The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time when we reflect on the events of the previous 12 months and reconsider our goals and habits. In the wake of 2020, many of us doubtlessly have different perspectives and priorities than we did a year ago. Numerous aspects of the world we live in – including how we relate to technology and the role it plays in our personal and professional lives – have undergone significant changes.
If you’re considering what your technology road map should look like in light of everything that happened in 2020 and what’s likely to unfold in 2021, here are some suggested IT resolutions for the upcoming year.
1. Ensure you have a secure remote work strategy in place.
Even after the pandemic ends, people who’ve adjusted to working from home won’t necessarily want to return to the office full-time. Approximately half (55 percent) of American employees express a preference for a mix of remote and on-site work, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
That means flexible work arrangements will likely become the new standard, and enabling employees to fulfill their professional duties securely from anywhere will become imperative for any business looking to stay competitive. For more information about how to maximize accessibility and flexibility without sacrificing security, take a look at this blog entry by our CISO: “Why Your Business Needs a Secure Remote Work Strategy to Survive.”
2. Focus on improving customer experience (CX).
In recent years, CX has emerged as an increasingly important factor for companies seeking to stand out from the competition across various industries. Delivering exceptional experiences with advanced tech such as cloud contact center software will remain vital in 2021, and 25 percent of brands are expected to improve CX by a statistically significant margin this year, according to predictions from Forrester Research.
3. Prioritize digital transformation.
The pandemic accelerated our already in-progress transition to a more virtual world. Now, digital transformation – the process of implementing new technologies to adapt to evolving consumer expectations and enhance business processes – is no longer optional for companies that want to stay relevant, according to Gartner. Initiatives in this area can include the adoption of cloud solutions, Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other cutting-edge technologies.
4. Go serverless.
Serverless computing involves letting a cloud provider handle infrastructure management, according to “The CIO’s Guide to Serverless Computing” by Gartner. This transition can lead to simplified operations, greater scalability and potential savings for your business.
Many of our clients have gone serverless via solutions such as the Microsoft Office 365 suite of business applications, Azure Active Directory (AD), and an Azure server acting as cloud domain controller. For more information about the benefits of serverless computing, please take a look at this recent blog entry: “Reach New Heights in 2021 by Going Serverless and Focusing on Security.”
5. Get a Microsoft cloud audit.
When was the last time you evaluated your Microsoft cloud solutions? If it’s been a while, you could be overspending or have serious security issues you don’t know about. Our team can guide you through the process, which includes the following:
- Security evaluation: Safeguard your business and Microsoft cloud. This reviews what features you are using today and provides some recommendations on what items you can simply flip on.
- IT evaluation: There are so many features built into the Microsoft Cloud, some of which your business might not be taking advantage of. Let us review how you use your Microsoft Cloud (including Office 365 and Azure).
- Licensing review: Microsoft offers a number of licensing options. Let our team evaluate how you utilize your current licensing and see if there is anything you can add or reduce.
- Road map: We help craft a road map for your organization by doing a deep dive into your business and its departments to understand which technologies you use, what features you’re utilizing and the objectives each department aims to achieve. That way we can create a plan for the future concerning how to leverage Microsoft Cloud Services in a way that supports your company’s goals.
6. Secure your Office 365 apps and other cloud solutions.
While the Office 365 suite comes with built-in cybersecurity features, some threats still manage to find their way to end users’ inboxes. One study of 1.5 billion emails from organizations utilizing Microsoft as their provider found that upward of 925,000 malicious messages still made their way past security controls, according to an Area 1 Security report.
As a result, it’s vital to invest in a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes the people, processes and tools you need to maximize data security for Office 365 and other cloud-delivered solutions. For more information, take a look at this blog entry: “SMBs Can’t Afford to Ignore Office 365 Security.”
If you’d like guidance as you determine your IT resolutions for the year ahead, our trusted technology advisors would be happy to assist you. We’ve helped our clients boost cybersecurity, establish secure remote work infrastructure, transition to serverless computing and more. Just give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.