Trying to follow IT trends can feel like a full-time job. Every day feels like it brings a new massive development for the industry. How do you know when it makes sense to adopt new tech? Listen to the experts!
A recent Make IT article outlines what they see as the five new trends in information technology that businesses should be adopting in 2016-17. Here are some of the solutions they recommended, with our advice for what they can mean for you and the next steps you should continue taking.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
AR/VR aren’t just for gamers and fodder for Black Mirror episodes. They offer a unique opportunity to put your audience in control of your products or services – or at least give the impression of that. They’re a great way to give people a first-person point-of-view. Whether it’s a virtual tour around your facilities or machinery simulation, AR/VR can help you tell your stories better. There’s also plenty of opportunity for internal use, specifically with training. As Make IT puts it, “AR and VR technologies may forever reshape B2B and B2C experiences.”
Next Steps: Get your head in the game – or at least in the headset. Acquainting yourself with the tech is the best way to understand just how immersive it is. An IT consulting firm can help you get a demo and walk you through the process. From there, it’s time to start brainstorming. AR/VR are great because they open your business up to virtually any idea (no pun intended). This isn’t your old Virtual Boy. This is a great business opportunity.
Hybrid Cloud Adoption
At this point, you might be exhausted from everyone telling you about how great the cloud is. But it’s a point that’s worth belaboring. More specifically, you should be thinking about adopting a hybrid public and private cloud solution. You want the public cloud for scalability and flexibility but the private cloud gives you tighter security and allows you better customization. This isn’t a “blue pill or red pill” situation; you can have it both ways.
Next Steps: To get the right “blend”, you’ll want to bring in the right talent. Many businesses and decision makers get understandably overwhelmed with the vastness of the cloud. You’ll need to make a detailed implementation strategy, including how to train your team and get them up to speed. Partnering with an IT support firm can help with that.
As technology advances, so do hackers. A robust corporate cyber-security solution is becoming more and more crucial to adopt. This is especially true for businesses that handle sensitive client information. To protect yourself and your customers, you need sophisticated resources that go beyond what Make IT calls “out-of-the-box systems”.
Next Steps: This is a prime example of where customization is key. Your business has unique needs that a stock service might not meet. Bring in an expert to assess your needs and security weaknesses you might not even be aware of yet. You never want to need cyber-security, but you’ll be glad you have it in dire situations.
Internet of Things Adoption
Much like The Force, the Internet of Things (IoT) is “all around us”. Any device with an IP address and has wireless communication falls under the umbrella of IoT. Now that’s extending even beyond mobile to wearable tech and smart cars. So, in a way, you’re already somewhat adopted into IoT by default, but the real draw here is the potential it has – specifically with wearable tech. Make IT specifically calls out how department stores could use electronic point-of-sale devices to help customers by products on the spot instead of sending them to the cashier.
Next Steps: There’s no catch-all next step here. What it does require, though, is creative thinking. More and more businesses are going to be expected to have some sort of mobile and wearable tech strategy. Now is the time to work with a professional to discuss what options might be good for you. This is an investment and we know that you don’t want to drop loads of money for something that’s gimmicky or just a flavor of the month. The key is finding a sustainable option that streamlines your business in some way and an IT specialist can help you find that.
On the job training can sometimes feel like trying to drink from a firehouse. Much like this classic scene from Weird Al’s UHF.
While training new and current employees can be overwhelming, it’s necessary. But there’s a better way. Mobile learning, aka mLearning, lets your employees use their own mobile devices to absorb bite-sized content on-demand. Not just that, but it also keeps users up to speed with updates as they come in. This is particularly useful for companies with remote employees.
Next Steps: Start by planning ahead for what your next training session might be. In fact, it would be great for any of the other items on this list. From there, you can work with your IT specialist on building out a comprehensive module that’s paced for your business.
There are loads and loads of IT trends to consider, but these are a great start. Most importantly, remember that you’re not alone. ISOutsource is at the ready to help you stay current and meet the ever-changing needs of your industry. Whether it’s working together through the cloud or just assessing where you’re at, we’re ready to help you get started.