The number of technology solutions on the market is opening up more and more solutions that businesses can implement to reach the next level. Today, operating a secure, integrated and streamlined IT environment is crucial for enhancing productivity, business continuity and growth.
Here are the top 5 things that you can apply in your IT this year, given the constant emergence of new technologies that could benefit your business:
- Next-Gen Online Security
- AI and Automation
- Internet of Things
- Integration of Digital Channels
- Budget Conscious Solutions
Next-gen online security
The overarching trend in the field of cyber security, is that the number, strength and harm of cyber attacks are increasing as this digital form of crime becomes increasingly prevalent. Among these studies is Hiscox’s 2022 Cyber Readiness Report, which found that in the US alone, the number of organizations reporting cyber-attack increased by 7% on the last year, while the proportion of attacks that cause more than $25,000 of damages have also climbed to 40%.
However, whilst the threats are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, so are the solutions! The majority of cyber attacks can be effectively addressed by mature cyber defence systems, which are able to detect ‘signatures’ or indicators of a potential cyber threat before it has the chance to cause serious damage. With this said, the more sophisticated threats demand advanced security measures.
“Next-generation” cyber security solutions are able to detect unusual activity and take prompt, decisive action, stopping hackers in their tracks using a combination of AI, machine learning, and behavioural psychology. Platforms with increased detection and response abilities are one example. These platforms are capable of life threat analysis, detecting anomalous patterns, and scanning the web for threat intelligence that it can incorporate to offer truly up to date protection.
Offering a full IT environment security measure that can detect, prevent and thwart cyber threats, these next generation systems are fast becoming essential for staying protected in today’s digital landscape. If your company handles a lot of sensitive or secret data, enquire with an IT support provider about next-generation cyber protection.
AI and Automation
For businesses of all sizes, AI and automation presents a whole canvas of benefits that can sharpen their competitive edge. These benefits include data-driven insights, gains in efficiency, and the ability for a business to punch above its weight and deliver more value. Despite this, the implementation of AI in many SMEs is happening gradually, and in many cases, hardly at all! The pace is changing as the latest generation of AI becomes increasingly mainstream, which highly likely will force laggards to adopt and catch up in order to remain competitive.
As businesses try to learn more about its potential, AI is already present in almost every corporate function, from focused marketing tools for market forecasting, to predictive security. There is older, ‘hard’ AI, which works according to explicit rules and conditions, and there is newer, ‘soft’ AI which is exemplified by large language models such as ChatGPT. In either case, small and medium businesses can tap into the big benefits of AI.
Some examples of how AI is being applied, include employee onboarding, expense processing, customer service, and aspects of workflows that can be processed automatically. The majority of tedious, time-consuming administrative tasks will undoubtedly be automated in the coming years; the sooner a business does this, the more time they will have to gain a competitive advantage and focus on core value activities.
Navigating the implementation of AI can be daunting and complex, but with an IT support provider it can be clearer and more empowering. Get in touch with an IT support provider to get assistance with automation and integrating AI into your workflows to take advantage of this opportunity.
Internet of things (IoT)
IoT devices are objects with sensors, these objects connect wirelessly to networks to convey data through them, hence the name, Internet of Things! Many IoT devices have built-in computers that allow them to carry out tasks on their own. While uses case will vary, industries such as healthcare, logistics and transportation can use these technologies to empower productivity and to save time amongst many other benefits.
Examples of IoT devices include digital thermostats, smart speakers, physical sensors, and smart doorbells. Elsewhere, robots are being used in warehouses to intelligently move inventory across the premises for processing, as well as in hospitals to monitor patients for example. You can dramatically reduce the stress on your staff and boost productivity by integrating IoT devices into your network if the right use cases are there.
To leverage IoT, it is advisable that your IT support provider should be able to manage IoT implementations to decrease any potential cyber dangers that these devices can present, they should also support such devices and make sure that the necessary security safeguards are followed.
Integration of Digital Channels
There is now a huge array of software and services that are able to integrate together and communicate with each other, enabling workflows to become more streamlined, valuable and automated. Continuing this integrative trend, more and more businesses are bringing their channels and data together to enhance workflows and to gain holistic, data-driven insights.
Whether it’s using an integration software such as Zapier to integrate your CRM with your accounting software, or leveraging a data analytics platform that integrates with each of your data channels, there are a range of possibilities on offer that can make the whole more than the sum of its parts.
Adopt Cost-Effective IT Solutions
In SWZD’s “State of IT” poll, 45% of small enterprises were already preparing for a probable recession in 2023. Some organizations are betting on it, with 43% of respondents having already applied or are actively considering cuts to their spending. However, it is not all doom and gloom, there are a number of emerging solutions that are cost-effective.
With a certain tightening of the IT budget likely to continue through the rest of 2023 into 2024, many organizations will be turning to their IT to get more value for money. We would not recommend doing so just to lower costs, but rather, to make carefully selected investments that add measurable value, without breaking the bank.
Modern technology can be harnessed to achieve empowering, cost-effective IT solutions in the following ways:
- Using cloud-based SaaS solutions rather than more conventional programs that require local hardware, which can be more rigid and expensive to maintain.
- Using technologies that provide business intelligence that yields valuable insights from your current data, which can be used to boost efficiency and revenue generation.
- Finding more affordable business broadband, for the same quality of service.
- Consider a remote working solution, which could serve as a foundation for lower office space cost, server virtualization, and indirect benefits such as access to a wider talent pool and potentially greater employee retention.
- Changing to a VoIP based phone system which offers savings on direct investment and maintenance costs
IT shouldn’t be expensive, and there are many platforms and solutions available that are relatively inexpensive to use, many of which are cloud-based. Make sure the technology your IT provider offers is consistent with your financial constraints and that they can demonstrate a return on investment for each project in 2023.
Zia: Albuquerque’s Leading IT Support Provider
Zia Networks are a trusted IT support provider operating in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’re passionate IT specialists bringing together deep multi-disciplinary expertise that focuses on helping businesses like yours to achieve profitable growth, smooth operations, and industry-grade cyber security. We’re proud to serve businesses across New Mexico, offering truly personalized and tailored services, with the mature capabilities of a technology partner. Need a hand with a technology challenge? Get in touch with us today and we will be glad to help you to overcome it.