Look … I can predict your IT future!

Rami CourtemancheOpinion

As with every New Year, comes the quintessential top ten lists, top 20 lists, and even top one hundred lists, all with prophecies of what the New Year has to promise. And for most, those prophecies tend to fall on deaf ears as they speak of things so far out of the scope of reality for most IT executives, that they become little more than a punch line.

Therefore, with everyone firmly back at work in 2018, and with the holidays nothing more than a distant memory, I thought I would throw my hat into the proverbial ring—but with one twist—boiling it down to the top three most important things that all IT people should be planning for, and be concerned about, this coming year.

2017 saw its fair share of security issues. From the massive IoT attack that brought down many of North America’s biggest companies’ severs for the better part of a day, to the Ukraine being shut down due to an out of control malware attack, to the constant news of WannaCry, and more—we all in some way suffered through a year of cyber-security issues.

So, what does this mean for 2018? It means this year will be all about security due diligence and education. The issue that IT security will always face is the human factor. After all, when it comes to malicious code and introducing malware into a company’s IT infrastructure—more likely than not, a human was involved.

Therefore, though security must be addressed at every level of the datacenter—that is a given in this day and age—the addition of education to the masses is also highly important. Ensuring everyone in the organization understands the issues surrounding security, best practices and, of course, what to do if compromised, and they are not to worry about the associated blame, will keep everyone far safer from cyber criminals in 2018.

Then there’s the cloud: the buzzword of all things IT that has now come into its own as the infrastructure where all things reside. And with that will come cloud expansion, in all its forms. Whether or not that pertains to public, private, or hybrid, the need to create a larger cloud footprint will be at the top of the list for most organizations this year.

From the ever-expanding world of data, to the need for better and faster applications, to the seemingly endless desire for better connectivity for all business processes, cloud expansion will be front and center of the datacenter world.

And lastly, let’s look at the data itself. For every new application that makes processes better, faster, and sometimes cheaper, also comes the data that it generates. And, in this new world, with data comes the need to measure and manage—after all, it’s why we love data so much … right?

But, inherent in so much data, dashboards, reports, and measurement, is the burden of knowledge itself. My advice to all those who want to create more data and measurement in 2018, is to ask two questions: what decisions do we want to make with our data, and what data do we need to make the important decisions?

For most, this is what 2018 will be about. And although AI and machine learning sounds sexy and brings with it visions of an autonomous world—maybe teaching people not to click on random email links from would be a good place to start. ;)