2018 is nearly gone, and it is time to start thinking ahead to what 2019 will bring. Tolar Systems always provides predictions of what the big IT trends are for each year, and 2019 is no different. Keep reading for what we think will be important in the coming year:
Cyber security and mobile/Internet of Things (IoT) devices—As internet-connected devices become more popular, small and medium size businesses are under pressure to update their cybersecurity. This is why at Tolar Systems, we offer Complete Security. We think cybersecurity is quickly becoming one of the top concerns SMBs face. Here are a few of our cybersecurity predictions for the coming year.
- We suspect that ransomware will continue to be a major concern for SMBs, as ransomware attacks against smaller companies continued to increase throughout 2018. Ransomware attacks against enterprise organizations, on the other hand, may begin to taper off as cybercriminals turn their attentions to easier prey.
- Data protection policies will continue to be driven by the general public’s sentiment on privacy. Compliance with privacy regulations that require organizations to protect customer data will be of increasing importance to SMBs as they grow; particularly those that handle sensitive medical, financial or personally identifying information.
- Proactive, rather than reactive cybersecurity – such as that offered by Tolar Systems’ Complete Security – may soon become an industry standard. Microsoft is on the verge of rolling out its Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) solution, a cloud-based email filtering service that filters malware and protects against zero-day attacks. This product is available to all Office365 customers and will become available to all Microsoft product users in 2019, making ATP an industry standard.
AI and machine learning—Although utilizing AI in a small business sounds high tech, the truth is that there are many ways that small businesses are already using this technology. For example, some small businesses are using chatbots that can learn how to respond to customer service inquiries. Machine learning can help make product recommendations on e-commerce sites. We see this becoming more common even among SMBs in the coming year.
Cloud computing—Cloud services are a major focus here at Tolar Systems and we predict they will continue to impact SMBs in a big way in 2019. One of the coming trends we see on the horizon are “connected clouds” that customize cloud deployments so that small businesses can access any combination of public, private or hybrid clouds, depending on their business needs.
Big data and analytics—The trend toward connected devices allows small businesses to collect a lot of data, but analyzing that data can be tough. AI is being used here, too, to help dive into the data. How might small businesses take advantage of using AI to analyze data in 2019? One way is leveraging the analytics tools that are being developed for many of the cloud-based applications that SMBs use every day. Cloud applications like MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics and others are using AI to leverage their user data and make their products more user friendly.
Smart places and products—Smart offices and businesses are a real-life application of the IoT that is happening in many small businesses right now. Some examples of how small businesses are using the IoT in their business models:
- Security—Devices like Ring can control who has access to your business space, sensitive information and equipment by allowing you to control access to your business from anywhere using your phone.
- Environmental control—Phillips Hue, Nest and other devices allow you to control lights, heating and cooling all from your phone.
- Payments—Apps like Square act as mobile point of sale cash registers, allowing you to quickly, easily and digitally track all of your transactions.
- Reception bots—Rather than paying a sole employee to provide reception duties, business guests can have an enhanced experience by checking into the office using an automated touchscreen system. And you save money on payroll.
2018 Prediction Results
For 2018, Tolar Systems predicted that security was going to be a big issue, and that has certainly been true, and will continue to be a big issue. Virtualization is happening, but not making headlines. Everything as a service is also happening. At Tolar Systems, we introduced security and telephony as services.
Small business owners are definitely cyber crime targets. Forty-three percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, and 60 percent of those businesses close within six months of a cyber attack. For those companies that do not fold up, they spend more than $875,000 because of damage or theft of IT assets.
Do not let your small business be the next victim. There are ways to protect your small business from cyber attacks. For more information on to stay ahead of IT trends for your small business, contact Tolar Systems today.