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This list is originally posted in this article by Michael Gold on Entrepreneur.com. He notes that worrisome trends in 2014 such as businesses juggling too many cloud apps, too many people having access to these apps, and passwords being far too weak, will lead to five specific challenges that business will face in 2015. Whether you're a contractor in any area of IT or you're involved in business decisions in another area of an organization, you'll want to pay attention to this list and reference it when making recommendations to clients:
1. Extremely high reliability will no longer be a luxury.
According to Intuit, 37 percent of SMBs are already fully cloud adopted. For any business that relies on the cloud for mission-critical services, the classic 99.9 percent uptime guarantee is no longer enough-not when that amounts to 8 hours of downtime a year. Look for 99.999 percent uptime (which promise less than 26 seconds of downtime a month) to be the new standard.
2. The cost of litigation will make compliant archiving the new norm.
Most businesses associate compliant archiving with HIPAA and SOX. But archiving will become essential for all businesses, not just regulated businesses. That's because compliant archiving slashes the mounting burden of eDiscovery (a 2014 report by eDiscovery.com found an average of 479 GB collected in eDiscovery projects prior to filtering and processing). This isn't just email archiving, though-chat transcripts, too, for example, will also need to be archived to protect your company.
3. Businesses will begin to take the ex-employee menace seriously.
In September, the FBI warned that "disgruntled and former employees pose a significant cyber threat to US businesses." The question is: will businesses institute rigorous access auditing and offboarding policies before the inevitable headline-grabbing hack?
4. Administrators will look for opportunities to consolidate providers.
If the average of 14 cloud apps per SMB are all sourced from different providers, that means there are 14 separate vendors to pay, 14 control panels to manage, 14 support teams to work with, and so on. It will become increasingly important for companies to consolidate providers to more effectively manage their entire cloud.
5. Companies will take control over data on mobile devices.
According to SMB Group, 83 percent of SMBs have deployed mobile apps to improve productivity. Imagine how much corporate data now lives on personal phones and tablets. Businesses will recognize the need for mobile device management-and will embrace apps that don't just sync data across devices, but make it simple for administrators to both remotely wipe data as well as to restore it when devices are lost or stolen.