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5 business technology trends to watch this year

Business leaders who stay up to speed on IT trends can gain real competitive advantages. Greater efficiencies, enhanced customer service, increased profitability and even the ability to completely disrupt a given market are just a few examples.

We’re watching the IT industry and making predictions about how businesses will react. Here are five business technology trends business leaders should keep their eyes on in 2019:

1. Cybersecurity focused on the end-user

In recent years, businesses have been particularly vulnerable to ransomware and spear-phishing attacks. These attacks can only succeed if a member of an organization follows the cybercriminal’s request, whether opening a corrupt file or performing a particular action. So, even if networks are secure, businesses are still at risk if employees aren’t aware of how to identify potential cyberattacks.

Therefore, training staff to be on the lookout for attempted cybersecurity breaches will become an even bigger focus and a larger budget item for businesses. As a side note, we also expect to see an increase in proactive network security monitoring and threat detection, which is the collection, analysis and escalation of indications and warnings to detect and respond to intrusions. 

2. More IT outsourcing

IT is more complicated than ever before. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated, workforces are going remote, big data is playing an ever-important role in business strategy — just to name a few factors at hand. So, one of the business technology trends we’re expecting to see in 2019 is more outsourcing of IT and IT-related security. 

The difficulties of managing increasingly complex IT environments will lead to more small- and medium-sized businesses outsourcing their IT needs. Businesses unable to maintain a successful, secure IT infrastructure with an in-house team will look to managed service providers (MSPs) to fill this role. 

3. Increasing shift to co-managed IT services

Related to the above point, we expect to see more businesses seek support in the form of co-managed IT services.  

Many MSPs offer the all-or-nothing approach of fully managed IT solutions. However, not all businesses need to outsource their entire IT department. Businesses looking to manage a greater IT workload and complexities will need the flexibility to outsource as it makes sense, and that may mean outsourcing only part of the IT operation. Co-managed IT services allow for that flexibility, which is why we expect to see that service type increase next year.

4. Cloud to keep decentralizing IT support  

As predicted on our company blog last year, we expect to see businesses continue to increase use of web-based applications. And businesses with IT models that are largely or even fully based on the cloud are likely working with many different vendors. This can decentralize IT support, making it more difficult to ensure continuity, security and efficiency.

To address this issue, businesses will need to either hire a strong IT professional(s) in-house or work with an MSP to effectively manage these many vendor relationships and contracts. 

5. Artificial intelligence to aid decision making

Number five on our list of business IT trends to watch in 2019 involves artificial intelligence (AI). According to an article in Forbes, 80 percent of enterprises already have some form of AI — alike machine learning or deep learning — in production today. And 30 percent are planning to expand their AI investments over the next 36 months.

Businesses can use AI to inform marketing decisions, manage customer relationships, increase operational efficiencies and so much more. Businesses will continue to explore opportunities and experiment with AI to enhance business strategy and operations in the coming year. 

Michael DuhonBig Help Desk