As someone who has worked for their entire career in the Managed Network Services space, if I had to pick out, over the past five years, two of the most impactful shifts in managing technology, it would be a shift from traditional, in-house servers to solutions where 3 parties build “clouds” to provide similar business functions as well as the increased pressure on organizations to have comprehensive cyber-security strategies as threats become more significant. While some might want to call these things “trends,” I don’t think either is going to come out of focus or take a 180 degree turn anytime soon.
For most organizations, moving to the cloud makes a lot of sense, and usually, it is just a question of what specifically moves to the cloud. In 2019, we find that especially in the small/medium sized business space, most technology functions, like file sharing, email and even most applications like CRM and ERPs, can be put in the cloud. Usually (not always), this results in benefits such as reduced cost of ownership, improved uptime and often flexibility in terms of making changes in the future as your organization brings on new employees or as core applications change. But of course, before making a shift to the cloud, you should discuss the full implications of this change with an IT professional so all of the factors can be weighed before making a decision that represents a fundamental change to how you work. Chances are your plan to move to the cloud will have a few wrinkles that are unique.
Meanwhile, organizations don’t have to ask these days if they will be the target of a cyber-attack. It is a certainty. Cyber-criminals know we are reliant on our technology just to function in our daily lives. They also know that we keep precious data that we need online and that this data can be exploited either for fraud or ransom. What complicates matters even further is that as we have this trend where services move to the cloud, the work on the data is no longer just happening on someone’s PC and that the data is being constantly transmitted back and forth either to a cloud host or a 3 party who is entitled to that data. Everything is interconnected, so the targets are becoming more numerous. For bad guys, this is simply a numbers game. Who can I exploit? Where is the weak link in the chain of data management? Imagine a pond that is so filled with fish that you can don’t even need a fishing rod. All you have to do is wait for a fish to jump into your net. That’s kind of the landscape we are looking at right now.