A big year with big stories
Well, folks, it’s the end of 2014. As I’ve said before, it’s been a really big year for Cimpl. As a company, we’ve won awards, acclaim, and attention. We are very grateful for everyone’s support in helping us reach this level of success, and we thanked everyone (in 15 languages) with a holiday video!
Now, we don’t exist in a vacuum. Our triumphs happened against a backdrop of really big moments inthe world of IT. All of these huge events touched us as a company in some way, and it’s worth taking a quick look back at 4 really big IT stories from 2014.
1. Bugs. Big, big bugs.
2014 was quite the year for world-spanning security issues. Now, there have been huge internet threats in the past (recall the Y2K scare from 2000?), but I honestly don’t know that we’ve ever had this many major worldwide computer scares in just one year.
In 2014, we talked about the Heartbleed bug, the Shellshock bug, the Poodlebleed bug, and the Misfortune Cookie bug – all vulnerabilities that opened up the bulk of computers and networks in the world to very easy hacking. And the problems that each posed were so huge that they all got massive air time in the media so that as many people as possible could make sure their computers were secure.
But these “big name” bugs were only a portion of the many problems faced by computer owners and users the world over. Computer security has gotten so bad that the FBI is actively recruiting “ethical hackers” to help them find and plug security holes. With the constant increases in IT purchases by consumers and businesses alike, things will get worse before they get better.
On our end, I’m happy to say that Cimpl's software and solutions were free from all of these bugs, and we’re going to keep on being vigilant to keep it that way!2. The nonstop rise of BYOD and related mobile device issues.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a policy practiced by many firms, whether they know it or not. BYOD means that employees use their own phones, tablets, and the like for work purposes. Many companies allow it, but even among those who don’t, there are many employees who sneak in their own devices regardless.
BYOD is getting bigger – a number of surveys in 2013 and 2014 tell us BYOD will keep rising worldwide. The problem, of course, is that BYOD is a big security challenge. Using standardized security solutions under BYOD is hard, making companies’ internal data more exposed.
BYOD has also gotten so big that the law had to give guidance. In 2014, a California court stepped in and required employers to pay for a portion of the fees on employees’ BYOD plans.
And speaking of courts, we got two distinct 2014 Supreme Court rulings on the privacy of data found on mobile devices. The US Supreme Court says that police can’t search this data (at least, not without extra warrants) whereas Canada’s Supreme Court says cops can search it with no warrants.
It’s become more crucial than ever for employers to take a hard look at what to allow on mobile devices. There really is a lot to know about the pros and cons of BYOD. Figure out the BYOD challenges in your company sooner rather than later!
We’ve now hit a point where software and internet connectivity have gotten so good that many business functions can be outsourced to remote service providers. It’s an age of technological innovations, where we can have just about “everything as a service (XaaS)”.
Big companies like Microsoft and Google are leading the way by offering a lot of software under a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, whereas smaller firms focus on specific functions such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).
Good providers of such as-a-service models offer great value for money. That said, the jump to cloud computing means that it’s more crucial than ever to watch out for:
- Data loss;
- Account hacking; and
- Non-secure APIs.
One of the trends that crept up on us is the fact that departments other than IT are spending some real money on technology. Now, the IT department still handles most IT assets and services. That said, we can’t ignore the fact that everyone else is starting to have a say as well.
The key to making the most of this decentralization is to embrace it. That’s the way to work smarter. Find ways for all units to strategize on the best use of IT resources. IT is always going to know the most about technology itself, but other departments have unique insights about the way in which staff use IT resources.
For example, while the IT folks would know which technology would be best suited for the company’s purposes, the procurement department would be able to help IT get this equipment at the best price (it’s their job to get the best deals on purchases, after all). This is, as I said, just one example. Every unit has a role to play – by working together, the whole company will work smarter!
So those were some of the biggest IT stories in 2014. Some of them (such as bugs and the cloud) will most likely become even bigger events in 2015, and we should keep an eye on those developments. In any case, the march of technological progress is going to keep on enhancing business on all fronts; exciting times ahead!
On a smaller level, the number of you out there who have been coming back week after week to read Cimpl's blog grew by a wide margin in 2014, and I thank you all for your interest. 2015 will be even better for blogging. I promise!
And with that, Cimpl – Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management – wishes you all a Happy New Year!