A Year in Review: 2023 Edition

As a managed services provider (MSP) and as information technology professionals, we continually maintain pace with industry trends, innovative new solutions and corresponding developments that impact businesses. The goal is to remain current with the latest news, information, products, services, threats and techniques while continuing to effectively fulfill traditional responsibilities and best practices. The industry moves at an infamous pace, however, which keeps everything challenging. And like all effective tech firms, we make adjustments as we go. That said, here are some things we got right in 2023, as well as a few we didn’t. 

Where We Were RIGHT… 

Artificial Intelligence Is A Game Changer 

While we can’t take credit for predicting the astounding rise and popularity of AI chatbots, we did note in late 2022 AI was already assisting organizations in new and compelling ways and would prove an even more compelling, innovative technology important to small businesses in 2023. That was an understatement. 2023 will likely go down as the year AI burst onto the scene and began practically impacting workflows and operations and providing immediate efficiencies and productivity advantages.  

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Ransomware Continues To Pose Serious Threats To Small Businesses 

The gloves are clearly off. Cybercriminals, often working with protection from foreign governments and relative insulation from international prosecution, continue refining their ransomware efforts, including now with the assistance of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies. These malicious efforts target organizations indiscriminately, including schools, hospitals and public safety offices. Small businesses are another common target, especially as smaller organizations often lack the resources necessary for posing a stout defense. 

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Business Dependence On Cloud Services Is Increasing 

Cloud providers, including Google, Microsoft and many others, continue innovating. The introduction of new services, features and capabilities can better meet organizations’ continuing need to support hybrid and remote workforces and is changing the way all businesses work. Small businesses, too, are taking advantage of these innovations to improve efficiencies, enhance operations and lower costs. 

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Remote Work Continues To Be A Thing 

We recommended small businesses ensure their networks prove capable of supporting hybrid and remote staff. Noting “remote and hybrid work arrangements are likely here to stay,” we should have just gone further and simply removed the word “likely” from our statement. One lasting effect of the pandemic is workers continue working remotely, which necessitates maintaining apps, systems and networks in a way that continues supporting users regardless of the site from which they operate. 

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Where We Were WRONG… 

Not Everyone’s Ready, Yet, For WiFi 6e or 7 

The network performance improvements new WiFi 6e and even WiFi 7 standards offer businesses are compelling. While we anticipated the newer technologies would make a greater impact on small businesses seeking to enhance network capabilities in 2023, many organizations have continued pace using older gear. As business’ legacy networking equipment becomes long in the tooth, we now expect firms will upgrade their WiFi capabilities as the older platforms reach the end of their natural hardware lifecycles, not before. 

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We Didn’t Foresee Twitter Suffering Such A Bad Year 

While its troubles initially began earlier, 2023 was the year Twitter seemingly went off the rails. Whether the social media site that helped changed the way the world communicates–including technology solutions providers, customer service staff and IT services firms–recovers is anyone’s guess, but one thing looks to be certain: Twitter is no longer positioned for a remarkable recovery. The brand no longer exists, having been replaced by an awkward moniker–X, formerly Twitter–that seemingly leaves everyone confused. 

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