands and law enforcement to pursue bad actors and hold counterfeiters accountable to the fullest extent of the law. In 2019, we invested over $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees fighting fraud and abuse, including counterfeit.
Greathouse: Wow, those are huge numbers. I realize it’s an ongoing arms race with the crooks, but I’m glad to hear this is a major priority.
Another fear entrepreneurs have shared with me is that their success on Amazon might lead to Amazon producing its own version of their bestselling products. What would you say to an entrepreneur with this concern? 
Cusick: Sales from our SMB selling partners account for more than half of everything sold in our store. The products they sell are very important to us and to customers. We have no interest in limiting the performance of our selling partners in any way, and we strictly prohibit Amazon employees from using non-public, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch.
Amazon does offer its own store-branded products, as all retailers do, but they make up a very small portion – around one percent – of sales in our store and do not replace the incredible selection of products offered by our selling partners.
Greathouse: Many of my Forbes interviews focus on entrepreneurs from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Does Amazon have specific programs to assist minority and/or women led small businesses?
Cusick: Yes – this is a top priority for us. For example, we are actively invested in supporting minority-owned businesses. We have partnerships with the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and the National Business League to help Black-owned businesses accelerate their growth by selling online.
Late last year, we launched our Support Small store which is a collection of small business sellers. It gives customers the opportunity to meet small business owners, including Black-owned business, woman-owned business and family-owned business storefronts. We are also actively recruiting and onboarding minority-owned businesses to sell in our stores and exploring new solutions we can provide to help these businesses grow and thrive.
Greathouse: Good to hear, all around. In addition to helping minority-owned businesses, the impact of COVID has caused many of us to focus on supporting our local businesses. Does Amazon have tools to facilitate buying local? Is it possible for small vendors to ensure they are highlighted locally?
Cusick: Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and our economy, and we are committed to supporting them. Our Support Small store helps small businesses reach customers. The dedicated shopping experience helps customers shop products from tens of thousands of local small businesses by region or category.  
Greathouse: Nice, I wasn’t aware of the Support Small effort.
What is your elevator pitch to entrepreneurs who have created a successful online sales model, but are not utilizing Amazon’s platform? 
Cusick: Great question, John. While selling on Amazon may not be a fit for all entrepreneurs, it is a great option for many businesses. First, it creates access to an awesome global customer base – we have more than 300 million active customers worldwide. That is a powerful business driver, especially when paired with the hundreds of programs, tools, and support services we offer to business owners at every phase of their entrepreneurial journey.
Selling on Amazon also unlocks opportunities for business-to-business sales with customers that include Fortune 100 companies, some of the biggest U.S. hospital systems and many local governments across the U.S. I can’t get enough of the stories of business owners who grew their great ideas into amazing businesses in partnership in Amazon, whether they simply had a business idea, had just started a business, or were longtime business owners looking for ways to grow.
As small business owners plan to adapt for the future, for many, selling online will be a critical component of recovery and sustaining over the long term.
You can follow John on Twitter: @johngreathouse.

Will The Cloud Take Down The Mainframe?

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22 November 2019, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Böblingen: An employee of the IT company Hewlett Packard … [+] Enterprise (HPE) is working at a server cabinet in the company’s technology centre. Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa (Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)
dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images
If you use a bank account, the healthcare system, various government services and insurance, then there’s a pretty good chance that the transactions were processed through mainframes.  The fact is that much of the Global 2000 companies use this technology.
“If you have huge amounts of data that can’t be let offsite for regulatory reasons, you probably need something that looks like a mainframe,” said Mike Loukides, who is the VP of Emerging Tech Content at O’Reilly Media. “Terabytes are easy now, but if you’re storing high resolution medical imagery, you’re talking petabytes fairly quickly.”
For example, the leader in the mainframe space, IBM, saw growth in this business last year.  The IBM Z platform continues to see innovations, such as with cloud-native development capabilities, as well as strong improvements in processing power. 

“The IBM Z business isn’t going anywhere,” said Ross Mauri, who is the general manager of IBM Z.  “In fact, since announcing IBM z15 in September 2019, 75% of the top 20 global banks are using the platform. We’re also seeing growth being driven by Linux, and Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z. Installed Linux MIPS increased 55% from 2Q2019 to 2Q2020–while we have more than 100 clients ready to get started with Red Hat OpenShift. Finally, COVID-19 has unearthed a renewed focus on IBM Z, to help keep the world’s financial trading, retail transactions, insurance claims processing, healthcare IT, and more afloat. IBM Z clients activated a total of nearly 4x more general-purpose capacity on demand in 2Q 2020 compared to 2Q 2019.”
The Need For Innovation
There are definitely nagging issues with mainframes, though. “Development cycles are slow—typically counted in quarters or years,” said Jedidiah Yueh, who is the founder and CEO of Delphix. “Tech giants, in contrast, release new software thousands of times a year. It’s like a toddler running a race against Usain Bolt.”

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In other words, this poses a big problem for larger companies that need to fend off disruptors and find ways to better cater to customer needs. So then what can be done? Well, first of all, a replacement strategy for mainframes is probably not a viable option. It would be extremely expensive, time-consuming and far from risk free.
“Using serverless, a certain subset of mainframe tasks can have their operating budgets shrunk to almost nothing,” said Nočnica Fee, who is the developer advocate at New Relic. “A few stories have floated around the conference circuit of old services hosted on AS/400 mainframes replaced to great effect. However, these stories tend to have several things in common. For example, the task being performed was periodic but brief. When evaluating all records in a database every night for notifications or status updates, the data layer was readily available for a specific cloud function. That is, security and data sovereignty concerns were already addressed. Also, the mainframe in question had no other purpose, meaning the moving of this periodic task meant the whole system could be retired.”
For the most part, the strategy is likely to involve a hybrid model. It will be about making strategic compromises. 
“One of our customers in the financial services industry shifted their mainframe outlook from cost reduction to create a long-term strategy for the mainframe,” said John McKenny, who is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of ZSolutions at BMC. “Realizing the platform’s strength in resiliency, they added a new mainframe for their environment and expanded overall capacity to handle their business-critical applications, while leveraging the cloud to support their front-end applications. They also invested in modernizing their mainframe development toolsets to attract new programmers and make it easier for them to develop on the platform.”
Gil Peleg, who is the founder and CEO of Model9, agrees with this. His company develops technology to migrate mainframe data to any cloud or on-premise storage platform. 
“Considering that innovation happens today in the cloud first, both ‘Big Iron’ and public cloud providers operating at ‘hyperscale’ have an important role to play. We will continue to see innovation around hybrid cloud models that feel more like a mashup of monolithic and distributed architectures than a dramatic changing of the guard. The public cloud footprint is no longer limited to a handful of data center regions. The new cloud frontier is expanding to cover the network’s edge with solutions like AWS Outposts and Azure Stack that bring the cloud closer to the mainframe. The future will favor solutions that facilitate the adoption of these hybrid models.”
So all in all, the mainframe world will continue as it has. If anything, it will probably grow as hybrid approaches show results. 
“We like to say that the mainframe, legacy, or back-office applications hold an accumulation of 30 to 40 years of business process and regulatory compliance evolution that is near impossible to replace,” said Lenley Hensarling, who is the chief strategy officer at Aerospike. “Why would you? Put your money in driving new capabilities that tie into those systems and add real value in terms of customer satisfaction, customer understanding, and increased efficiency in sales, supply chain, and product innovation.”
Tom (@ttaulli) is an advisor/board member to startups and the author of Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction, The Robotic Process Automation Handbook: A Guide to Implementing RPA Systems and Implementing AI Systems: Transform Your Business in 6 Steps. He also has developed various online courses, such as for the COBOL and Python programming languages.

Troubled With a Spotty Internet Connection? This Router Helps Keep Your Business Thriving.

Keep connected to important Zoom calls with the help of this powerful Internet router.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 23, 2021 2 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
As an entrepreneur in today’s world, having a good Internet connection is almost as important as the business itself. When it doesn’t work… you’re in trouble. When most people think about their Internet, they think about the exorbitant bills they’re paying every month. But, when you’re dropping off Zoom calls, having trouble loading web pages, and can’t stream the audio and video you need, your Internet provider probably isn’t going to do much to help you. Instead, it may be time to upgrade your Internet router.
Today’s high-speed WiFi demands a powerful router like the Asus AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router. This Amazon’s Choice product has earned accolades from PCMag, COMPUTEX, and received the PC Pro Technology Excellence Award in 2016. It packs speed, range, and security into a convenient package that makes it as suitable for an office as it is for family use.
The router supports dual-band rates of up to 1900Mbps, which is three times faster than standard 802.11n routers, while the 1GHz dual core processor enables smart multitasking without dragging down your bandwidth. It offers an exceptional, 3,000 square-foot range to cover every room in your home (or outside) while capably supporting multiple devices simultaneously. Additionally, the AC1900 provides advanced parental controls by blocking malicious addresses and intrusions automatically while the intuitive ASUS router app lets you control your network anywhere without having to boot up a PC. It even lets you connect to other compatible ASUS routers to create a powerful, seamless WiFi network across your home or office.
Upgrade your WiFi without breaking the bank. Get an Open Box deal on the Asus AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router. Normally $129, it’s on sale for 38% off at just $79.99 today.
Prices subject to change.