As we bid farewell to another year, it's the perfect time to reflect on the past and set our sights on the future. For IT departments, embracing the new year often involves reevaluating strategies, streamlining processes, and leveraging innovative solutions.

As a passionate team of IT experts that champion all the ways in which bolstering IT can benefit businesses everywhere, we're so excited to guide you through some New Year resolutions that can revitalize your IT approach and bring success in 2024.

 

AI Integration for IT Advancement

Resolution: Embrace the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in our IT operations to enhance efficiency and decision-making processes.

Why: AI technologies, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, can revolutionize how we manage and optimize IT resources. By leveraging AI, we can automate routine tasks, gain insights from data, and make proactive decisions that contribute to the overall success of our IT initiatives.

 

Automation for Streamlined Operations

Resolution: Embrace automation to streamline repetitive tasks and enhance operational efficiency.

Why: Automation can significantly reduce manual efforts, minimize errors, and accelerate processes. By identifying opportunities for automation in routine tasks, we can free up valuable time for our IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives, leading to a more agile and responsive IT environment.

 

Embrace Cloud Optimization

Resolution: In 2024, commit to optimizing our cloud infrastructure for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Why: Cloud technology is dynamic and ever evolving. Ensuring that our cloud services are optimized will enhance performance, reduce costs, and allow us to take full advantage of the latest features.

 

Enhance Cybersecurity Measures

Resolution: Strengthen our cybersecurity posture to safeguard against evolving threats.

Why: As cyber threats become more sophisticated, prioritizing cybersecurity is crucial. Implementing robust measures, such as regular security audits and employee training, will fortify our defenses.

 

Implement Proactive Monitoring

Resolution: Transition to proactive monitoring for early issue detection and swift resolution.

Why: Reactive approaches can lead to downtime and disruptions. Proactive monitoring ensures that potential issues are identified and addressed before they impact operations.

 

Upgrade Legacy Systems

Resolution: Develop a plan to systematically upgrade legacy systems to modern, efficient solutions.

Why: Outdated systems pose security risks and hinder performance. Upgrading to the latest technologies ensures we stay competitive, secure, and aligned with industry standards.

 

Optimize IT Budgets

Resolution: Conduct a thorough review of IT budgets to identify cost-saving opportunities without compromising performance.

Why: Efficient budget allocation is essential for achieving business objectives. Identifying and eliminating unnecessary expenses will optimize our IT spend.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog on Software Sprawl.

 

Promote Collaboration Tools

Resolution: Implement or enhance collaboration tools to boost team productivity.

Why: Effective communication and collaboration are cornerstones of success. Integrating advanced collaboration tools will empower our teams to work seamlessly, irrespective of location.

You can learn more by reading our blog on Microsoft viva or click here to see all of the powerful collaboration tools and services we offer to amplify your team’s engagement and productivity.

 

Invest in Employee Training

Resolution: Prioritize ongoing training to keep our IT teams well-versed in the latest technologies.

Why: The tech landscape evolves rapidly. Investing in continuous training ensures that our teams are equipped with the skills needed to navigate emerging trends.

Here are some resources for internal training:

You can also access our past webinars for expert walkthrough on various tools and technologies that all IT teams should know.

 

Explore New Microsoft Solutions

Resolution: Stay abreast of the latest Microsoft solutions and integrate them into our IT ecosystem.

Why: Microsoft offers a suite of powerful solutions. Regularly exploring and adopting new tools can enhance productivity and keep us at the forefront of technological innovation.

Learn more about Microsoft tools and services that you can access through our trusted team.

As we step into 2024, let's embark on a journey of IT excellence. These resolutions serve as a roadmap for a successful and technologically advanced year. If you're ready to turn these resolutions into reality, our team at Managed Solution is here to support you every step of the way. Here's to a year of innovation, efficiency, and IT success!

 

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Cloud adoption soars in regulated industries

By Kenneth Corbin as written on cio.com
New study from cloud security firm finds that government agencies and businesses are rapidly warming to Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.
The past year-and-a-half has seen a steep increase in the rate of adoption of cloud computing applications, with some of the biggest movers found in the government and regulated industries.
That's according to a new study by the cloud security firm Bitglass, which analyzed traffic from some 130,000 organizations in North America and reported a 71 percent surge in cloud usage across the board in the verticals it evaluated.
Within the government sector, Bitglass reported a spike of more than 300 percent in the proportion of agencies that have moved to the cloud.
Quantifying the cloud
Rich Campagna, vice president of products at Bitglass, says the study seems to confirm what industry observers have seen anecdotally, quantifying "the sheer rate at which cloud adoption has taken off in the last year-and-a-half."
Importantly, Bitglass' analysis was not looking at all facets of the cloud. The firm evaluated only the use of public cloud applications, and, of that large subset, confined its analysis to the popular productivity suites Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. Those applications, Campagna explained, are generally deployed on an enterprise-wide scale and are "key indicators" that an organization has committed to a "cloud-first strategy."
"The decision is made at the CIO level to move to Office 365 or to Google," he says. "What we wanted to find is what is the best indicator of an organization-wide adoption of cloud-based applications."
So that approach weeds out firms where a small pocket of employees might have incorporated some niche application into their workflow, but where the enterprise writ large continues to run processes like email and collaboration applications through a traditional, locally housed data center.
Among U.S. government agencies, 47 percent have adopted either Google Apps or Office 365, according to Bitglass' findings. A slightly larger proportion of agencies with more than 1,000 employees have made the move, but Bitglass is still seeing much of the cloud activity happening at the state and local level.
"They have a thin IT shop and this allows them to focus on value-added parts of their business, rather than on having to spend on a headcount on managing and maintaining applications that are not part of their core [mission]," Campagna says.
The most dramatic increase has come in the education sector, where, by Bitglass' estimate, 83 percent of organizations have adopted one of the cloud apps that it evaluated, up from 23 percent a year-and-a-half ago.
"That's easily explained by the incredibly compelling licensing that Microsoft and Google offer," Campagna says, referring to the free distribution those companies have been offering to education customers.
But less dramatic gains can still be observed in other regulated industries, such as healthcare, where 36 percent of the organizations Bitglass reviewed have moved toward an enterprise deployment of a cloud app, up from 8 percent last year.
In the financial sector, adoption increased to 37.5 percent from 9.5 last year, and would likely be higher still with more permissive industry regulations governing the use of IT.
Microsoft and Google cloud offerings promote adoption
Campagna sees a variety of factors at work in the rise in cloud adoption, and credits Microsoft with a successful sales strategy that has aggressively promoted Office 365 while also offering more flexibility in the licensing and renewal terms of its contracts. Google, too, has recently been stepping up its efforts to push its Apps suite in the enterprise, Campagna says.
But there is also a larger shift underway that has seen the security concerns about the cloud at least partially abate. Young companies like Bitglass, which describes itself as a "cloud access security broker," have been popping up with the express purpose of helping enterprises lock down their data in a public-cloud environment. And within IT circles, where CISOs might not have even considered going to a public cloud a few years ago, many have lately been softening their stance on the issue as they aim to reposition security as a driver of the organization's mission.
"Within that risk-averse subset of the IT department, I've seen the attitudes just shift quite a bit over the last couple years," Campagna says. "The mindset of security practitioners in general -- and there are still some holdouts -- has shifted from one of control to one of enablement over the last couple of years."

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