Planning for 4 Key 2015 Technology Challenges Posted on November 6, 2014 by Tim Burke Four technologies will very likely impact your business in 2015 — whether or not you explicitly consider them in your planning. Which is to say, ignore them at your peril: 1. Employees want their BYOD I’ve delved into this recently (here and here), so I’ll cut to the chase: whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not, your employees are using their own mobile devices for work — and they won’t be stopping any time soon. As you look ahead to 2015, ask: Will our BYOD solution be able to scale to meet demand? Are our wireless and IT infrastructures ready? Which solution is better for us — on-premise or Cloud? Are our security solutions and policies ready? 2. What kind of Cloud is right for you? The economics of cloud computing are irresistible — especially for smaller enterprises with limited IT resources. Unless your business is very unusual, the question you face now is not if you’ll use cloud services, but rather what kind and how many. To plan for 2015, ask: What type of Cloud(s) should we deploy — private, public, or hybrid? On-site, hosted, or a combination? Which workloads should be where? And what are their performance requirements? Is our IT infrastructure ready for the Cloud? How should our Clouds be connected? What sorts of management tools will we need? Are our security solutions and policies ready? 3. Please tell me that data got backed up You cannot recover what you didn’t back up. And it’s frighteningly easy to underestimate the reach and effectiveness of your backup/recovery plan, especially if you’ve been deploying new apps, adding cloud services, virtualizing a data center, or coping with data mobility issues. Get ready for 2015 by asking: Is our backup/recovery plan truly ready for primetime now that we use virtual machines, cloud services, and mobile apps? Do we update our backup/recovery plan — including reviewing RTO and RPO metrics — whenever we make configuration changes? Have we automated recovery testing yet? 4. Did you say ‘security breach’? Almost daily, tales emerges about websites compromised, data records stolen, privacy obliterated, and reputations destroyed. Clearly, yesterday’s perimeter-focused security strategies are no longer sufficient to protect your business. You need to ask: Do we have a security policy that’s aligned with our business objectives? Is anyone watching our security devices 24×7 for alerts? Have we encrypted our data, no matter where it is? Is our security strategy holistic, dynamic, threat-centric, and able to provide continuous 24/7 visibility and response across today’s full attack continuum? Have we deployed tools that can deliver realtime analyses of suspicious activity? Have we deployed mobile device management capabilities? Unless you can afford an entire staff of IT professionals with substantial depth of expertise, addressing 2015’s technology challenges can be daunting. It’s important to be able to rely on an experienced, skilled, vendor-neutral technology advisor you can trust to take the time to assess, understand, and respond to both your technical and business needs.