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A Look Ahead: SMB Technology for 2018

Vince Lombardi, one of the most successful head coaches in NFL history, once said “If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.” Although it wasn’t its intended use, this quotation can easily apply to technology. The tech industry is constantly changing, improving, and innovating. Adapting to changes is something all businesses must do to thrive, small and medium businesses included.

To help you and your business look toward the future of SMB IT, we’ve compiled a few trends and predictions for 2018 gathered from IT professionals in the US.

  • Importance of Emerging Technology. Of those surveyed, security (81%), mobile device management (51%) and big data (49%) are going to play a big role in business echnology in the future. 
    • What does that mean for the SMB? Considering the constant threat of hacking or data loss, it's important to take security seriously. A proactive approach should be taken to keep your network as safe as possible. Since there has been a spike in the demand for mobile systems, part of your security should include mobile device management.

  • Security. Security. Security. 70% say protecting and securing network data will be their top priority.
    • What does that mean for the SMB? At its core, this statistic is basically an indication of how important network security is - and continues to be - for a business. Cybercrime is not going anywhere and nearly ¾ of your peers agree that it is a topic that can’t ignored.
  • Balance Between In-house and Outsource Solutions. 54% of responders say that IT will be a mix between internal admin/support and external admin/support.
    • What does that mean for the SMB? With the relatively small number of security experts compared to the extremely high demand, it’s going to be difficult for an SMB to recruit and employ a security expert. There are larger businesses with better benefits that will try to poach experienced security technicians. Not to mention, it's unlikely SMBs would need a full-time security tech.

      For this task, businesses are looking for external support from a local business that can act as their Chief Information Security Officer and cyber security department. When it comes to managed IT services, outsourcing security means you have access to a team of trained, experienced professionals who you’re able to meet and confer with regularly without having to blow your budget on recruiting and training your own security technicians.
  • Virtual Environment. It’s predicted there will be a 69% decline in installed applications on local machines, in favor of virtualization and the cloud.
    • What does that mean for the SMB? Today’s digital climate doesn’t have room for complicated infrastructures, let alone the inability to scale alongside change in your workforce or business needs. Your infrastructure needs to be volatile enough to adapt to change--something that only a virtual environment can provide. By storing your data in a secure online location, you can easily add user access permissions, create new accounts, or scale services according to your business’ specific needs.
  • Software as a Service. 61% predict client applications will become largely browser based and the OS will become irrelevant.
    • What does that mean for the SMB? Rather than installing, monitoring, and maintaining software programs and applications manually, software and applications can be accessed using a secure internet connection to access an application or program via their web browser. SMBs simply need to login and then use their software with all of the capabilities they’re used to. Once they’ve completed using the software, the user just logs out. These virtual environments are updated and maintained by the hosting company. Patches and updates are automatically applied as well.

How does your business intend to take advantage of technology solutions in the near future? Whatever your business’ goals are, Directive can use technology solutions to help you make your dreams a reality. To learn more, reach out to Directive at 607.433.2200.

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Saturday, 25 November 2017

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