Four IT Trends Affecting Business in 2017

Throw away your crystal ball. By combining your IT history with what’s trending right now, and analysing that information, you’ll be closer to anticipating your IT future better than any gypsy ever could.

Throw away your crystal ball. By combining your IT history with what’s trending right now, and analysing that information, you’ll be closer to anticipating your IT future better than any gypsy ever could.  Here’s four trends you can consider, to gain a sense of how your future IT direction might affect your business.

Experts predict businesses in 2017 will be affected by the following.

1. Cyberattacks, smaller, nastier, better targeting

According to Proofpoint smaller, more personalized malware attacks will increase in number and sophistication in 2017. Small, is the new big! They go on to say that root kits or exploit kits will be replaced by “human kits”. In the past, hackers distributed malware using exploits that took advantage of software or hardware vulnerabilities. But they’re becoming less effective. Cybercriminals will be putting more effort into fooling the humans instead of the machines. Expect to see more spear phishing emails, social engineering ploys, and other ways to trick individuals into infecting their PC’s.

But just because the focus is on small, doesn’t mean you’re safe from other traditional attacks. In short, be prepared, and protect your business from all types of cyberattacks.

2. Easier to move to the Cloud

Providers like Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and IBM, are all working to make cloud migration easier. Forrester predicts that, in 2017, these providers will improve their lift-and-shift tools. This will make it cheaper and less time-consuming for businesses to move their IT and/or and data to the cloud.

The improved lift-and-shift tools will help accelerate the rate of migration to public clouds. Forrester predicts that the migration rate will accelerate faster in 2017 than in previous years. By the end of this year it’s expected the global public cloud market will reach $146 billion (USD).

With migration easier and the cloud market expanding, it’s a good time to consider moving. But first learn about your options, determine the best way to leverage the benefits of cloud computing.

3. Mobile device attacks to rise, more network breaches

In 2016 the attacks against mobile devices rose sharply. According to McAfee Labs and Proofpoint  in 2017, that trend will continue. Threats will come in the form of ransomware, trojans, and remote access tools.

The number of employees using their personal mobile devices for work is aiding this rise. And it’s putting more businesses at risk. Check Point Software Technologies predicts one in five employees will unknowingly infect networks with malware from their mobile devices, or expose their network credentials by logging in to company networks whilst connected to malicious Wi-Fi hotspots.

If your business allows employees to use personal devices, consider implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to address security concerns.

4. Internet of Things (IoT) market to expand, bringing opportunities and challenges

Businesses will increase their use of IoT devices to control lights, thermostats, inventory, and perform other tasks. Part of the appeal for these devices is saving money. According to Gartner, using IoT devices for predictive maintenance could provide businesses with up to 20% savings compared to using a preventive maintenance approach. With preventive maintenance, a schedule dictates when equipment is serviced. With predictive maintenance, the actual condition of the equipment determines servicing. Because tasks are performed only when needed, it saves money.

Gartner predicts IoT devices could save businesses and consumers around $1 trillion a year by 2022. However, implementing them is a challenge. Security experts warn that many IoT devices are not secure. In October of 2016, hackers proved this using the Mirai Botnet to bring down major websites such as Netflix, Twitter, PayPal. This botnet scanned the Internet for IoT devices and infiltrated those with poor security. The lesson here is if you include IoT devices as part of your IT network, then they need to be safe and secure.

Posted on