With just one week to go until the big day, it’s almost time to shut the office door for one last time before Christmas is upon us and we get to spend some time with our families and have a well-earned rest.
Depending on what you do, Friday is the last day for may of us, although for some especially logistics organisations and retail, there’s still work to be done, right up until Christmas Eve.
And we mustn’t forget all of the emergency services; the fire brigade, the nurses and care workers, the police, and anybody else ‘on call’ who work through the Christmas period, keeping us safe and well so we can enjoy the break whilst they continue to serve communities up and down the country.
It’s a time for reflection on the year that has gone by and a time to look forward to what the New Year holds.
Here at Bandicoot I.T it’s been another busy and successful year, with lots of things happening in the world of I.T. There’s been lots of significant highlights and we’ve picked out a few that we think might resonate with a lot of you. Want to find out more? Read on….
The first half of the year started with anybody connected remotely to I.T gearing up for the GDPR deadline that had been set for May 25th.
This meant that organisations had to become compliant with the tougher regulations set out to protect our personal data. The new guidelines for GDPR, (or for anybody new to I.T, General Data Protection Regulations), came in to force as a result of out of date regulations from the 1990’s needing to be updated to meet the demands of a much more sophisticated and technologically advanced digital age.
I.T has moved along rapidly, and it’s not just businesses who have these capabilities; almost every household has a home p.c. or a laptop, and practically everybody has a smartphone in their possession, not just to call friends and family, but to book holidays, make reservations, order shopping and to have control of personal banking.
The amount of personal information therefore floating around on the ethernet was staggering, and unscrupulous cyber criminals were using this data to pull off crimes costing businesses and individuals millions of pounds. The new regulations meant that anybody not protecting personal data would face hefty fines imposed by the Information Commissioners Office, but as we explained in our blog earlier this year, there was no need to panic, as long as you got your preparation in place and followed the guidelines GDPR could be managed effectively, particularly if you had an I.T Support company like Bandicoot to help you along the way!
Artificial Intelligence or AI, was everywhere in 2018! And the way you view AI largely depends on whether you think of it as a threat to humanity or as a revolutionary tool to support us through the 21st Century and beyond.
In all honesty, AI has been around for some time and we are not always aware that it is being used. The ads that pop up on your computer screen, the fraud detection systems in online banking, the continued development of self-driving cars, and of course everybody’s favourite personal assistant Alexa or Siri, reminding us when to get up, when to go out, when to breath….
In our blog, Is AI a Threat to Traditional I.T. we examined the impact of AI influencing the workplace, which in human terms is hugely significant! i.e. the number of jobs AI could potentially replace is staggering, and it’s happening at a very fast pace, however, AI essentially is computers, and computers will always need humans to program and fix them, so fingers crossed we’ve a while to go yet before we are all on the scrap heap!
Another significant step forward was the continued and unprecedented growth in voice search. This of course, goes hand in hand with AI and having a conversation with your virtual personal assistant about setting the heating at home or asking your mobile for directions is becoming quite the norm for millennials as we move swiftly towards the final year of the second decade of the 21st century.
What this means of course, is that websites have to be optimised to cope with these changing trends; people are making their searches more refined and much more specific, so ensuring the content of your website is continually refreshed and features plenty of longtail keywords will safeguard the success of your online business.
Furthermore, the key to voice search is that it can be done on the move, and as the human race becomes more fast paced, that sees 24/7 availability as the new norm, having a website optimised for mobiles needs to be an essential part of your digital strategy.
Looking ahead to 2019
So, what are we predicted for the New Year?
Much of the same to be honest! Continuous improvements to cyber security will be necessary, AI is not going away, and using technology to support us in our everyday lives will become more and more the preferred option for many wishing to improve quality of life and quench that seemingly inexhaustible thirst for new knowledge.
If any of this has resonated with you or you need I.T Support from a friendly bunch of experts with years of experience and knowledge, then contact us here or call us on 01282 506 616 to find out how we can help you get the most out of I.T for your business.
Our opening hours over the Christmas period are as follows;
Christmas Eve – 9am till 1pm.
Closed until Wednesday January 2nd.
For any urgent queries during the holidays please email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Now all that remains for us to say is to wish all of our customers, past and present, a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!