Technology continues to become more and more integrated into our everyday lives—it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t use software to help run their business more smoothly. At SHI, we help organizations across a number of industries find the solutions they need, from printer security to healthy cubicle hacks and more. It gives us a great view of some of the trends that emerge each year, including what hit it big in 2016.
Windows 10 took hold
Windows 10 was set up to be the universal operating system for all your desktop, mobile, and console needs. That idea began to prove itself in 2016, with more than 350 million users adopting the software within its first year. Microsoft announced the deadline for when it would be turning off support for Windows 7 and 8.1, and some big organizations (such as the Department of Defense) finally took the leap. Expect more to roll over in 2017.
Tech partnerships were a big deal
Some big moves and new partnerships created interesting opportunities in 2016. Cisco and Apple partnered to make wireless easier for Apple product users through optimized Wi-Fi connectivity and streamlined VoIP capabilities. Microsoft and Adobe teamed up as Adobe transferred its SaaS capabilities to Microsoft’s cloud program, Azure. As companies continue to branch out and form bonds, keep an eye on what those partnerships can do for your organization.
Ransomware became the cyber threat of choice
Ransomware was the attack du jour in 2016. Hospitals, businesses, and even individuals had their valuable information locked up by hackers who offered the key in exchange for Bitcoin. While you can never be 100 percent safe, there are a few ways to prevent ransomware before it plagues your organization.
Schools up their tech game
The traditional classroom has all but vanished in the past several years, in part due to technology. This year saw an even bigger push of tech into the classroom, with various upgrades such as virtual reality, digital courseware, and 3D printers. In addition, government E-rate funding allowed for the expansion of wireless access in classrooms and libraries, giving teachers new tech tools to engage and educate. Teachers and tech companies have both pushed for an even stronger partnership between tech and education in the years to come.
Retailers expanded mobile
Mobile tech expanded its sales floor footprint as many different stores rolled out tablet initiatives in an effort to better serve customers. Now, at stores from Avenue to Ace Hardware, if an item is out of stock, customers can order it on the spot. There are a variety of tablets and rollout strategies to choose from, but over this year, stores with tablets have seen an increase in efficiency. Not only that, but they also have a better way to track their inventory and day-to-day sales trends.
Health care locked into better security
Medical records are the holy grail for hackers, more sought-after than even credit card numbers. So it makes sense that hospitals and health care facilities would want to double down on their security, especially since basic compliance requirements can’t always keep up with hackers’ latest attack strategies. This year saw health care data expand in a big way, leading to the need for more storage, and in turn, more security. Growing while keeping your fortifications up is no easy feat, but health care IT took on that challenge in 2016.
Looking to 2017
From retail to education to health care, everyone seems to be diving further into technology integration. A number of encouraging partnerships and expansion efforts grew from familiar places this year, helping to make our lives more efficient and connected than ever before. Here’s to 2017, and whatever advancements may come with it!