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technology


What can we expect in the world of business tech in 2021?


The challenges of 2020 saw many organisations embrace cloud- based IT systems, remote working and videoconferencing technologies for the first time, writes Tim Walker, MD, Aura Technology


For many, this was a change forced by necessity – but as a result, working life will never be the same again.


This transformation brings huge opportunities, along with some risks. So what can we expect in the world of business IT in 2021 and beyond?


We’ll continue to work from home – but everywhere else too


Many of us have experienced productivity and lifestyle benefits in being able to work from home but have also missed colleagues, our work environments and social interactions.


The widespread adoption of cloud technology means we can have our cake and eat it too, with a blend of remote and office working becoming the norm for many.


In the IT industry this is referred to as ‘anywhere operations’ and it means remote working is not limited to home working – it becomes a seamless experience enabling the end user to pick up documents, emails and work chat wherever they happen to be.


Your IT strategy should focus on the collaboration and productivity benefits this can bring, as well as ensuring you have best-in-class security measures in place to prevent unauthorised access.


Living on the edge


Cloud computing has revolutionised the way we work, holding information in servers that are accessed remotely by our computers and devices. However, it can have limitations where speed and instant access to data are required.


This is where ‘edge computing’ comes into play. This intelligently brings some aspects of data processing and storage closer to devices, rather than relying on a central location. Tasks that need to be processed quickly may be managed on the device itself, while less immediate tasks are dealt with on cloud servers.


This can also be helpful when working in locations less well-served by internet connectivity, allowing the most important tasks to be handled locally.


Lower hardware costs


Businesses working under the ‘anywhere operations’ model can take advantage of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). In this way, desktop environments are hosted on a central server, and most of the processing is server-based.


VDI access can be gained from anywhere using devices including personal PCs, mobiles and tablets. This means cheaper hardware can be used to access company servers which do the heavy lifting – saving on IT costs, especially for organisations with large numbers of users.


More intelligent threats


2020 gave opportunistic cybercriminals new ways to target businesses and individuals, such as Covid-related phishing. In 2021, they will become more sophisticated.


Look out for AI-enabled attacks which involve hackers building programs, like chatbots, that can mimic human behaviour. When used on websites or in emails, they may look legitimate so unwitting employees can unwittingly give up personal or company information, putting data at risk.


Mobile threats rocketed in 2020 because our smartphones are an easy way into workflow systems for the user, but can also leave a door open for hackers. Platforms which manage and enforce corporate security policies are vital to keep crucial information safe.


THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021


5G


5G technology has had a slow start, but it will be of huge interest to anyone who has struggled with working from home on a domestic broadband connection. It will effectively bring superfast broadband to everyone, through the mobile network. With high-capacity connectivity even in the busiest areas, businesses will benefit from faster, secure connections for document collaboration, high-speed downloads and video chat.


VoIP


Video calling is here to stay, but many employers have also found themselves looking into cloud-based telephony systems.


VoIP (standing for Voice over Internet Protocol) technology is flexible, secure and has in-built disaster recovery to ensure you can connect to your telephony system no matter where you’re working from. As long as you have access to a computer or smart device and Wi-Fi or 4G/5G, you’re connected. Better still, it can be customised entirely around your business needs – for instance by directing calls to wherever staff happen to be when the phone rings.


Tim Walker


Talk to Aura Technology about the future of your business


The team at Aura Technology work extensively in the mid-market private and public sectors, implementing strategic IT solutions that are flexible and tailored to business objectives.


auratechnology.com


03333 208 601 tim.walker@auratechnology.com


businessmag.co.uk 11


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