We’re living in an age where information technology touches nearly everything we do. In work and at home, IT trends have a profound effect on our everyday lives.
Understanding how technology has developed, and having an idea of where it’s going, will enable you to gain the most from your IT. It will also help you to avoid many of the inherent risks that come with the continued proliferation of technology all around us.
We’re halfway through 2015, and in that time we’ve already seen a number of developing IT trends. But what do we expect to see developing over the coming six months? In this blog we explore IT trends in 2015, looking both to the past and into the future.
Importantly, we’re also going to explain how each of these trends affects you.
Trends We’ve Seen So Far in 2015
Increased Use of Smartphones and Tablets
Just look around you – nowadays almost everyone carries a smartphone or tablet device with them everywhere they go. Whilst we’ve seen BlackBerry suffer a considerable loss of market share, Apple, Android and Windows Phone continue to battle it out for supremacy in the smartphone market.
How This Affects You: The ability for users to access emails, applications and data whilst out of the office is a significant benefit for many businesses, but it does introduce risks. If a device containing confidential information or allowing access to internal systems is lost or stolen, a significant security threat is presented to the business. Implementing robust, effective mobile device management is the best way of mitigating this risk and controlling how staff access systems when out of the office.
Move towards Cloud Architectures
As 2015 progresses we continue to see businesses of all sizes transition to cloud architectures. For a long time now IT support has been outsourced, but more and more traditional local deployments are now being replaced with cloud-based infrastructures.
How This Affects You: We’re moving past the days when cloud architectures were seen as ‘not fit for purpose’ for businesses. The uptime, security and performance of cloud services are strong enough to meet the demands of many firms, and the total cost of ownership – both in terms of money and time – is such that, if you still run a local infrastructure, you should at least consider the benefits that cloud services could offer.
Developing Cybersecurity Threats
Today, there are more threats to IT security and the confidentiality of data than ever before. The cybersecurity threat landscape is constantly evolving, and the methods that cybercriminals use for attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated.
How This Affects You: As a business and as an individual you need to ensure that you follow best practices in terms of people, processes and systems. It is essential that your systems are adequately protected, and that this is complemented by educated users following clearly-defined processes.
Trends We Expect to See in 2015
Greater Use of Electronic Payments
We’re not quite finished with cash yet, but it’s getting nearer. Paying for goods and services online has become quicker and simpler, with services such as PayPal removing the need to enter your card details again and again. Contactless payment cards have made it easier to make low-cost purchases when you’re out and about. And with Apple Pay soon to launch in the UK, you’ll be able to leave the house to do your shopping without needing to take your wallet at all.
How This Affects You: If your business sells services directly to the end user, think about how straightforward it is (or isn’t) to do business with you. Unless there is some catastrophic issue, confidence in mobile payments will only increase. If you are unable to offer payment options that align with these new services but your competitors can, this will put you at a disadvantage.
More and More Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is a growing market, with big players like Apple and Google competing with smaller specialist brands such as Fitbit and Garmin. Although there is a certain healthy scepticism around wearable technology – not helped by some clunky early models – vendors are starting to match expectation with delivery, and new products are set to be sleeker, more effective and more personalised to business and consumer needs.
How This Affects You: Cybersecurity experts have talked for some time now about the ‘Internet of Things’ – the concept of introducing connectivity to everyday objects – and the potential security risks this can introduce. We haven’t quite reached the stage where this is a considerable concern, but be aware that hackers will exploit any potential security flaw, and the connections made by poorly designed or configured wearable technology items *could* create a backdoor into your environment.
We hope that reading this blog post has given you an indication of how IT developments can be leveraged by you and your business. You may also recognise some gaps in your IT systems, especially in terms of security and management.
At TSC Projects we have extensive experience in delivering new technology deployments. If you’re considering implementing technology changes within your business and would like some guidance and support, get in touch – we’re confident that we can help you reach your goals.