We live in a era defined by ever-advancing cyber technology and web services. To keep up with the times, IT executives are prioritizing the following three initiatives for 2016:
- Cloud computing
Forbes magazine recently published a report predicting 80% of small businesses will be relying on cloud computing in the near future. It’s estimated that in two years’ time, over 60% of businesses will keep at least half of their infrastructure in the cloud. Already over 80% of businesses have a hybrid cloud strategy with nearly 90% using a public cloud while 63% are utilizing a private cloud as one of their web services.
If you aren’t already on this bandwagon, it’s time to learn about cloud computing services. With the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and unbeatable accessibility of cloud computing, everyone who’s anyone is bound to be plugged in sooner or later.
- Mobile devices
It’s no surprise mobile device initiatives make the top three list for 2016. Worldwide, mobile applications bring in a revenue of $35 billion. Apple’s App Store alone saw a download of over 75 billion mobile apps by June 2014. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on key opportunities. A full 40% of users will skip over a search result in favor of another if it isn’t mobile friendly. That same number will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load, according to eConsultancy.
Businesses have an average of 10 seconds to make an impression on website viewers before they risk losing them. That’s 10 seconds to capture their interest and tell them what they’ll get out of your site and why they should stay. Considering most web viewers only read a little over one-quarter of the content on a web page, this can place a lot of pressure on your website design. Not only does it need to be mobile-friendly, fast loading (three-seconds fast, remember) and eye-catching enough to pass the 10 second test, but it also needs to be intuitive. As many as 46% of mobile users complain of difficulties when interacting with a web page. Similarly, 44% listed navigation as one of those difficulties. If mobile users can’t get from Welcome to Buy Now quickly and easily, you’re in trouble.
It’s high standards such as these that have kept website designers in such high demand. These demands are also a reason over 80% of marketers plan to make increasing their website’s mobile conversion a top priority for their web services optimization programs.
Speaking of phones, some signs are pointing towards phone lines becoming a thing of the past. Research forecasts that by this time next year, there will be over 1 billion VoIP users. In dollars, that forecast will equal a combined $74.5 billion increase between home and business users. This shift isn’t all that surprising when you think about the increasing demands for mobility in today’s economy. With a lower cost than your traditional phone service and the ability to tap in anywhere you have internet, some businesses are turning their call centers loose with work-from-anywhere-there’s-internet VoIP phone solutions.
As way we store information is shifting from hardware to software, so too must the methods we use to protect it adapt. A study conducted in 2013 reported an average of 82,000 new malware threats each day that year. That’s over 29 million new threats in the course of one year. Coincidentally, a separate report stated that one-fifth of the malware that has ever existed was created in 2013. Apparently 2013 was a busy year for cyber attacks.
Even if your business survived the cyber plague of 2013, a cyber security assessment may be a prudent addition to your 2016 agenda. With the recent storms this winter has brought down on us, having backup disaster recovery solutions in place would also be wise. Cyber security protection in all its forms is certainly on the top three list for a majority of IT executives this year.
With an almost even one-third split, cloud computing, mobile services, and security have topped the list of initiatives for IT executives in 2016. Already two months in, it may be time to reevaluate some of your web services in anticipation of the cyber-ific year to come.