We’ve bid 2018 farewell and welcomed 2019 with open arms. So what's next? What’s going to happen in 2019 from an infrastructure perspective?
The answer for 2019 is similar to that of recent years. Cloud and security are still the top priorities. Let’s take a quick look at what may impact your infrastructure focus.
- Exchange Migration –
- Migrations from Exchange on-premises to Exchange online and upgrades from older versions of Exchange to the latest version are both projects going strong in 2019. We continue to support our clients who are going through these Exchange migration and upgrade processes and predict that Exchange migrations, upgrades, and support will continue to be a trend with our clients.
- Multi-Factor Authentication -
- To add additional security, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) provides one or more additional forms of authentication for users when they log into company resources. Traditionally, users would log into their computers or other resources with a username and password. With MFA, users authenticate by entering a code, generally texted to your cell phone. We have seen many clients using Azure, Duo or other software to implement MFA. There are also biometric options, such as finger prints or facial recognition to authenticate.
- Single Sign-On and Identity Management -
- Identity management and Single Sign-On (SSO) technologies are another ongoing infrastructure trend. We see SAML (secure assertion markup language) as the primary protocol being used and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) as the leading platform as the on-premises SSO platform. As more companies move on-premises infrastructure and services to cloud platforms, they want to provide a single identity for their users to use across all applications, minimizing the users' need to manage multiple passwords. In many cases, companies need to integrate the products using SAML to manage user identities.
- Security -
- It may seem redundant to talk about security as its own item after discussing MFA, but specifically I want to touch on Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). I have seen a lot of Intune and other mobile device management (MDM) implementations, Azure conditional access, document tagging and policies, and security alerting. These implementations are in high demand as more and more companies transition to the cloud and consume software-as-a-service, such as SharePoint, Exchange Online, or OneDrive.
- Cloud -
- The last trend is the continuing push to the cloud. More businesses, even in IT, are moving toward to the cloud as they become more comfortable with cloud products. They are interested in how they can better leverage IaaS or SaaS vs the traditional on-premises IT models. File sharing, IM, phone systems, database applications, and many other types of infrastructure are rapidly becoming consumed as cloud subscription models.
Essentially, many of the trends that we are seeing in 2019 revolve around cloud, except for Exchange.
Some of the challenges we are helping clients with include:
How do we better secure the cloud?
How do we make it easier for users to access their business critical apps?
How can we report on all things cloud?