Windows 10 will feature, unlike Windows 8, the normal-looking start menu in the bottom-left corner of the screen. This is what we have become used to over the last 20 years. While Windows 10 is being designed to be usable on all devices, including tablets, one of Microsoft’s main goals this time around is to make it more usable on desktops and laptops.
Security on all devices, networks and in the cloud will continue to be a major concern.
Over the last year, we have heard or read about multiple large security breaches which have targeted financial or credit card data stored large at companies like Home Depot and Target. While these breaches may have made the biggest news, attacks on companies large and small by Cryptolocker or various Cryptolocker variants have hit many businesses and resulted in financial damage or data loss.
Company IT managers and consultant are continually searching for tools which can help the protect their systems and network. CryptoPrevent is one such tool. It comes in free and pay versions and I highly recommend downloading and installing this tool.
Eventually, I believe, the nature of online payment will change. Apple Pay and other payment systems will gain traction, as they make payment easier, but these new systems will be the target of hackers, too. It remains to be seen as to whether these new payment systems will be more secure than what is currently in place.
Google Apps offers integrated email, document storage and sharing and calendar and is as easy to use on a mobile device as on a PC or Mac. Many of my clients are using it now. Some are also taking advantage of integrated add-ons like Ganttic, which make managing a company schedule and resources even easier.
Office 365, from Microsoft, has many features similar to Google Apps. Major gains for Office 365 will be made with companies ditching Exchange Server entirely for Office 365 and the cloud. Company IT administrators will also start taking more advantage of Active Directory integration with Office 365, which will let them move more business functions to the cloud while maintaining the on-premise servers that they have already invested in.
Server 2015 will be released this year at about the same time that Windows 10 becomes available. The biggest improvements for Server 2015 will be in the virtualization arena.
More and more people will be using their phone or tables, rather than a desktop or laptop.
While this trend has been growing for several years, it is now putting real computing power in the palm of our hands. In the developing world, this is even more important. Most people there do not have affordable access to a computer and are now able to use the Internet without one.
IT will become harder to manage.While all of the above trends, from cloud computing to device proliferation and server consolidation, offer opportunities, these changes are also making it harder to manage everything while securing data and networks and moving business forward.
The takeaway: Find vendors that you can trust and communicate often with your IT consultant about your business goals and gameplan so that you can make everything work seamlessly and securely this year.