Cloud

Work smarter in 2016: Focus on these three IT topics

If your IT department is being asked to do more with less, Jesus Vigo says these technologies are the ones to watch.

Image: iStock

In order for your IT team to be more efficient in 2016, they should focus their attention and efforts on three big league technologies. This is the tech that will continue to revolutionize how IT is managed as well as the industries that IT services.

Remember to assess your enterprise's current and projected future needs for equipment or services and compare that information to industry standards before making final tech decisions.

Virtualization (servers)

When a new server was needed, the standard solution was to order or cobble together a $10,000 - $40,000 server. Those days are mostly over. Virtual machines (VMs) have changed how servers are purchased, licensed, maintained, integrated, and managed.

The VM trend is gaining a greater following due its ROI from various avenues. The savings from less equipment, less power consumption, and fewer service agreements add up to easier management of physical and virtual servers. Consolidated servers usually require better infrastructure to handle the various incoming/outgoing data requests and fine-tune control of the resources allotted to servers without the need for purchasing expensive upgrade kits or experiencing downtime.

With VMware and Microsoft doubling down on vSphere and Hyper-V, respectively, to run server infrastructures and consolidations of eight physical servers into two or maybe three servers, virtualization is past being considered a trend and is now a full-fledged industry movement.

Cloud-based services

The cloud and the vendors providing cloud-based services seem to offer anything to offset everything going to the cloud. Multi-factor authentication and federation services? Check. Backups for one or all of your company devices? Certainly — this was one of the first big pushes to the cloud. Computing and infrastructure? You're covered by Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Depending on the industry, cloud computing, PaaS, IaaS, SaaS, backups, and any other manner of cloud-based service may not be wholly available to you since certain regulations are placed on how data is managed and stored. But the trade-offs to using cloud services are shrinking, as the cloud becomes a fixture in IT departments worldwide.

Security

Cyberattacks and cyberespionage are on the rise. With such highly coordinated attacks occurring more frequently, companies from all industries must increase their security defenses, monitoring, and remediation or else face the fallout of a successful hacking attempt, the likes of which expose enterprises to civil liability, media scrutiny, and loss of profits.

Begin with malware protection on all computers — and yes, that includes Apple machines. Mobile devices should also be configured for security and patch remediation. Network-wide protections must include properly configured and secured infrastructure, including firewalls and intrusion prevention and detection systems. Physical controls such as guards, tokens, and HID badges limit access to restricted areas. Finally, end-user education and training should be carried out and updated regularly in order to maximize security and mitigate risks as much as possible.

What would you add to this list?

What tech is your enterprise planning to adopt in 2016? What do you predict will be the next big innovation in IT, and should it be on this list? Sound off in the comments.

Also see

About

Jesus Vigo is a Network Administrator by day and owner of Mac|Jesus, LLC, specializing in Mac and Windows integration and providing solutions to small- and medium-size businesses. He brings 15 years of experience and multiple certifications from seve...

Editor's Picks