Technology is always evolving, which means businesses have to stay on their toes if they want to stay competitive.
Being aware of the new trends expected in the technology world can help your Dallas-Forth Worth company improve IT security, plan hardware purchases for future compatibility, and gain an advantage through early adoption.
Small businesses that are considered “digitally advanced” earn 2x more revenue per employee than those that lag behind.
The technology impacts promised for 2021 are largely about adapting and optimizing. Including adapting to the new COVID working environment, keeping ahead of new cybersecurity threats, and getting a handle on unwieldy cloud environments.
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Technology Trends to Prepare for This Year
Centralized Customer Data Platforms
One of the ways that use of the cloud has become a problem for companies is in the distribution and duplication of data. Companies may have a CRM application, a sales & marketing tool, and an accounting program that all use the same customer information. However, they’re all holding it in different databases, and it has to be entered separately into each.
One of the first centralization tools that’s going to be a trend in 2021 is the Customer Data Platform (CDP). This is not the same thing as a CRM (customer relationship manager), rather it’s designed to be a central database for all customer information that other cloud tools can draw from.
This helps improve data integrity as well as offers multiple other benefits, such as:
- One place to enter all customer data
- Reduces keying errors
- Improves data transparency across all apps
- Saves employee time
- Makes data updates more efficient
- Reduces the risk of duplicate records
5G Will Begin to Grow Up
It seems like forever that we’ve been hearing about the “unbelievably fast” speeds of 5G promising to completely change the way we use the internet. But nothing much has happened on the user side as yet.
But on the mobile provider and manufacturer side a lot of groundwork for the 5G network was laid in 2020. Apple also just brought out its 5G phone, iPhone 12, last October.
Expect to see more benefits of faster connection speeds and low latency as 5G begins growing up and making a difference this year. For hardware purchases of things like laptops, mobile devices, and smart gadgets, you’ll want to ensure these have 5G compatibility, so you’ll be ready to take advantage of it.
No Trust Cybersecurity Strategy
The pandemic has led to a huge rise in the number of cyberattacks. The FBI reported a 400% increase in cybercrime during the midst of the pandemic.
And not only are attacks becoming more frequent, they’re also becoming more sophisticated as larger criminals cartels are eyeing lucrative income from things like ransomware.
The more dangerous landscape and heightened difficulty identifying the “bad guys” coming in via clever phishing attacks has led to a rise in the popularity of the no trust, or zero-trust, cybersecurity strategy.
With a zero-trust IT strategy, instead of having to identify who the bad guys are, systems are put in place that only need to know the good guys. Everything else is blocked by default.
This strategy is an important way to keep out the newest emerging threats, including zero-day malware and fileless attacks. Some of the tactics used in zero-trust cybersecurity include:
- Application whitelisting
- Application ringfencing
- Advanced multi-factor authentication
- Geo-based identity management
- Rule of Least Privilege for setting up user access levels
Improved Remote Office Technology
The remote office has become the new “office.” The pandemic may have forced businesses to switch to remote workforces in droves, but many companies are seeing cost and productivity benefits and deciding to keep things that way. They’re also worried about the next unexpected event that may cause similar business disruptions.
In 2021, the number of global permanent remote workers is expected to double.
Look for software and network security developers to be focusing on remote team technology. As an example, one recent feature that Microsoft added to Teams last year was “Together Mode” to make everyone that’s on a video conference look as if they were in the same place.
Together Mode in Microsoft Teams
Democratization of Technology
We are already seeing a democratization in a lot of technologies that we use, which basically just means using AI and other advancements to make it easier for the novice user to do things that used to take extensive skills.
One example is the number of mobile app makers on the market. You used to need a lot of skill or a lot of money to pay a designer to create a mobile app for your business. Now, you can simply use a drag and drop interface and easily create an attractive mobile app without needing to know a single line of code.
Look for this to continue as applications like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft 365 take full advantage of AI and machine learning in their apps to assist users.
One example is the new Neural Filters feature in Photoshop that allows for instant facial recognition and the manipulation of everything from hair thickness to aging to be adjusted realistically at the click of a button.
Get Help Preparing Your Technology for the Next Decade
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Contact Cloudavize today for a free consultation to get started.