Information for Business from Lenovo
Think Space
Contributor: Matt Meakins
Five ways office technology will become more complex

We're all aware that office technology is evolving at an increasing rate. But is your business truly ready for the next evolution in cloud, mobility and enterprise communications? 

Here we take a look at five of the biggest challenges businesses are likely to face in the next 12 months and beyond.

Malware and virus threats

According to Verizon Enterprise solutions, companies worldwide were hit by more than seven million data breaches in 2014, costing them at least $400 million. Meanwhile, more previously undiscovered vulnerabilities were identified than in any year since 1999 – even when a security patch was already available.

With attacks becoming more sophisticated and undetectable, a recent breach of antivirus company Kapersky Lab proves that even top security companies aren't completely safe. The proliferation of mobile devices, growing popularity of cloud services like Dropbox and the coming Internet of Things (IoT) are ushering us into an age where simply installing an antivirus program won't be enough – keeping our data secure will be more a matter of carefully choosing our partners and vendors.

Hard drive and component failure

For most companies, IT spending is a balancing act between wants and needs. IT departments now face another dilemma: host their company data on local servers where one failed disk could result in permanent loss, or accept the security risks of entrusting it to a third-party data centre or cloud provider.

Backblaze data shows that enterprise-grade storage still has a similar failure rate to consumer-grade hardware. Solid-state drives (SSD) offer a potential solution by not utilising any moving parts, but they are still relatively expensive. Despite the risks, a study found that barely more than a quarter of organisations properly configure their hardware for disaster recovery – even though software and hardware failures remain the biggest cause of data loss, exceeding human error.

Operating system rollouts and updates

Windows 10 is slated for release in late July, with Microsoft announcing it will contain a raft of new security measures to protect users' personal data and identity. Gartner has advised enterprises to hold off on further deployment of Windows 8.1 and wait for version 10, predicting there will be a short industry support lifespan for 8.1. Either way, many businesses are facing a transition period that may result in productivity losses and service downtime.

Tech leaders are already starting the transition towards a subscription-based revenue model, where users must pay subscription fees if they want to activate certain features and services. For IT departments that have grown used to an 'install and forget' approach, this adds a new layer of complexity to enterprise-wide OS management and support.

WAN challenges

In the next few years, businesses face a dramatic increase in complexity associated with managing their enterprise communications and application deployment. Decentralisation of employees is creating a new workforce of 'digital nomads' who require on-demand access to enterprise resources.

Much of this is being enabled through the use of Software as a Service (SaaS), and public and private cloud infrastructure. But in this new distributed, instant-access environment, how can you ensure your data stays secure? Organisations will need to put more resources into finding out who has access to their information, and implement new security protocols – such as remote wipes of mobile devices – to keep their data out of the wrong hands.

Mobile device compatibility

As smartphones and tablets continue to boom in popularity, consumers are faced with an ever-increasing choice of vendors. The big players continue to dominate the mobile OS market, but some platforms – such as Android – come in many different versions and flavours. An app that works on one vendor's device may not run on another's. Likewise, certain popular document formats, such as PDF and MS Word, are still not universally supported by all mobile devices and app providers. Against an increasingly fragmented mobile ecosystem, mobile workers and their employers must choose between older, tried-and-tested solutions and newer technology that may offer key competitive advantages.

Lenovo® Premier Support gives you extended-hours access to NSW-based technical call centre support, next business day on-site labour and parts, single contact end-to-end case management and OEM software support. Find out how Lenovo® Premier Support can help you deal with the growing complexities in your business

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