As we proceed with the new year, we see new trends and challenges coming up for businesses. These are-
- Cloud Adoption – It is an extension of 2016 trends but is likely to accelerate and be even more mainstream.
- Mobile Device Management – and that’s specifically around protecting the data that’s out there on devices that businesses may or may not own.
- Cyber Threats – Cyber threats have always been an issue but we saw a lot more stuff in the last quarter of 2016 and they are changing at a massive rate. So that’s going to be a big challenge for businesses.
- Windows 10 – I really think we are going to see a massive uptake in Windows 10, and not because it’s the only one available now but because it does offer a lot of advantages to organizations.
Cloud Adoption, as we mentioned before, was pretty big in 2016. The main interest was around email for small and mid-sized businesses getting that into the cloud, removing it off the premise. In 2017 what we are going to see is more full systems going onto the cloud with an especial focus on data; Getting Word and Excel files, all your files and everything, out your office and into the cloud to make them more accessible and available for your staff and team. But that has its own set of challenges around security, and performance, and connectivity. Overall, however, that does seem to the direction it is moving towards.
Mobile Device Management has had a lot of fanfare, on what it is, on what it does, on what it doesn’t do and the big drive that we are going to see is around data security. Business data is king, so by making sure we know where it is, we know how to secure it. The amount of devices that are not owned by companies, their personal devices by their team, that have information on there and critical data is astounding and I think that’s one area that needs a lot of attention. So we are going to see a lot of that happening next year.
Cyber Security – that is just an ongoing battle. You’ve got to take a layered approach. The viruses and the threats are changing so quickly, spam and phishing, malware, ransomware, all these sorts of things, I think there is going to be a massive up kick in 2017. So we need to start looking and making sure that systems are in place, whether is hardware, software, but a big part of that is going to be educating staff. And the other end of that is about business resilience and making sure we’ve got plans in place and backups are running, disaster covering business continuity plans etc. So that’s going to be pretty vital.
Windows 10, I think, has been lying a bit dormant this year. It has been released, it has been out for a while now, the uptake has been quite slow in small and mid-size businesses. We’re being now forced on to it with new devices only coming and supporting Windows 10, but there really are some great benefits with that platform. Especially with the Office 365 suite and the tight integration in there but more so as businesses move and adopt more cloud functionality. Windows 10 has a lot of good management tools and functions built into it which allows it to extend on some of the other components that Microsoft have around mobile management and enterprise security. Really good BYID structure around managing that, so being able to recover systems quickly, go buy something from Harvey Norman, plug it in, log on, have it authenticated to your corporate network, locked down, updated, and away you go. So now you know the four big trends of 2017 and hopefully this helps you manage your business better.