The traditional business model of going into the office every day for eight-plus hours are no longer normative. At the beginning of 2020, the decentralized business model was already rising to the top, but we could not have predicted what would happen next. When the coronavirus swept around the world, a traditional approach to business was no longer feasible.

There are many advantages to a decentralized network, flexibility, and adaptability being just a couple we have witnessed. With the necessary benefits and features for us to navigate the new normal, new decentralization trends are on the horizon. That is why we created this guide of decentralization trends to watch in 2021.

Understanding Centralized vs. Decentralized Businesses

It is essential to understand the difference between centralization and decentralization. Centralized business models often rely on one person to make decisions and provide direction for the company and a singular brick and mortar location where all employees convene.

On the other hand, decentralized business models rely on a remote work environment. Employees work from various locations combined with an organizational structure that often has several individuals responsible for making business decisions.

A New Normal, New Year, and New Trends

In an article published by the Harvard Business Review, the authors examine what the coronavirus means for the global economy and growing business trends. The authors of the article predict a macroeconomic legacy of a decentralized global value chain. As this macro-trend moves forward, there will be an impact on technology, entrepreneurship, and industry, creating more innovation opportunities. To illustrate this transformation, here are five decentralization trends to watch in 2021.

Increased Focus on Privacy and Security

Experts forecast the data privacy and security market to reach over $120 billion by 2023, with the potential to increase even more as high-profile hacks continue to happen. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the forced transition to a decentralized network opened the door for cyber-attackers to access systems through the new networks’ vulnerabilities. But with an increased focus, now and in the coming year, data can remain safe and secure. One of the ways innovators are improving privacy and security across decentralized networks is with blockchain cloud storage.

Blockchain Cloud Storage

Many of us are familiar with the concept of cloud computing, a technology at the core of decentralization. When adopting a cloud storage solution, many businesses fear the new onset of vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks. New decentralized cloud options such as blockchain cloud storage allow companies to mask and store data in a revolutionary way. With blockchain cloud storage, data is separated into various encrypted segments interlinked through a specific hashing function. This protocol distributes the secured segments across the network, ensuring robust security against hackers, which is a must moving forward in 2021.

Patient-Centered, Decentralized Healthcare

If the novel coronavirus global pandemic revolutionized one thing, it is the role of technology in healthcare. The United States healthcare system has many fundamental challenges. One of the most prominent being the rising cost of care in tandem with a lack of access. Combining these two afflictions created a situation that the industry could no longer ignore as humanity fights its way through a global health emergency.

One of the most successful solutions implemented by health institutions is virtual care, otherwise known as telemedicine. This patient-centered, decentralized approach to healthcare makes going to see practitioners or accessing follow-up care easier and more affordable.

Everything as SaaS

Although overall IT spending is trending down amidst an economic crisis, cloud growth and Software-as-a-Service is a shining star, extending far beyond its initial functions and serving as a solution for various business functions. Researchers predict that SaaS will bring about $105 billion in 2020, and in 2022 it will generate almost $141 billion.

Some of the largest SaaS companies, including Twilio, Zoom, Square, and Salesforce, shape SaaS’s role and will continue to play in the decentralized business model. For example, Zoom went public in April 2019, yet they are now among the most successful SaaS companies with a per market capitalization of $21 billion.

Accelerating a New Energy World

For the foreseeable future, integrating renewable energy sources in the current electricity grid to create a decentralized energy grid serves as an exact way forward. Decentralized energy is the concept of energy being produced closer to where it will be used, rather than a large facility somewhere else and sent through the national grid. The decentralization of the energy grid can reduce transmission losses and lower carbon emissions.

The concept of a decentralized energy grid and business model are not the same, but they have a lot in common. The traditional models cannot adapt to our modern environment’s continuous changes and help facilitate a thriving economy.