Because consumer technology is so ingrained in popular culture, it’s easy to know what’s trending – such as smartphones, social media, and smart home devices, as examples – but getting a sense of what’s hot in business tech can be a little trickier.
Often these powerful technologies are taking place behind the scenes, including software and services, designed to help companies streamline their practices, protect data, increase productivity, or save money.
If you’re curious about emerging business tech solutions, the following is a refresher on a few of the buzzwords to know about in 2019 and even in 2020.
Note: We’re going to skip tech like “5G” – the next generation in wireless networks -- as it still may be a while before we see it.
According to Forbes, 80 percent of enterprises already have some form of artificial intelligence (A.I.) -- folding in technologies like machine learning and natural-language processing – which helps to automate part of their business. SMBs, too, are looking to adopt these advanced and aptly-named “intelligent” platforms that can capture, organize, predict, and adapt on the fly. Between software (smart apps, cloud services, virtual assistants, speech-to-text/text-to-speech systems) and hardware (IoT devices, drones, robots, semi-autonomous cars), A.I. can be leveraged to inform marketing decisions, manage customer relationships, increase operational efficiencies, and more.
You’re busy running your company, and so you don’t have time to worry about all the changing IT considerations impacting day-to-day business needs. What’s more, cybercrime is on the rise, more and more data is being collected and analyzed, and workers are using personal devices and working remotely – and so many companies are outsourcing IT (and IT-related security) to managed service providers (MSPs) as opposed to (or augmenting) an in-house team.
Speaking of cybersecurity, not all tech trends are positive ones. According to Insureon and Manta, 61 percent of cyberattacks target SMBs, yet ironically, only 16 percent of small business owners think they’re at risk. Cyberattacks do not only translate to costly downtime, but there’s also a risk of data breaches that can impact your customers (while severely damaging your reputation in the process). From phishing scams (“socially engineered” threats) to ransomware and viruses, better software (including network threat and intrusion detection) and education are required in 2019.
Along with other (and related) phrases and acronyms like “big data” and “M2M” (machine-to-machine), Internet of Things (IoT) or Internet of Everything (IoE) is something you’ll hear a lot more about this year and next. As the name suggests, IoT refers to the fact that devices are beginning to talk to one another. Everything is connected, a near future full of sensors on virtually all items, and able to identify themselves to other devices. Imagine a restauranteur being immediately notified if a fridge has stopped working, thanks to an inexpensive temperature sensor.
Data and analytics
By upgrading systems and improving (or outsourcing) their capturing tools, businesses are collecting more and better data, which can then, in turn, be used to more succinctly understand your customers, and better market products or services to them. For example, who is your biggest consumer? Most profitable consumer? Untapped consumer? So long as the data is gathered professionally, transparently and securely, and interpreted correctly, “big data” insights are what’s powering smart business decisions. In other words, contrary to the old adage, ignorance isn’t bliss – data is.
Businesses began migrating to the cloud a while back – first, as a means to safely back up important corporate data and store it offsite, in order to protect local files from various threats – but increasingly, companies are ditching server rooms to completely run their operations in the cloud. It boils down to dollars and cents (sense), along with risk avoidance, time-to-market agility, scale, and continuity, to name other benefits. Businesses are leveraging cloud computing in one of three ways: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Have you registered for Partner Experience?
One of Ingram Micro’s biggest events is coming up! Be sure to hold your spot for Partner Experience 2019, which will take place on June 12th, 2019, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
Hear from high-calibre speakers who will share their knowledge of IT Security, including a keynote address delivered by Michael “MafiaBoy” Calce, a world-renowned hacker-turn-security consultant. Among other topics, he’ll discuss how to combat cybersecurity threats.
Also at Partner Experience is ConneXtion Experience – The Future of Retail, an area devoted to the latest retail tech; 10 interactive breakout sessions to choose from; an Exhibit Experience featuring more than 35 vendors; an SMB Alliance Lounge showcasing virtual reality (with Adobe) as well as leading companies including Dell EMC, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung; and to top off the day, a panel of tech experts to answer today’s pressing questions on technology today and tomorrow.
Register for Partner Experience 2019 here: https://cvent.me/kWKYo