It is that time of year when we need to get together to talk about the future. It’s planning season. We specialize in unique businesses. We don’t cookie cutter anyone. We make sure your IT fits you and enables your staff to be more productive. Your business is unique but we have a few themes that are going to be important for almost everyone next year. Here is what we think they are:
- Consumerization. For the first time, employees are bringing their own computer equipment to the office. On the one hand this development has added productivity to employees through the greater use of technology. But there’s a dark side as well. Your data is being access by computers that you don’t trust, you don’t have any control over (like is it infected or clean?) and it now has your corporate data on it.
- Mobile Security. Everyone has a smart phone. Some are owned by you and are therefore officially authorized and some are not. (see consumerization) Smart phones have data on them. At the very least they have email correspondence, business contacts and files. Did you know 93% of business correspondence is email? Do you know where it is? We’ve already seen hackers hitting open active sync ports, smart phones full of data lost and smart phones with your data going to the competition with the former employee on the phone they own.
- Backup. Data creep is again taking its toll on backup strategies. Moving data off-site has become a problem for many companies. There’s no way around it, moving terabytes of data from your office to anywhere is complicated. With the hard drive shortage it just isn’t going to be feasible to add more space for more data.
- Hard Drive Shortage. This problem is expected to continue for another 24 months. Whole countries are already unable to get replacement hard drives. This problem impacts data storage capacities, new PC purchases and server migrations. The problem is bad now. It’s only going to get worse.
- Cloud Technologies. Cloud covers everything from email to remote access, to hosted applications and virtualization. It’s become a true bandwagon. Clouds vary from puffy white cotton balls to hurricanes; some clouds are good and some clouds are bad. The issues are access and data control. We’ve already had a customer’s data held hostage when they tried to leave a cloud application. We’ve already had data disappear and outages occur. We’ve seen the promise of geographic redundancy fall flat on its face. On the up side we’ve also had great success in the private cloud arena; it holds tremendous potential for cost savings and supports today’s more mobile work force and consumerization while retaining protection for your intellectual property. We have also built relationships with trust cloud application providers. Making the right cloud decisions can have lasting benefits.
- Telephony. We have noticed that most of our you are using phone systems than are 10-20 years old. Some even have duct tape on them. This technology has turned on its head. Phones aren’t phones anymore; they are computers and we’re ready to install and support them for you. We’re working with several vendors that we think are making the best in terms of service, support and features. That they are computers now is good and bad. The cost of phone systems has plummeted; they are less than half what you paid last time and maybe only a quarter of the cost. On the downside the lifespan of the systems are much shorter too.
I hope that we’ll have an in-person meeting soon to discuss your plans for the future and a great 2012.