IT Planning for 2021

Covid 19 has forced businesses to use the technology we’ve been evangelising about for years, it’s nothing new.

The results are often impressive, with companies reporting gains in productivity, lower overheads and employees really owning their roles with a more grown up and trusting approach to working.

While some still long for the good old days of the office and the social elements which come with it, many prefer the more flexible approach due to reduced travel, less stress travelling, lower expense and a better work / life balance.

What has changed is the way businesses need to manage their IT and workforce. Lockdown forced a rapid adoption of public cloud such as Teams, Dropbox, OneDrive and the Microsoft 365 cloud services which, on the face it work well but raise security concerns. There is a general lack of understanding of the risks, and the devices on which public cloud is accessed are often unmanaged / unsecured.

Public cloud is also a huge target for cybercrime. Microsoft are constantly fighting off attacks from all over the world looking for a weak link to expose. Most come via email, some obvious and easy to spot, some expertly crafted and often successful resulting in financial loss.

So the question for businesses is not what to use, but how to use it and manage it, evaluating the risks along the way. Services like MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) are on the rise. As my Technical Director famously said, “I could publish my username and password on my Facebook page, but no one would be able to use it for anything without access to my smartphone” We do not recommend this!

Private cloud services like Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) have also seen a huge uptake, delivering a more secure ecosystem and supporting the flexible working model perfectly. With MFA included, this model removes many of the challenges and delivers a secure, flexible working environment for the employees allowing growth and the customer to be the focus.

There’s no single answer, but there are a few obvious ones which should be deployed in order to reduce risk and deliver peace of mind.

If you’re looking for advice with IT planning, please feel free to get in touch with one of the cloud experts at Sentinel. We’re always happy to get involved!