What is the new year going to bring in the technology realm? The big story in tech last year was the pandemic, which accelerated the already increasing rise of telecommuting from home and was huge for video conferencing and cloud integration.
It also brought with it a lot of cybercrime. Hackers took advantage of the business disruption and fears surrounding COVID-19 to launch an unprecedented number of attacks. The FBI reported an increase of 400% in reported cybercrime.
As we enter 2021, it’s important for businesses to anticipate what technology trends are on the horizon so they can budget accordingly. Putting yourself in a position to take advantage of a new tech trend can keep you ahead of your competition.
Here are some of the technology focuses to expect this year and to incorporate into your own technology planning.
Permanent Remote Work Networks
Many companies in Sturgeon Bay and throughout the country had no choice but to make work-from-home work for them during the pandemic stay-at-home orders.
But after getting a taste of what a remote workforce could look like and realizing it could mean both lower costs and higher productivity, several are making telecommuting permanent.
The number of global remote workers is expected to double in 2021, which means companies will be thinking differently about their technology and network setup.
They’ll be moving towards permanent remote work policies and procedures that include things like network security and endpoint device management. And of course, keeping the ability to run their operations virtually.
Zero Trust Security
It’s a never-ending battle between hackers developing new malware variants and new ways to breach networks and those in IT security trying to keep them out.
Rather than trying to anticipate and identify the behavior of a new form of ransomware, spyware, or other malicious code, cybersecurity professionals are moving towards the concept of Zero Trust security.
This approach takes a stance that assumes no one is trusted by default, and this includes users who may already be inside a network. With Zero Trust, you tell a system who is approved to do certain activities or which applications can send system commands, instead of telling it who can’t do these things.
Zero Trust ensures that a system is not only protected from insider attacks, but also from new forms of malware designed to get through defenses undetected.
Some of the tactics used for a Zero Trust security setup are:
- Application whitelisting
- Application ring fencing
- Advanced multi-factor authentication
- Endpoint device monitoring & management
5G Technology Begins Making a Difference
We’ve heard a lot about 5G in the past couple of years and its potential for speeds up to 200x faster than 4G LTE. But it’s not really begun making the big difference that was projected.
Most cell carriers now have their 5G networks fully rolled out in most coverage areas. Likewise, device manufacturers have also been preparing by releasing 5G compatible devices last year. For example, Apple released iPhone 12, its first 5G compatible phone in October of 2020.
With much of the groundwork now completed, expect 5G to be more impactful in 2021 and to begin seeing some of that promised transformative power.
When purchasing any new mobile devices, laptops, or IoT devices this year, it’s a good idea to ensure they’re 5G compatible so you’ll be ready.
Consolidated Customer Data
One problem with the rush to cloud services over the past few years, is that companies are realizing that data isn’t always shared easily between different applications.
So, employees can end up re-entering the same customer data in CRM programs, accounting software, and sales/lead management apps. Each app might also not have access to all that customer’s data.
One of the new cloud approaches designed to solve this is the Customer Data Platform (CDP). A CDP is a database designed to hold all customer information that could be used by any other program.
Other applications – CRM, Accounting, etc. – then connect to the CDP to pull in the appropriate data.
Benefits of this consolidated system:
- There is one place where customer data is entered
- Reduces re-keying errors
- Increases data visibility for all apps
- Ensures data consistency across all platforms
- Reduces time spent in data input and searching for customer information
Rise in IoT Use & Security
Smart devices are skyrocketing in use as both homes and offices take advantage of smart voice speakers, IP security cameras, smart locks, smart lighting, and more.
IoT is one of the most vulnerable devices when it comes to network security. This means leaving a smart device on a default setup is no longer an option if you want the other devices on your network to stay protected.
Businesses and homeowners that want to ensure a hacker isn’t spying on them through a security cam or using a smart appliance to hack into their router, will increasingly use IT professionals to handle IoT security, just as they do for PCs.
Get Help With Your 2021 Technology Roadmap
Quantum PC Services has tech experts on hand that can help your Sturgeon Bay area businesses with a cost efficient and forward-looking IT plan for the new year.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.