In this article we outline 5 of the key technology trends that are big right now, and what you need to consider if you decide to adopt them into your business…

1. Security: did you know that your credentials are out there on the dark web with a price tag?

The dark web, which comprises sites that aren’t visible to standard browsers, is up to 500 times larger than the ‘surface’ Internet, and estimates put about half of the domains on the dark web as illegal. 

Here, criminals can select from 50 different categories of goods/services, which together can be used to organise any attack. From just $40 to hack an email, to $150 for an entire website, through to $750 to infect a system with ransomware – everything is for sale. It’s a market that generates more than $500,000 per day.

Unfortunately, you can’t stop your credentials hitting the dark web – a keen criminal will always find a way to get what they want. But you can ensure your staff are properly trained so they understand who might be targets and why, implement the right the security protocols, and know what to do in the event of a breach.

For example: the fact is that 95% of successful cyberattacks are the result of a phishing scam. Training your staff on how to recognise a rogue email and bin it, will instantly eliminate the threat – and it’s a skill they can take home with them.

The threat landscape is always changing, with hacker’s methods becoming highly sophisticated – targeting us both at work and at home. And the biggest development is the increasing focus on taking data. Perhaps your company’s biggest asset, it’s far more valuable than money because it can permanently damage your reputation and has the potential to wipe out an entire business if it falls into the wrong hands.

Invest in cybersecurity training and awareness, and you could reduce your security-related risks by 70%.

But training alone isn’t enough…

Without the right processes and technology in place to support your efforts, it’s going to be impossible to stay one step ahead of the attackers in order to protect your business.

Finding a technology partner to support your efforts is crucial since it’s their job to keep an eye on market trends and new technologies, and be able to recommend the right products to benefit your business.

2. Privacy: new year, new laws

AI usage is on the rise.

According to data from Statista, in 2019 the global AI market grew 154%. And 83% of businesses say AI is a strategic priority. In particular, facial recognition is gaining in popularity since it enhances safety and security while helping to automate certain processes. But, with many companies using AI without fully understanding its implications, there are growing concerns about privacy, safety and legislation.

Back in May 2018, the GDPR came into effect across Europe. Giving data subjects more rights about how their personal data is collected, stored and processed, the legislation applies to ANY information that makes them personally identifiable.

And now there’s new, similar legislation on the horizon…

  • LGPD in Brazil comes into effect in February 2020 and is the equivalent to GDPR.
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act is due in July 2020 and enhances the privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California.
  • India is currently drafting a bill that would have a huge impact on outsourcing to the country.
  • And of course, in the UK, our post-Brexit position is still unclear.

While it’s very tempting to get distracted by the latest shiny tech, adopting it safely into your organisation requires you to follow a careful procurement process. Here, not only can you understand the implications for your organisation, and how it will integrate with your current IT systems and infrastructure, you can be certain that the legal aspects have been carefully considered to de-risk your purchase.

3. Automation: the smart way to operate

In the digital era there are few tasks that cannot be automated. From password resets, to user provisioning, report generation and distribution, and processing, there’s applications for automating your processes across the business.

While the headlines intend to scare consumers about how 1.5 million jobs are at risk in the UK, the reality is that automation provides a huge business opportunity for you to enhance your customer experience. 

Yes, automation is designed to increase productivity, efficiency and save resources. But it also allows you to add layers of security and reduce human error, while enabling you to spend more time on the tasks where you can personally add value to the business or customer experience.

Once you start automating processes in your business, you also start to produce valuable data that shows you how to continuously improve. With better insights about your IT estate, you can switch to a more proactive style of operation. And backed by comprehensive reports, you gain deeper insight into how your organisation operates.

Nearly half the automation projects that fail do so because of wrong process choice, or because of insufficient change management. Therefore, enlist the advice and support of a technology partner who can advise you on the best technology to help you automate and streamline your operations.

4. Data: the new ‘oil’ driving decision-making

We now live in the digital era where there’s no time for guesses, theories or gut instinct – plus we don’t need to because your business produces enough data to power your decision-making machine. 

Making the time to analyse your business data enables you to understand the dynamics of your business, anticipate changes in the market and mitigate potential risks. With the actionable insight created from your data, you have everything you need to make informed, strategic decisions to keep you one step ahead in the ever-changing digital world.

But for data-driven organisations, the benefits extend far beyond simple decision making – research shows that data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain those customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.

Nearly half the automation projects that fail do so because of wrong process choice, or because of insufficient change management. Therefore, enlist the advice and support of a technology partner who can advise you on the best technology to help you automate and streamline your operations.

5. Digital transformation: create the next version of your business

Once upon a time, businesses feared the cloud, concerned about its security and whether it would create a weak point in their IT infrastructure that allowed attackers to exploit the vulnerability.

Today, being a ‘cloud-first’ business is the reality – McAfee reports that 86% of businesses are cloud-first. On average, organisations use roughly 5 clouds – typically running applications in 3.1 clouds and testing 1.7 more.

Cloud-first businesses grow and thrive because they’re able to improve the speed of IT delivery, have greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions, enable business continuity and improve customer service.

But cloud-first isn’t enough anymore…

The modern workplace is changing – your employees want more, your customers demand more, and you can’t afford to stand still. 

Tomorrow’s leaders are those who are adopting ‘cloud-only’ strategies. 

40% of UK organisations expect to be cloud-only within the next 12-moths. And no-one seems to understand its importance more than the SMBs, where 17% are planning to double their cloud spend this year, with a further 62% increasing spend by 20%. They know that the agility the cloud provides is essential to compete with the large enterprises, and adapt quickly to meet the changing requirements of the modern workplace.

The ‘modern workplace’ isn’t beanbags and pool tables. It isn’t a weekly coffee or pizza. Or a casual Friday where you can wear shorts to the office and the beer fridge is unlocked. No. The modern workplace is all about using cool tech that makes your employees’ working lives easier, allowing them to work anywhere, anytime. Register to receive our upcoming white paper to learn more…

It all starts with an assessment…

We believe that ‘best’ doesn’t have to mean ‘biggest’. It’s all about delivering what’s right for your business and the customers you serve. Therefore, our IT strategy, IT infrastructure and digital transformation assessments are designed to help you to perform at your very best.

By helping you to identify how to reawaken your people, remodel your processes and replace your legacy tech, our specialist team can show you how you can stand out as a leader this year.

Discover more about our assessments…