New technologies and trends change the way we do business. Understanding these changes on the horizon better prepares you to keep ahead of the curve in the coming year. Here are 5 trends demanding your attention in 2019:
The Internet of Things and Security
Whether allowing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in your office, so that employees can work on their personal phones and computers, or letting customers access your wifi when visiting your place of business, more and more devices are accessing your network. More points of access create additional security risks. Firewalls are a must for any business in 2019 and a managed solution like CISCO’s Meraki Next-Gen Firewall adds multiple security layers. Whenever possible IoT devices should be behind your network’s firewall, enhancing your network security and reducing the chances of compromise.
The Omni User Workforce
Omni Users are an emerging class of knowledge workers that not only require constant access to applications, data, and content but who also need the same access to modern technology that they have at home, at work. Doing so helps them reach peak productivity and many Omni Users often know more about technology, devices, and apps than the very IT or help desk professionals who support them.
In 2019 these users may become more significant players in helping to make small businesses more successful. Advances in mobile and telecommunications technologies will continue to make this remote workforce more effective, as well. Small businesses should assess their current communication, collaboration, and info sharing strategies to support employees in multiple locations.
Windows 10 Migrations
It’s not new but in 2019 Windows 7 End of Life. Failing to migrate could leave your business open to a security risk. Also, since Windows 7 is nearly 10 years old, it does not support some of the latest technologies that Windows 10, or the current Mac OS does. Surprisingly, Windows 7 market share worldwide is nearly 40%.
5G Cellular and Home Internet
5th generation cellular wireless (5G) has been hyped since the standards were set in 2017. 2019 promises to be the year we start seeing major carriers deploy this technology as both cellular and home internet services. 5G is 20x faster than 4G. Faster internet speeds result in improved efficiencies and increased productivity. Planning for how 5G technologies will affect your mobile workforce, networks, and your specific industry will allow you to create a better customer experience as 5G becomes the wireless standard.
Cloud and Everything as a Service
Software (SaaS), and Device (DaaS) are just two of the “as a Service” (aaS) solutions available today. These services can be delivered by subscription, outsourced, or cloud models. SaaS services like Gmail, Google Docs, Apple's iCloud, and Microsoft's Office 365 are probably the examples of cloud computing you are most familiar with. Cloud services offer the benefits of easier support systems, no on-site hardware to maintain, and fixed monthly cost per user..
Some aaS models like Managed IT as a Service include multiple solutions such as IT helpdesk, hardware support, networking, security, mobility and more. With 84% of small businesses planning to increase their 2019 IT budget or keep it unchanged from 2018, aaS options could help you streamline business processes, budget, and control costs.
John Wooden said, “When you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” Benefitting from these tech trends in your business requires knowledge, foresight, and planning. If the scope seems overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. With a little help, you’ll stay ahead of the curve in 2019 and beyond.
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Future-pathing Your Business
A recent study of business owners found that 70 percent see administrative tasks as the biggest drain on their time when they should be focused on strategy, new products and services, and taking them to market.