5 Technology Challenges Businesses can Expect in 2020

As new solutions and inventions continue to aid businesses, they come with a ton of challenges. Where a connected world allows you to take your business digital, it comes with the risk of cyber-attacks. Where you can get clients from any corner of the world, there is the challenge of data privacy.

But it is not all doom and gloom. Yes, there are challenges, but forewarned is forearmed. Here are some of the problems you can expect to face in 2020 and how you can prepare.

1. Cyber Security

More and more customers are coming forward about hackers breaking into their ring devices, and wreaking havoc in their homes. Such attacks are a foreboding that most businesses will struggle with cyber-security in 2020.

Some threats include phishing and social-engineering attacks. Of every 99 emails, one is a phishing attack amounting to 4.8-emails in a workweek. Phishing attacks are the gravest as they can trick a business owner or employee into giving up legitimate credentials. As a result, the hacker can access sensitive business information.

Other threats include IoT (internet of things) attacks owing to the increasing number of smart devices. There is also ransomware which increased by 340% from 2018 to 2019.

Using a password manager, and 2-factor authentication can help secure your business, but only professionals can provide foolproof cybersecurity.

2. Cloud Network Issues

Cloud computing has allowed better data storage, flexibility, and collaboration. It has allowed large enterprises to make better decisions while reducing costs, but you can expect to have issues with it in 2020.

One of the top cloud network issues will be security. There are risks involved in the implementation and management of the cloud, and reports on hacked interfaces, breaches, and account hijacking don’t help the situation.

Also while cloud computing enables businesses to scale without investing in expensive hardware, the quantities and cost become challenging to predict.

3. Implementation of Privacy Protection

Back in 2018, the EU general data protection regulations came into force. It was about time, but that came with challenges for businesses. Problems that will persist into 2020.

Governance and accountability top the list of concerns. The regulations created a need for business-wide regulations during the full lifecycle. Also, you have to provide more information to your data subjects (customers), and there is always the risk of getting that wrong.

Businesses also have to keep a detailed record of processing activities which is a burden. Mandatory impact assessment questions about when they are required is still a mystery.

4. Getting the Right Skills

Though freelancing has allowed businesses to hire from a wide-pool of experts, finding the right skills will still be a concern in 2020. And it should be your top concern as nothing can work without the right people.

Should you choose to hire an in-house expert, you can expect to pay a fortune in salaries, and their supply is quite limited. You also have to contend with compliance issues. As such, we recommend you outsource your IT needs.

5. Deep Fakes

Finally, you have to contend with deep fakes. People are employing unethical methods to make it seem like politicians and celebrities said things they did not say. Deep fakes will now trickle down, and business and thought leaders will find themselves at the mercy of such technology.

People willing to employ deep fakes will sway people’s opinions and can affect your business.

2020 will be a remarkable year for companies looking to use technology. But with great tech comes equally great challenges. The challenges above are a few you can expect.

Hire IT professionals, as they allow you to focus on the essential things in your business while they provide the necessary support.

What is Shadow IT?

What is Shadow IT?

Shadow IT is the collective term used to classify all information technology applications and infrastructure that is used in the workplace without authorization of the company’s IT department. This includes software, web applications/servers, hardware, and cloud technologies. 

Employees often bring in applications into the company that they believe will help them achieve their tasks or complete their projects better. This is often the case as well. Shadow IT is often managed and utilized by employees to improve productivity and efficiency. This is where the gray area part comes in.

Why is Shadow IT a Gray Area

Shadow IT is considered a gray area because although the intentions and purpose of the shadow IT brought in are to increase productivity, there is also a security risk involved with this.

Allowing foreign and unauthorized shadow IT to interact and manipulate the company’s data is a big security risk. Members of the IT department are tasked with ensuring the security and compliance of the data that is transmitted through shadow IT sources. This makes their job of securing company data much harder and increase the risk of foul-play or information theft.

Some companies are willing to embrace the innovation and increased productivity brought on by these shadow IT technologies, while others frown upon it due to the increased security risks. 

The Solution?

The purpose of the shadow IT introduced to the company are primarily to increase productivity and ease of task management. The increased usage of shadow IT creates what is called a digital sprawl. This term means that there is an increase in incoherent application or software that is being used in the company. For example, employee A uses Application X to make their spreadsheets while employee B uses Application Y to achieve the same task. With an increase in the number of different applications used and the number of employees, the digital sprawl can easily become difficult to manage.

This digital sprawl raises data compliance issues and can potentially cost companies a lot. This also makes it difficult to govern the use of applications as well as maintain consistency in the company at the macro-level. High amounts of digital sprawl can mean lots of wasted time, effort, and resources for a company.

Governance and Leniency

In terms of a solution, the company should task the IT department to find technologies that they are willing to authorize that will also allow employees to effectively perform their duties. Then, governance of employees to use the standard application will increase company coherence across teams and departments in the company. 

If it proves too difficult a task to eliminate all shadow IT sources, then creating a technology filter is the best option. A technology filter is essentially where all employees must pass the technology they desire to use to the IT department. From there IT can either authorize the use of the technology or deny it. Making a limit to the number of unique services in the workplace is also important. This will minimize digital sprawl while also allowing the inventiveness and creativity of new technologies to enter. 

By recognizing shadow IT for the potential benefit, yet inherent risk that it is, it is easier to make the best decision for the company. Finding the right tolerance for shadow IT in the company is crucial for the security of information. For more information about shadow IT or IT in general, contact us.

Is it Possible to Host a Private Cloud in the Cloud?

Is it Possible to Host a Private Cloud in the Cloud?

Many business owners, typically at the urging of their technology services company, have finally made the decision to move their computing tasks and perhaps even their data to the “cloud”. While some of the benefits, including reduced costs and anytime/anywhere access to corporate systems is appealing, some business owners may have security concerns and wonder if it is possible to “be in the cloud” yet still maintain privacy. In this post, we will define the various cloud options, so business owners can determine which route is ideal for them.

The Public Cloud

Any technology service using shared hosted resources with others is considered part of the public cloud. Office 365 and Google Drive are two such examples. They both offer anytime/anywhere access to users, plus the added benefit of minimal or no costs for usage and/or infrastructure maintenance. While these are two applications hosted by well known technology companies, there are many other industry-specific applications and/or services that companies may provide through the public cloud. 

A Private Cloud

Using their own hardware resources, large companies typically host their own private clouds, providing the convenience of anytime/anywhere access to their employees. However, even small companies can have their own private cloud, either hosted on their own premises or on a external provider’s hardware resources, typically in an off-site location. More and more, smaller companies are considering the advantages of maintaining a private cloud, since a private cloud can also incorporate other services such as data storage, application hosting, and data backup and disaster recovery. 

The Best of Both Worlds

Some companies decide to take a hybrid approach and use some applications and services offered in the public cloud, while also maintaining a private cloud. By utilizing the best of both worlds, a company can take advantage of the lower costs typically associated with using the public cloud, while still keeping vital corporate data safe and secure on their own private cloud infrastructure. 

If you would like more information on to set up a comprehensive cloud computing plan for your company, please contact us!

Cloud Computing Test: 5 Multiple Choice Questions

Cloud Computing Test: 5 Multiple Choice Questions

Over the past few years, cloud computing has been one of the most popular discussion topics for businesses. “The Cloud” is no longer the future, it’s now, and it has almost endless possibilities. Businesses that have transitioned to the cloud have realized cost-savings and increased functionality. But what’s really important, however, is that every business owner at least understands the basics of cloud computing.

If you think you have a general idea about cloud computing but want to test your knowledge, try this 5 question cloud computing test below and evaluate your results with the answers at the bottom. No peaking!

1. ________ describes a cloud service that can only be accessed by a limited amount of people.

A. Data center

B. Private cloud

C. Virtualization

D. Public cloud

2. ________ describes a distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider and made available to users.

A. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

B. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

C. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

D. Cloud service

3. True or False: Access to a Cloud environment always costs more money compared to a traditional desktop environment.

4. _________ is the feature of cloud computing that allows the service to change in size or volume in order to meet a user’s needs.

A. Scalability

B. Virtualization

C. Security

D. Cost-savings

5. True or False: A Cloud environment can be accessed from anywhere in the world as long as the user has access to the Internet.

Answer Key

Now consider for a moment if these questions were difficult to answer. Many business owners have a general idea about cloud computing, but need guidance before making a final decision.

Learn More

Do you want to see what the cloud can do for you? Fill out the form below and choose Cloud Computing under Interested In. We’ll have a technical adviser reach out to discuss what services the cloud can fill for your business needs.

Here is the answer key to the quiz:

Answers:

1. B (Source)

2. C (Source)

3. False (Source)

4. A (Source)

5. True (Source)

Benefits of Managed Network Support Services

Managed IT Services
Managed IT Services

Today, businesses are experiencing intense competition in different industries and finding ways to counter the same can help them thrive in a volatile market. Cloud technology is one of the things you need to consider investing in to promote faster access to information, reliability, and to secure your company records to overcome the existing competition.

Managed network support services can become the ideal solution if you want to stand out from the rest as an expert in your industry. Here are some of the benefits of managed network support services.

Maximum Performance and Increased Productivity

Most business owners appreciate the need to maximize the performance of their systems to increase productivity and managed network support services can serve this purpose. A competent network support services provider can merge voice and data networks to enhance the performance of your company systems while reducing support time to promote savings on cost and time.

Your staff will perform their duties efficiently and effectively when you opt for managed network support services, which results in increased productivity.

Proactive Maintenance

The possibility of system failure is one of the setbacks that most businesses are struggling to manage on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some companies do not have the resources to prevent possible system failures. Managed network support service providers have the necessary tools and resources to support the implementation of new software and for upgrading your systems.

Frequent system failure becomes a thing of the past when you invest in managed network support services. The reason is that providers of network support services perform proactive maintenance of your company systems on an ongoing basis.

Improved Network Security

The network infrastructure of every organization is prone to various threats, including inappropriate web content, spam, intrusions, malware, and viruses. Any attack on your business network derails your operations, and it also affects your service delivery significantly. Managed network support services secure business voice and data networks to protect critical applications and every transaction.

If you need more information on the benefits of managed network support services, contact us today!