2018 is here, and like it or not it's not slowing down for anyone. This is the time of year everyone enjoys having a clean slate and being able to set some great goals and expectations for their business or organization to shoot for the remainder of the year. We thought we would offer up the top 3 things in technology your business needs to embrace for 2018 to help give you a head start.
- Cloud - Yes this is an overused buzzword, but if you are not already embracing the Cloud at least in some aspect for your organization, 2018 might just be the tipping point. Fueled by the appeal of lower capital costs and better efficiencies, the Cloud is drawing businesses in mass at this point. While software applications are the biggest drivers for Cloud adoption, that by no means is the only reason to embrace it in 2018. The Cloud hardware options are increasingly attractive now as well. With costs coming down and ease of deployment increasing, you could gain some great new capabilities by exploring Cloud options. Here are the biggest categories of Cloud services that many small businesses are moving towards;
- Office 365 - biggest advantage is always up to date software, reduction in hardware needed onsite, and addition of business productivity enhancing features are just the highlights.
- Network Infrastructure - while onsite hardware is still required in most cases - the management of the resources can be tackled and managed in the Cloud, thus eliminating the capital requirements to add the controllers onsite. Another major advantage to Cloud managed network components is always having an up-to-date product. Most onsite hardware is not getting updated by the administrators at nearly the frequency of a Cloud managed platform and thus increasing the security risks to businesses and organizations.
- Server Infrastructure - Yes you can move your entire server out of your closet and into the Cloud pretty seamlessly and at a pretty reasonable cost. Why would you want to explore that? Again, the advantage of having someone else manage and absorb the infrastructure costs and maintenance are high on the list of reasons to explore this for your organization. With bandwidth costs coming down this is a very attractive option to look at instead of replacing aging onsite servers.
- Blockchain - Chances are you have at least heard about Bitcoin and thus the related Blockchain, but not everyone has a good grasp on what the technology actually is or why it is important to your organization. In a short answer, Blockchain is the underlying premise and technology for cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Without all of the technical jargon, it is a form of distributed trust. Why is this important to your business or organization? It could be a defining technology that enables all sorts of efficiencies going forward. The primary application thus far has been centered around virtual currency and banking. Basically it removes the bank as a middle man in validating amounts you have or send or receive. It transfers that trust to a distributed platform that is spread across the Internet and the world. What are some of the other applications that could impact your operations going forward - check out this article for more?
- Security - This SHOULD go without saying but unfortunately even with some of the best advancements in technology - most small and medium sized businesses totally disregard the importance of security and are left with high risk vulnerabilities. In fact, when asked most business owners and managers will readily admit they don't have a formal security policy in place that they can rely on. The numbers are staggering.... over 55% of all businesses have experienced a security breach in the last year, 70% of those attacks were targeting small businesses, and of the ones that experienced a breach - 60% of those will end up out of business within 6 months. Do those numbers get your attention?? Yet going a step forward, less 25% of businesses actually conduct any security training for their employees and staff. Why in the world with the statistics what they are, would any business owner or manager NOT conduct some type of ongoing security training? Unfortunately the most common reason is that business owners and managers don't treat security seriously and have the mentality of "It won't happen to me" regardless of what the statistics show. Make 2018 the year that if nothing else is done towards technology in your organization - at least take security seriously!
Of the top 3 Things In Technology Your Business Needs to Embrace for 2018 - please make security the one that you commit to embracing this year if nothing else!
If you need a template for a security policy to start with - you can download a free template from DaZZee to get your started.