‘Tis the season, and IT professionals everywhere are starting to think about the year in review and look ahead to 2014. As work environments continue to become increasingly social and distributed, the role of IT gets more complex -- and more important -- every year. Now more than ever, it’s critical for businesses of all sizes to protect their increasing amounts of data. In fact, 2.5 billion gigabytes of new data are created every day; 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years alone. Forrester predicts that Big Data will be a major driver of IT spending in 2014, growing faster than any other technology category. In light of that, here’s what IT folks have on their holiday wishlists this year:
1. A Truly Secure BYOD Environment
On the heels of the holiday shopping season, come January IT departments will be faced with employees who have purchased new devices that they plan to use at least partially for work. That’s the nature of our always-on culture today. And while this can be a boon to companies’ technology budgets - saving money that would otherwise go toward continual hardware modernization - it is also a security headache. It can be a real challenge to secure devices across a variety of platforms with different hardware, operating systems and security protocols. Not to mention the fact that these mobile devices, which house at least some sensitive company information, have high rates of loss/misplacement. As a result, it’s vital for IT departments to embrace BYOD and to provide employees with the necessary tools to put their devices to use safely and efficiently.
2. Seamless Synchronization
Companies working in the cloud have quickly recognized the importance -- and the challenge -- of synchronizing data across platforms. Particularly when it comes to remote workers and telecommuters, data should be accessible from anywhere at any time -- but it also needs to remain secure. Synchronization features should be fast, automated and complete to help employees go from their desks to the road to home, each time picking up right where they left off. With the proliferation of mobile devices and the increasing value of workers’ time, IT departments must ensure minimal time and productivity is lost when employees move from desktop to laptop to tablet. Data synchronization across all platforms is critical in 2014.
3. Sharing Tools Employees Will Actually Use
The ability to collaborate in the cloud is key to an agile workforce today. More and more companies are employing internal social networks, project planning dashboards and other digital collaboration tools. However, simply introducing a sharing tool doesn’t guarantee that employees will adopt it or use it as intended. IT workers frequently struggle to choose the right internal social tools, ones that will be low-maintenance and user-friendly while offering plenty of features and enough utility to make the transition worth it for employees. In 2014, IT will prioritize the search for collaboration tools that offer the best of all worlds.
4. Disaster-Proof Backup
Disaster can strike at any moment, so IT professionals need to have tools at their disposal that can prevent companies from losing massive amounts of valuable data. Whether it be a flood, fire or security breach, disasters can and will occur and IT is responsible for mitigating the damage to data and restoring systems to working order as quickly as possible. Choosing a flexible and sufficiently redundant backup system can turn IT personnel’s nightmares into a dream of simplicity and utility. No wonder it tops many IT wishlists.
What’s on your IT team’s holiday wishlist this year?
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 2,000 employees in 45 locations. Acronis Cyber Protect solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 18,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.