Discover critical technology needs your business should consider in 2020, including software, cybersecurity, authentication and employee training needs.
In 2020, companies need to pay attention to several important technology issues that can play a key role in their business success. Impending deadlines for software changes, the growing need for productivity via cloud solutions, and the continuing importance of cybersecurity are all critical needs for businesses at the start of the Roaring 2020s.
What Software Upgrades Does My Business Need in 2020?
The most critical software issue for businesses in 2020 is the end of Windows 7. The operating system that has been a Microsoft mainstay for years will continue to operate. However, as of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer issue updates or patches for the product, meaning the operating system will be increasingly vulnerable to attacks. Microsoft is also halting support for Windows Server 8.
Windows 8 users will be similarly affected; mainstream support stopped in January 2018 and its end of life comes in 2023.
Upgrading to Windows 10 makes sense for businesses that have been slow to heed the reports of the impending Windows 7 demise.
Other software programs that are going away in 2020 include:
- Adobe Flash (December 31, 2020)
- Windows Visio (Sharepoint version, September 30, 2020)
- Adobe Magento 1 (June 2020)
What Is Multifactor Authentication?
One password is no longer enough for many software programs and cloud-based applications. Your business should invest in multifactor authentication to keep devices, people, and data protected.
Multifactor authentication uses two or more types of verification to gain access to accounts, apps, data or systems. Usually, they involve using a known (to the user) verification method, such as a password, in addition to an unknown method, such as a code that is texted, emailed or phoned to the person requesting access.
Multifactor authentication adds a degree of difficulty to those seeking access while adding another layer of security. Companies should consider using this verification method widely and training employees on what it is, how it works and why it’s necessary.
How Can I Protect Employees from Cyberattacks?
Phishing attacks, malware and spam are increasingly common annoyances that can have dire consequences. Data theft and ransomware attacks are increasingly on the rise. You can combat these issues in several ways:
- Invest in automated anti-malware, anti-phishing and anti-spam software that updates regularly to counter emerging threats.
- Use content filters to prevent network users from accessing suspect websites.
- Review, revise and develop data security policies
- Adopt regular cybersecurity awareness training for all employees and other network users
How Can Microsoft Office 365 Benefit My Business?
Business today demands tools that allow for access to information and apps no matter where employees are. As workforces evolve and mobile employees become more the norm, productivity tools like Microsoft Office 365 are a smart choice. The solution includes cloud-based versions of the most popular Microsoft Office apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, allowing access no matter where employees are or what device they’re using.
Among the other benefits of Office 365 are:
- Advanced threat protection
- Reduced infrastructure costs with cloud-based Active Directory services
- Security controls for mobile devices, such as printing and copying restrictions on mobile devices
- Streamlined onboarding of new computers and automated updates
- Unique functionality exclusive to the cloud versions of Office apps
How Do We Incorporate IT Planning into Business Planning?
For your company to thrive in 2020 and beyond, you want to incorporate strategic IT planning and budgeting with broader business planning processes. Staying informed about technologies and their impact on business outcomes keeps your business ahead of competitors and in sync with customer expectations.
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