Top 5 Technology Trends in 2020
by Adam Arnold
Tracking changes and trends is a big part of our consulting role at Keystone. For many of our clients, we are their Chief Technology Officer and well as their support staff. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it’s hard for a busy business leader to track. While it certainly is interesting to look at the changes and near misses from the last year, we thought it would be more beneficial to discuss the new trends. So, without further ado…here are the top five tech trends to look for in 2020.
1. Cloud adoption isn’t slowing down, but service consolidation is happening
We will continue to see organizations invest in Cloud solutions at a record pace. It’s pretty obvious business utilizing and transitioning to Cloud services very rapidly – the Microsoft stock price is an easy enough indicator of this. The notable trend, however, is businesses are starting to consolidate their Software as a Service (SaaS) Cloud solutions under one roof. So instead of utilizing services from different vendors such as Google, Dropbox, and Office 365, the trend will be for business leaders to pick one vendor and utilize as many of their offerings as possible.
Microsoft is a great example of this trend with a quickly expanding list of Cloud solutions and much more to come. As Microsoft creates more products for your organizations, it will allow you to incorporate more of these services under one roof which gives you better control over your identity management and security. Some popular trends using Microsoft solutions are:
- Transition away from the old office client/server model
- Replacing old telephone systems with hosted VoIP solutions using Microsoft Teams Voice
- Expand collaboration with Microsoft Teams
- Online Document Collaboration with Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft OneDrive
- Add checklist and task management with Microsoft Planner and Microsoft To-do List
- Internal video transcription and sharing with Microsoft Stream
- Customer surveying and interactions with Microsoft Forms
2. Security will be key
Cloud security will continue to be a growing focus in 2020. The need to identify who, what, when, where and why will become even more critical this year. MFA, coupled with access controls to your cloud systems, will be critical. We anticipate configuring more systems with geographical level access restrictions, and everyone should be using Multi-Factor Authentication at a minimum.
3. Backing up the cloud
Each year, more and more folks discover the lack of adequate backup for their cloud solutions. The need for these cloud backups is critical for any organization’s ability to recover not only from a failure of their systems but malicious user activity. Let’s consider a simple example where a user named Adam was intoxicated and accidentally deleted all his data. The then became disgruntled at the lack of a good back-up solution and intentionally deleted everyone company’s data. His systems often keep a 30-day backup in a recycle bin but that can also be purged. Perhaps unlikely but possible so why take the risk? The cost of additional backups is minuscule compared to the cost of significant downtime and data loss.
4. User adoption
User adoption may be one of the most difficult pieces to place in the modern technology jigsaw puzzle, but it is becoming the most critical. As the acquisition of new Cloud solutions continues, there is a major need to assist the users in adopting and using Cloud technology. The holy grail used to be implementing solutions that didn’t drastically alter the user experience and thus kept things running smoothly. However, as organizations shift into different workflow strategies by using tools like Microsoft Teams and continue the migration of data to the Cloud, they are transitioning to a more modern office environment. These changes suggest additional investment in user adoption to get the most of the technology as well as the user. Regular training, process review and finding ways to maximize your investments in existing technology are all on the near horizon. Expect to hear much more about this from us in 2020.
5. Modern Office Management
The modern office has morphed into an organization that can exist wherever the user works. Data is accessible beyond the traditional office space and thus, many users have a hunger to work beyond the confines of the traditional office. Cloud systems allow this sort of activity to take place.
Many people mistakenly think cloud management seems unnecessary; After all, it seems like I’m paying a monthly fee to have someone else manage these services. The challenge is there are a lot of details to manage and most services do not include anything beyond keeping the Cloud available. Ask these questions:
- Who is watching for security violations and reading the audit log violations?
- Who is reading the technology roll-outs for the Tenant so that upcoming changes can be evaluated?
- Is anyone checking the backups and testing the restore capabilities?
- Who is watching for mailbox size violations?
- What about viruses and malware notifications?
Mis/unmanaged cloud implementations suffer from:
- Stale accounts from previous employees who may still have access
- Compromised mailboxes
- The cost incurred for license fees for unused accounts or lack of proper bundling.
- Poorly or unmanaged technology roll-outs
Even a small user organization requires cloud management. The Cloud is changing so rapidly it’s somewhat similar to a living and breathing organism and requires management regularly to maintain the integrity of the system. The increase in Cloud SaaS systems will increase the need for more management of those systems. Keeping an eye on compliance, security, and auditing will become even more critical for all organizations in 2020.
Now you have a small preview of the trends we will consider this year. The Cloud transition for organizations continues and will increase the need for user adoption, security, backups and cloud management.
Happy New Year
P.S. Now is a good time to buy robot insurance before they replace us all.