Top 5 IT Trends That Will Make the Biggest Impact in 2015
Though our economy continues to improve, it remains critical for business owners to make intelligent decisions about how to spend technology budgets in the most effective way possible. We shouldn’t let our optimism for a great economy get in the way of our better judgment. The annals of tech history are filled with products, trends and ideas that never really took off because of this very reason.
With that in mind, here are our top picks for IT tools and trends that will impact your business most this year.
Nagios is perhaps one of the most useful and popular applications available today. It serves as a powerful security alerting tool, monitoring computer systems and networks to keep everything in check. And, best of all, this open-source software is entirely free to use.
The name Nagios is a recursive acronym for “Nagios Ain’t Gonna Insist On Sainthood,” with sainthood being a reference to the original name of the software, NetSaint. Though Nagios might not break into “sainthood”, most IT aficionados agree on the undeniable value of this incredible product. In a short poll conducted by Linux for Linux users, Nagios was listed as the favorite IT operations tool, amassing over fifty percent of the vote.
It’s no secret why people love this tool – it’s free, powerful and flexible. Administrators at companies both large and small are often tasked with supervising a plethora of hardware and software, and find themselves incapable of physically monitoring each one. Nagios is a godsend to these administrators; it keeps track of all the services in the infrastructure, raises alerts before small issues snowball into large ones, provides a look into the entire system’s status, and much more. And, although the system may take a moderate amount of configuration, it does this all for free – my favorite price.
This trend might not be new to 2015, but if you’re not already using cloud computing in some way or another, then you’re far behind the curve. Since this service is so easily accessible, more and more IT managers and system admins are finding that instead of buying servers and installing software onsite, it’s easier to pay others to host those servers and software and then connect to it remotely. Our top two favorite cloud applications that are seriously making waves are:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon now offers a service that will host all your servers in the cloud. While the service technically started in 2006, Amazon didn’t make the transition of its own retail-side servers to AWS until the end of 2010. According to Wikipedia, “As of December 2014, Amazon Web Services operated 1.4 million servers across 28 availability zones.”
- Office 365: Microsoft Office 365 offers all of the components of its Office Suite from the cloud, which means that you get the latest updates, bug fixes and more without spending money on the actual software. Because of this, Microsoft prices the Office 365 on a monthly subscription basis. Office 365 is also offered for business and enterprise, which extends the product to include email and social networking services hosted through the cloud Microsoft Exchange server and more. Even though this product has been available for a while now, it’s just started gaining traction in the marketplace as a viable option for IT managers looking to switch their systems over to the cloud.
Fiber Networks and the Inevitable Downfall of Comcast
Let’s start with the basics: what is fiber? Fiber is a method of data communication through fiber lines, or “fiber to the premises”. The company with the current largest amount of fiber installations is Verizon FiOS.
So how does fiber compare to current internet speeds by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast or Time Warner Cable? As it stands, fiber moves at speeds up to 1,000Mbps. To put that into perspective, Comcast internet speeds are currently up to 50Mbps in many places.
This new trend has given ISP giants like Comcast and TWC some serious worry lines. Since the induction of Google Fiber in select areas, companies like Comcast, which were once the heavyweights in the U.S. market, now face real competition. According to Techtimes.com, Comcast is starting to fight back. “Comcast will ramp up speeds in three of its service tiers: Xfinity from 25 to 50 Mbps, Blast from 50 to 105 Mbps and Extreme from 105 to 150 Mbps.”
Even though Google Fiber is only available in select areas currently, Verizon FiOS is available across the country, providing an opportunity for the first time in decades for the customer to finally have more viable options.
Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth version in the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) Internet, and routes most traffic on the Internet. It’s been a known fact that IP addresses as they stand in IPv4 are limited in their use within our current address structure. So experts have been working tirelessly for decades to develop a new structure that can work synonymously with IPv4 and also allow for a new influx of IP addresses within a given structure.
Thus IPv6 was developed. What exactly does this development entail? According to PCWorld.com, “IPv4 has only 4.3 billion addresses, and with PCs, smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, and just about everything else connecting to the Internet, we’ve tapped the system dry. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses and is capable of 340 undecillion addresses. That is 340 times 10 to the 36th power, or 340 trillion trillion trillion possible IP addresses.”
Even though this protocol has been slowly making headway since 2008, according to Wikipedia, “IPv4 still carries more than 94% of Internet traffic worldwide as of December 2014. As of December 2014, the percentage of users reaching Google services with IPv6 surpassed 5% for the first time.”
With the increasing adoption of mobile devices and subsequent Bring Your Own Device policies, mobile security is an ever-present concern.
While some mobile platforms, such as iOS and Blackberry, offer a measure of built-in security due to their closed nature, no platform is completely immune to compromise. For Android users, the threat is even more immediate, as 97 percent of all mobile malware targets Google’s mobile operating system.
Addressing these concerns will require a wide-spectrum approach, including best-use policies and robust security software. Expect to see significant advances in these areas in 2015.
As the economy continues to recover and the technology industry continues to march onward, the coming year promises to bring exciting changes. These five things are our top tools and trends to make use of and keep an eye on in 2015.
About the Author: Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Journyx strives to be relentlessly creative and to build tools that help you spend your time on things that matter. After all, time is all we have. Founded in 1996, Journyx offers customers two solutions to reach the highest levels of profitability: Journyx – project, time and expense tracking software – and Journyx PX – resource management software that provides work and financial forecasting for a complete picture of project and budget status, employee time and availability. Connect with Curt on Google+.
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About Curt Finch
Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Journyx is not your average software company. We strive to be relentlessly creative and to build tools that help you spend your time on things that matter. After all, time is all we have. Founded in 1996, Journyx offers customers two solutions to reach the highest levels of…