Necessity may be the mother of invention, but if the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it is that reinvention, or the ability to reinvent technology to transform how a business operates, is vital to survival. The pandemic dramatically accelerated the need and development of new digital capabilities for companies to remain viable and competitive.
What new IT technologies will become even more prevalent in 2021? MHO suggests that businesses keep watching for new and improved IT tech that will help businesses stay relevant in our new post-pandemic world. Below are some major areas where advancements can be expected.
Working from home has been thrust into the mainstream way of doing business because of the pandemic. And, due to its recognized benefits, it is likely here to stay. Companies with a remote workforce will need to stay on top of these work-from-home tech applications.
Mobile Hardware Tools - Your at-home workforce will still need the same basic tools they required in the office: namely, a computer (at least a laptop), smartphone, and Internet access. Some other tools can include a secure network connection, printers, copiers, and peripherals.
Communication/Collaboration Tools - Your work-from-home employees must stay connected and work together to accomplish their tasks. More than just email and VoIP, modern work typically requires chat, videoconferencing, and file sharing applications to keep everyone on the same page.
Project Management Tools - Project management tools keep everyone abreast of ongoing projects and their particular tasks, timeframes, problems, and other related goals. Project management can be a breeze with the right tools to facilitate assigning and facilitating work to employees.
Employee Performance Tools - Remote workers present a challenge for measuring performance, but the right employee performance tools can help you measure time spent on projects and other variables to ensure the best productivity and cost-effective working practices.
Cyber Security Tech
Closely related to the above section on working remotely is technology to enhance cyber security. Remote workers that need access to sensitive personal or company information require robust security to block hackers and unauthorized access to vital data. With only 24% of companies meeting the necessary cybersecurity standards in 2020, emerging technology in this area is vitally important and should be near the top of your list for 2021.
Multi-factor Authentication - The more factors required to authenticate users, the better your data and network security. Multi-factor authentication, using at least unique usernames, passwords, and specific data, is the first line of defense to protect your sensitive data.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) - Thess encrypted networks between remote users and your system are also basic security protocols that should be implemented and constantly monitored. Many technologies exist for creating a VPN, and your employees should be educated on its use and importance.
Real-time Security Monitoring - Active monitoring of your network is necessary to detect and prevent malicious intrusions as they occur. Closing the barn door after the horses have all escaped is too little, too late in today’s environment. Numerous options for real-time security monitoring exist and are easily adapted to your network.
Cyber Security Software - Firewall security software, antivirus, anti-malware, and other blocking software for cyber security are essential components in a multi-faceted security strategy. Many products exist and are continually being updated to protect against the latest threats.
Confidential Computing - This technology is growing in popularity as an additional layer for effective cyber security. It involves encrypting the entire computing process, not just your sensitive data. These additional layers of security around sensitive information will become the norm for cyber security.
While this area of IT development can be somewhat confusing, in practice it is simple. Headless tech is any technology that separates the head, or front-end controlling aspect, from the back-end delivery component. Streamlining the consumer experience is the goal, and removing any restrictive templates or strategies is the methodology. These technologies allow such capabilities as:
- Shopping Cart
- Product Info
- Special Promotions
- Merchant Tools
- Consumer Accounts
All these are accessed through a variety of customer entry points via API, website, app, social media, and more. Separate content for every siloed experience is a thing of the past; now your business only has content and data that is adaptable for whatever channel the user uses to interact at a moments notice.
Edge computing takes its name from technology that allows many informational processes to be handled on the “edge” of the total user experience, or right on the device in hand, instead of further away in the cloud. By sending less data and doing more work at the device, users preserve bandwidth and increase efficiency.
A prime example of edge computing is a device that processes video instead of transmitting raw video surveillance data to a remote location for processing. Less data is sent, because the device performs the actual processing, sending only the processed data for use or storage. The transactional back-and-forth that causes latency is eliminated, or at least reduced, saving time and capacity. Reduced data transfers also make for better security, with fewer opportunities for hacking or interception.
As networks struggle from data and processing overload, materially fed by more remote working opportunities and more data-driven commerce, look for more products to adopt edge computing to ease the load and speed up the pace of business and data transactions.
MHO provides high-speed communications and networking solutions for a variety of industries and businesses. Call 877 WANT MHO or message us online to ask about high performance Internet solutions that help your business thrive in 2021.