From science fiction to fortune cookies, people have always been interested in what’s going to happen in the future.
Some of these predictions have been way off (we’re *just a little bit* disappointed that it’s 2023 and we STILL don’t have hoverboards like they ride in Back to the Future!).
But some science fiction has now become science fact. The world of technology is changing and advancing at break-neck speed, and it’s going to be very interesting to see where things lead.
So what’s going to be important for businesses to know going forward? How can a company get equipped to face the coming challenges?
Here are the top ten things that WE think will shape the future of IT.
Top 10 Trends and Predictions for the Future of IT
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have absolutely exploded onto the tech scene. But before you think, “Yeah… Nope. I’ve seen The Terminator movies,” don’t let fear of this technology hold you back from harnessing its benefits. Like a calculator, AI is a tool that can make things quicker and easier.
And the truth is, AI is here to stay — and more and more businesses are using it to get a competitive edge.
There’s tremendous potential for small businesses to use AI to save money, improve efficiency, make better decisions, and be more secure. Features like chatbots can answer routine questions from customers 24/7, allowing your staff to focus on other tasks. AI can take care of repetitive, time-consuming tasks like inventory, data entry, and invoicing.
Self-service is going to be a game-changer for small businesses and a key feature in the future of IT service.
Today’s customers want convenience and autonomy in their business interactions. Self-service helps them get information, make transactions, and resolve issues independently. And customers (especially from younger generations) have come to expect aspects of self-service in their everyday interactions.
For small businesses, embracing self-service can meet customer expectations and help you stay relevant, “reduce the load” on your customer service team, and streamline clients’ experiences. It can also free your team to handle more complex issues while routine interactions are taken care of automatically.
The future of IT service will require user-friendliness, data security, and a balance of self-service elements and human interaction.
Auto-remediation is the automated process of identifying and resolving issues or incidents as soon as they happen — without human intervention.
Setting up auto-remediation in a small business can reduce downtime, make systems more reliable, and improve the overall efficiency of your operations by responding to issues in real time.
In today’s digital world, devices and systems can easily connect to the internet and other devices. Wifi access and mobile networks are constantly getting faster, better, and more reliable, and we use apps, websites, and devices with less waiting time and better performance.
Mobility will help small businesses seamlessly access resources from outside the office, have flexibility in terms of remote work, and engage with customers through mobile apps and responsive websites.
Embracing mobility can help save money by reducing the need for physical office space, hardware, and utility costs (especially if teams are working remotely).
5. Importance of Bandwidth
In the future of IT service, bandwidth is key. The ability of a network to handle data is increasingly critical. Technologies like cloud services, video calls, and smart devices are now the norm, and they all require faster data transmission.
To be honest, old, pre-COVID bandwidth simply isn’t going to cut it anymore, not with the possibility of entire teams being on video calls.
Bandwidth will be important for small businesses to provide smoother online experiences, support remote work, and keep customers happy with efficient interactions.
However, cost and infrastructure are factors to consider. As technology leans more on bandwidth, small businesses can use it to get work done faster, attract more customers, and stay competitive.
6. Changes in Office Layout
Future office spaces will probably look different. Drab, boring “cubicle farms” are going away, and office layouts will change.
A growing trend in office planning is “hoteling.” Instead of cubicles, future office spaces will likely have flexible workspaces without assigned desks. Instead, employees reserve space as needed — like booking a hotel room for a temporary stay.
New office spaces will echo employee’s home workspaces with different seating areas and bright, warm environments that create energy, foster collaboration, and people enjoy working in!
To furnish these spaces sustainably and inexpensively, businesses who follow this trend may choose to buy gently used second-hand furniture.
7. The Future of IT Service: Cybersecurity Hygiene
Cybersecurity is a trend that will never go out of style, and Varay is passionate about helping businesses protect against cyber threats.
We never want to use scare tactics, but the truth is that data loss, breaches, and cyber attacks are real and can strike at the worst times. In today’s world, it’s no longer a question of “if” a business will experience a cyber incident, it’s “How will we respond quickly WHEN it happens?”
In the future of IT service (and now!), businesses need to practice good cyber hygiene.
Like regularly washing your hands, cyber hygiene is a way to protect your digital health. It involves adopting best practices to safeguard your data, devices, and systems from online threats.
These practices include:
- having strong passwords,
- updating software,
- training to identify phishing scams,
- using firewalls, and
- backing up your data.
A quality managed IT service provider like Varay can help your business prepare to face the future with confidence.
8. The Cloud
For years now, having access to the cloud has been important for many businesses — and it’s going to continue to be important in the future of IT service.
Migrating to the cloud offers your business scalability, accessibility, and flexibility for remote access. But we recognize that the question of on-premise storage vs. cloud storage is really about what makes sense for each business.
Some businesses may need to continue hosting information locally because of security regulations or agency requirements. On-premise storage provides more control, especially for data privacy.
The decision to move to the cloud is really about finding the right balance between modern solutions, data protection, and seamless operations. Your MSP can help you assess your needs and find that balance.
9. RIP, Email
Email is dead. Long live email (at least for internal office communication)!
While email is still important for external communication, it’s not the 1990s anymore.
If you’re like us, you’ve realized that communicating with the team by email is just too slow and inefficient. Our inboxes are packed with junk and messages to sort through, and it just takes too long to wait for responses. Real-time team messaging is the future of IT team communication.
In 2018, Varay switched from internal email to Slack and then to Microsoft Teams. We needed a better solution for effective communication and collaboration to solve client tech issues and for our EOS meetings.
There may be better solutions in the future that encourage ongoing dialogue (particularly video). But although we don’t know exactly which streamlined, interactive communication methods we may use in the future, we know we’re never going back to internal email.
In the years since the COVID work-from-home rush, compliance requirements have become much stricter, and this will continue as a key trend in the future of IT.
More and more companies have stringent regulations, data privacy concerns, and industry-specific rules that dictate the responsible handling of data. Even small businesses who don’t HAVE to prioritize cyber security will need to implement best practices to keep the trust of their customers and protect their data.
Trending Into the Future of IT
It will be exciting to see how technology advances over the next several years and how businesses harness these developments to improve their service. There will also be challenges like cyber threats and new requirements to follow.
We don’t know the future. But we can help your business implement technology, security, and best practices to face the future with confidence.
Is your business ready to face upcoming challenges and opportunities? We’d love to help you find solutions that lead to success. Contact Varay today for a free assessment.