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5 Tech Experts Share What Trends They See Now

Updated December 2020

The 2020 pandemic has led to an inevitable surge in digital technologies due to the social distancing and nationwide lockdowns. People and organizations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life. There have been more online events, video meetings, live streams, and web conferences.
We talked to four technology experts to hear what they have seen and where they think things will go.

We asked five technology experts these three questions:

  1. What is the most important thing companies should know about technology in light of all that is happening in the world today?
  2. What are the most significant technological trends emerging right now and what do companies need to know?
  3. What is the most important technology to leverage during this uncertainty? What do companies need to consider for the future?

Meet Our Experts

David DeCamillis

DAVID DECAMILLIS

David DeCamillis joined Platte River Networks, a Denver based managed IT services provider as in 2008. In 2014, DeCamillis was named one of the Top 10 Salespeople in Colorado by Colorado Biz Magazine. With David’s influence, Platte River Networks has been honored with over 30 technology, service, and growth awards over the past five years, including Top IT Services Firm in Colorado and Top 10 Best Places to Work. He is a founder & president of Denver Technology Partners and the Denver Biz Tech Expo president. In 2012, he founded the Women in Technology Scholarship in partnership with Denver Public Schools providing 2-3 high school women a year with scholarships to help them pursue degrees in technology. 


Dan Cady

DAN CADY

With over 30 years in the telecommunication industry, Dan has been directly involved in helping clients assess their needs while finding cost savings and improving their customer satisfaction. Originally starting as a technician, moving to sales and ultimately to business owner has given Dan the true focus of the business, creative solutions with the highest level of customer support.

Cady Business Technologies provides voice (onsite and Cloud base) solutions for businesses of any size, whether it's a single office, multi-site location/campus, or a company with an international presence. Cady BT has extensive experience in design and implementation of everything from general office telephone systems, multi-site solutions as well as full contact centers. Our value proposition can be summed up with our belief “Customers come first”.


DREW BOEKE

As the Director of Sales for FRSecure LLC, Drew is responsible for driving revenue and client satisfaction for FRSecure LLC.  Drew has 20+ years of B2B sales and consulting experience in multiple industries, including technology, healthcare, banking, financial services, automotive, and higher education. Drew also sits on the Board of Directors for the Diversified Credit Union. His eclectic background is invaluable in navigating the various industry-specific challenges with regards to Information Security.


MICHAEL TAPPER

As the founder of Enterprise Consulting, Inc. Mike leverages expertise in ERP & business software to help customers realize maximum value from their enterprise software investments. With over 30 years of Information Technology experience and over 20 years in Information Technology Consulting, he has brought a reputation for delivering high integrity services and strong client relationship management to clients throughout the U.S.

Enterprise Consulting is a Platinum Services Partner for IFS North America. We provide management consulting specializing in IFS implementations, upgrades, and optimization. We leverage our expertise across many different ERP, Business Intelligence, and Web-Based solutions to help customers realize maximum value from their enterprise software investments.


BRUCE LACH

Bruce Lach has 40+ years of IT and General Management experience. During his first 20 years, he spent time in “corporate America” with IT stints at Twin City Federal, General Mills and Land O’Lakes. In the mid-90’s, Bruce began leading start-up and small businesses providing IT services to large enterprises in the Twin Cities area. Many of these services were focused on building data warehouses for familiar companies including Wells Fargo, Toro, Valspar, Harvest States, and more. In the decade prior to joining SUCCESS, Bruce was a “turnaround guy” consulting with distressed and mildly profitable businesses to improve business operations and profitability leveraging Theory of Constraints.

What is the most important thing companies should know about technology in light of all that is happening today?

Employees are working from anywhere and everywhere and are at greatly increased risk while working from home.  Cybercriminals are targeting people working from home as a less secure entry point into their company's infrastructure. Security needs to focus on the endpoint/user and application rather than infrastructure. They must also re-consider their Disaster Recovery Plans. Are their employees saving to their local machines, what is the plan if they are?

– David DeCamillis

They can communicate with their employees regardless of where they are using their own office number. As long as you have a browser available, you can have the full functionality of being in the office. This includes user availability, user location (by address), chat, video, voice etc.

- Dan Cady

Ensure everyone knows which technology they have and how it is configured.  Examples: do you know what services you have open to the internet?  Is your technology patched correctly? Limit the number of Local Administrators.

– Drew Boeke

You can still function and have meetings, just as effectively. We use Microsoft Teams so we can use video and share screens. Some refuse to be on video – it’s hard for some people to adapt. Historically our consultants travel and go onsite to train and workshop on ERP.  We’ve had to reinvent how we deliver the training so it can be done remotely. It’s harder to tell if people are paying attention in web meetings. Whiteboarding is more difficult. We have shortened the training time into shorter time blocks because it’s too hard to conduct an all-day training remotely.  People learn better with 2-3 hour time blocks.

Having people stay connected is important.  We started weekly zoom calls with our entire team at the beginning of the pandemic. We personalize it – talk to people more, keep it light and fun. Every call is a video call now. I won’t go away from that even when things get back to normal. Our team is all over the U.S. so it is hard to see them all. We actually feel closer to our people today.

- Michael Tapper

COVID has shown us that we need to have resilient companies that can quickly shift and accommodate “shocks” that impact our revenues, costs, opportunities, and more. And we must build out our technology capabilities to allow for that resilience while also staying focused on building out a more secure approach to protecting intellectual property.

- Bruce Lach

What are the most significant technological trends emerging right now, and what do companies need to know?

SaaS Solutions and Public Cloud are replacing server environments. Companies feel the need to be flexible. They also need better video communication and collaboration tools for staff, departmental and company meetings, client meetings, and sales presentations. We highly recommend Microsoft Teams. Re-evaluation of the remote workforce. Do we need everyone working in the office all the time? I would not want to be a commercial relator right now.

– David DeCamillis

Cloud. Provides Disaster recovery, provides the ability to work anywhere without a significant investment. New technologies provide a higher level of service. If you call into a customer service group, you can text, chat on the website, call, and have it call back when a customer service rep is available. The callback feature is easily implemented even for smaller companies. See the example on our website. 

– Dan Cady

Remote workers and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Many think they are protected, and they are not.

– Drew Boeke

Mobility – and online tools. Microsoft Teams on every device. IM anytime. Accessibility while maintaining boundaries using do not disturb settings. Communication is easier today than it has ever been. This is critical for our business – we had to be tooled up for that. We have employees in fourteen states so we need tools that allow us to bring people together.

– Michael Tapper

There are two key trends related to the critical nature of technology and its fundamental importance to the mature enterprise.

The first is the acceleration of technology "this is an 'age old" trend, but it is clearly past the "knee" in the curve and is accelerating faster than we can assimilate.

The second trend, tied closely to the first, is the sophistication on both the black hat and white hat sides of cybersecurity. A breach can be an existential threat to a company that is hacked. That level of consequence has a non-trivial probability of happening. Therefore it requires significant consideration by all businesses.

Combine the two trends, rapid technology change combined with growing sophistication in cybersecurity, and you end up with a technology strategy. That is more journey-like (incremental, positive investments) than purchase-like (I can buy security, or I can "leapfrog" using this new tech).

Continuous investment and incremental leveraging of technology will serve most SMB's well.

- Bruce Lach

What is the most important technology to leverage during this uncertainty? What do companies need to consider for the future?

Security, Remote Access, Bandwidth. Security needs to be addressed now. Moving your workforce out of the office to home has exposed new risks and performance concerns. You need to update your security plans and strategies based on how your company is set up. It's a good time to do a risk analysis. You need to assess your current remote access solution into your company infrastructure, both on-premise and in the Cloud, including data, applications, files, folders, etc. You need to assess your circuits/bandwidth at the office, the data center/cloud, and at home.

– David DeCamillis

Voice over IP (VOIP) and cloud-based computing. These technologies allow full connectivity from anywhere while providing an interface that is very user friendly. Future (and current) considerations include Internet speeds and network integrity.

– Dan Cady

Technology that is needed: properly configured VPN with MFA.  Ensure plans/policies are up to date, plus additional user training.

Examples of plans: Business Continuity Plan (BCP), Disaster Recovery Plan (DR), and Incident Response Plan (IR).

– Drew Boeke

Teams for IM, meetings and calls. Dropbox gives us an organized & centralized repository for documents that people can access.  All this can be accessed on any device.

Successfully providing consulting services remotely gets customers to rethink the need for onsite.  You don’t need to be in the office to be effective for most things. We establish and get agreement upfront with our customers on which parts of our implementations will be onsite, where the personal connection is needed, then the rest of the work is done remotely. They save money on their implementation (up to 20% of the total cost) and we save time not traveling.

– Michael Tapper

Selecting "a technology" that is most important is not possible. To select a technology, "stack" comes closer to answering that question.

It starts with a solid foundation of endpoints, networks, and computer/server/cloud solutions. Wrap that with appropriate security and then layer on productivity and business applications. Finally, tune your business by reflecting your key processes and KPI's in those platforms you've just invested in.

- Bruce Lach

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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