Note: This document, while intended to inform our clients about the current data privacy and security challenges experienced by IT companies in the global marketplace, is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to endorse a specific course of action. For advice on your specific situation, consult your legal counsel.
In the year since GDPR took effect, regulators have given millions of reasons to take it seriously: $57 million to be exact, the amount Google was fined back in January. And though the world’s largest internet company was the first to be fined, small businesses have faced the most difficulties.
GDPR‘s biggest impact, however, has been its role in fundamentally altering the conversation about data privacy.
By 2030, IT’s primary focus will shift to providing strategic business value by delivering innovative products and services. However, traditionally siloed and process-driven IT departments are not well suited for the speed and adaptability needed to take advantage of emerging digital business opportunities.
This means that IT and business strategy must be aligned to boost the responsiveness and agility that will be required to compete in the future. This can be accomplished by embracing collaborative management techniques and increasing autonomy among IT staff. To build context for the future of IT, here are a few of my predictions for information technology in the year 2030:
Service desk versus help desk: Tomāto, tomáto or apples and oranges?
In the past, the two terms were used interchangeably, and in many cases they still are. However, they can connote two different ideas depending on who you’re talking to. Knowing the ways in which they are different can prevent businesses from buying too much software or overstating their capabilities.
Ask your IT staff about it and they’ll probably call it the “service desk,” but when employees have a problem, they’ll probably say “call the help desk.”
To add some anecdotal evidence, I asked two friends, each of whom have spent their entire careers in IT management, to give me their first reactions to the question:
“What’s the difference between a help desk and a service desk?”
—“Well, honestly I’d expect a service desk to be more useful. Help desk has picked up negative connotations. Helpless desk …”
—“I’m not even sure what the difference is … here at ‘Big Box Retailer’ we call our help desk the Technology Support Center.”
Well that clears that up.
Too many businesses have old desktops stuffed into closets, decommissioned servers sitting in a warehouse, or useless CRT monitors taking up space in a storage locker across town. As technology evolves faster and faster, companies pile up ever-increasing piles of obsolete IT assets.
In recent years, cloud storage and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that store data off site have rendered many onsite storage devices bulky and unnecessary. Desktops have been replaced by laptops and tablets. Even the utilitarian flash drive has been usurped by cloud-based solutions such as Dropbox.
Getting rid of old computers and other IT assets involves risk to intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and the environment. Small businesses must create a process that ensures IT assets are dispositioned in a manner that maximizes data security while minimizing environmental impact.
So how do I get rid of all these old computers?
One option is to hire an IT asset disposition (ITAD) vendor. These companies take end-of-life IT assets, securely delete any stored data, and dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner. While this might seem like an easy choice, you must choose a reputable company and consider a range of factors including transportation and data destruction practices. We’ll come back to ITAD options later in the piece.
While consumer internet of things (IoT) devices such as smart thermostats and fitness trackers have garnered much of the media’s attention, the internet of things has been quietly optimizing business operations around the world. In fact, according to a recent GSMA study, the number of internet of things endpoints used for business operations will surpass the consumer market by 2025.
Business IoT has shown promising results: A recent Gartner survey found that 80 percent of companies that have implemented IoT technology feel that their return on investment has been better than expected (report available to clients).