For most of us, it’s hard to imagine the surprises that technology might have in store for us next week, let alone for the next 12 months. What are the issues that should demand our attention, and what’s merely a distraction? Should we be focused on the self-driving car—or the ability to run spreadsheets on a smart watch?
Congratulations to ChannelPro magazine for cutting through the confusion.
In their January 2016 article ‘The Year Ahead in Technology’, the editors at ChannelPro have gathered insights from some of the industry’s most respected experts regarding notable trends, applications and issues that they see shaping business technology in the year ahead. Thought leaders, ranging from channel guru Larry Walsh of The 2112 Group to consumer technology legend Rob Enderle, offer pragmatic perspectives and actionable advice on seven topics: hardware, managed services, security, digital signage, storage mobility and cloud computing. It’s well worth the read.
I was very pleased to be asked for my thoughts on security – after all, it’s always on my mind! Below is an excerpt from the article. (You can read the full version here.)
Ron Culler has the Internet of Things on his mind too. Only he calls it “the Internet of insecure things” and worries that it’s going to produce some ugly surprises for channel pros this year.
Culler, who is CTO of Secure Designs Inc., an SMB-focused provider of managed security solutions in Greensboro, N.C., says businesses are increasingly using Web-enabled HVAC, access control, and other building systems with dangerously weak security protections. All too often, channel pros aren’t even aware of those solutions until it’s too late.
“If they don’t pay attention, things are going to start appearing in their clients’ [offices] that they don’t know about, and that could potentially pose significant security risks,” Culler warns.
They could also end up losing customers, he adds, and not just because of a data breach. Companies that install and support Internet-ready building systems are slowly mastering the basics of SMB networking, and it won’t be long before some of them start offering IT support alongside their current services. Don’t be surprised if business owners like the sound of that one-stop-shopping value proposition. “A small business is going to say ‘I want a person who’s going to be able to provide all of this,’” Culler predicts.
Rather than spend a lot of time and money learning to compete with those vendors, however, Culler advises channel pros to partner with them instead. As long as you choose the right firms to collaborate with and clearly define the terms of your alliance, you’ll end up protecting your current client relationships while establishing new ones with your partner’s customers.”