Tue, December 5, 2017

What are your IT plans for 2018?

As 2017 is coming to a close, your organization is likely planning for 2018. Projects to be completed, projected revenues, budgeting, etc.  IT spend is likely a part of that planning. Although many companies do have an IT department, we have seen especially in the Manufacturing, Distribution, and Engineering space that this often falls in the lap of the CFO or Controller.  Does a server need to be replaced? Are you considering a new line of business application? Are you looking to move some of your on-premise infrastructure to the cloud?

In this blog, we will review 3 of the top trends that will continue into 2018.

Cyber Security

Cyber security has been one of the primary technology topics in 2017. With WannaCry, Petya, Bad Rabbit, and other variants of ransomware many organizations are looking to enhance their network security as a means of prevention and protection. Adding supplemental security services to your firewall, such as Advanced Threat Detection, Intrusion Detection/Protection, Malware & AV – is a highly recommended practice to harden your network security.

User education is by far the most important, yet most overlooked, aspect of cyber security. Centrality’s Cyber Security Awareness Training will decrease your organization’s overall phish-prone percentage as employees receive simulated phishing emails as well as security training modules. With phishing becoming more and more sophisticated, and email being the delivery method, your staff is constantly exposed.  In this article, Gartner reviews the top 5 Cyber Security Trends for 2017 and 2018.

Embracing the Cloud

“The cloud” to some people is an infamous term – equating to insecure, unknown, and costly. However, as more and more businesses are migrating to the cloud (and not just large enterprises) it is easy to see why. When facing large IT capital expenditures, like replacing a server or workstations, many companies look at how the cloud can cut down those costs. The cloud is not going away anytime soon, and is even trending to be a replacement for on-premise network infrastructure.

NetworkWorld describes the 5 cloud computing models to prepare for in 2018, and how the cloud may assist them in reaching their business objectives.

As-a-Service Models

In previous blog posts, we have defined some of the various as-a-service models. The one that most people are familiar with and are seeing a significant shift is in how we buy software, also known as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Companies like Adobe, QuickBooks, and even Microsoft are moving their customers to purchase their software in a per user, per month model. In the past, we have been accustomed to purchasing a license to use until it has reached the end of its lifecycle of support and upgrades. By purchasing software though “as-a-service,” typically this gives access to the latest and greatest version upgrades and in some cases technical support.

Desktop-as-a-Service is a newer technology, but one that will continue to gain traction especially as more and more organizations are moving to cloud environments. Desktop-as-a-Service refers to when a user’s desktop is offered virtually from a Data Center either from a web application or through Virtual Desktop Instance (VDI). Essentially, the “PC” is a dummy terminal – all data resides in the Data Center, that is transmitted back to the user through screenshots and keystrokes.

 

Centrality’s team of experts would be happy to assist you as your start planning your IT spend for 2018 – contact us today for a free consultation!