Top technology trends to focus on this year
As we start the new year, one of the top questions on everyone’s mind may be, How will I be affected by the current conditions and challenges we are facing? For business owners, especially those of small businesses, this question has a potentially greater toll and can change to, How will the unfolding circumstances and conditions of 2021 affect my business?
To help you face the business challenges ahead, focus your energy on these five top technology trends: data security, talent shortages, business process automation, cloud migration and the changing uncertainty of the business environment.
Data security continues to be one of the top technology challenges for businesses. The sudden necessity of remote workforces has required businesses to rethink and redesign their network and data security policies and practices. Cyber threats are at an all-time high as the “bad guys” have new ways to exploit and attack your business’s key information through your remote workers and systems. While we have had over nine months to enable our remote workforces, now is the time to retest your security policies and make sure your business is protected from the ever-changing attack landscape.
Talent shortages in the information technology workforce continue to increase as advances in technology also rise. This means that hiring and retaining IT management staff who are trained to face the latest technical challenges remains critical.
Keeping IT staff skilled in changing technology comes at a higher price. Many small businesses cannot afford full-time staff, much less hire the level of talent required to face today’s challenges. As a result, now is a good time to consider how a managed service provider can help your business track technology trends without the cost of constantly having to hire and train IT staff.
Business process automation is one of the keys to optimizing manual or outdated business processes and cutting down on costs. Automation is often utilized in business areas such as sales, marketing and work flow, and advances in DevOps or software development, coupled with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, have become game-changers for many businesses.
Consider checking legacy business processes and applications to see how process automation can help your organization stay prepared. Start with an assessment of current processes and applications to determine how technology automation can be integrated, further allowing your business to survive and thrive. Further action can then include restructuring labor resources, implementing software bots and more.
Cloud migration, or moving your current business processes off premise-based servers and into a public or hybrid cloud, is essential to success in 2021. One way to optimize a business’s IT costs is to move from a capital expense model to an operation expense model. This allows a business to use its capital for core business initiatives and only pay for IT services as it uses them, helping put an end to expensive equipment upgrades that often are just focused on keeping up with technology and not using it as a competitive edge to increase profits.
If you haven’t already, assess your business’s IT services that are on legacy or aging equipment. Migrating a business to the cloud requires optimization and consolidation to achieve the cost savings that can make a difference to your company’s bottom line.
No matter what, the changing uncertainty of the business environment is the one thing we can count on happening this year. While we remain in the midst of figuring out how the current pandemic and changes in world leadership will affect our global economy, it’s clear local businesses will need to continue to stay flexible and adapt to survive the rebuilding of our economy.
As the new normal continues to unfold in 2021, businesses of all sizes will have changing needs that they need to be ready for. To stay nimble, relevant and best able to keep serving customers, reshaping our use of technology and services will be key to the success of companies and teams around the world.
Kenneth Hensarling is director — portfolio management cloud services for CBTS. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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