In light of the New Year, Microsoft did us the favor by laying out their business predictions for 2015. What were they thinking?  The underlying themes for both public and private sector businesses predictions all revolve around cloud technologies.

A Look Ahead

Today, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are utilizing Microsoft's Cloud to become more competitive and agile. As we begin 2015, Microsoft has predicted greater growth in cloud technology in the specific areas of Internet of Things, Cybersecurity and Machine Learning.

Internet of Things Becomes Legit

IoT was a big buzzword in 2014. However, the IoT will continue to mature across a range of industry sectors as companies zero in on the actionable potential the IoT holds for business today. In fact, according to Microsoft, there's been a 430 percent increase in search for IoT on Bing the last 12 months. This reveals that people are beyond just learning the term and they are actively looking to understand how to implement IoT in their businesses to:

  • Improve customer / patient experiences
  • Generate new revenue opportunities
  • Service cost reduction
  • Improve applications and data

You've Either Been Hacked or Don't Know You've Been Hacked

It's the truth, you've most likely been hacked, whether you know it or not. A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute showed the average cost of cyber-crime for US retail stores more than doubled from 2013 to an annual average of $8.6 million per company in 2014. It's pretty evident that businesses need to do more to fight the increasing threat and prevent breaches.

One of the changes Microsoft predicts is a migration to Europay MasterCard and Visa (EMV). It is a new technology that has proven to protect consumers and reduce the costs of fraud. EMV is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.

In 2015, merchants using non-EMV compliant devices that choose to accept transactions made with EMV-compliant cards assume liability for transactions that are found to be fraudulent. Microsoft predicts that this compliance requirement will drive a massive move to modern technology and modern points-of-sale devices.

Machine Learning Redefines Productivity

Microsoft is redefining what it means to be a productive and modern worker. It's planning to build and fully make use of big data services in the cloud as it expects machine learning to grow exponentially across the retail, manufacturing and health care sectors.

This growth will be fueled by broader access to machine learning, massive computing power connecting systems and services, and the explosion of online data. These recent developments create more opportunities for organizations to use machine learning for data-driven decision making.

Microsoft Conclusions

These trends are already evident in the industry and these predictions should not be taken lightly. Time to jump on-board!  Let's discuss how we can help you realize the future – because it's already here!

About Oakwood

Oakwood Systems Group is a digital consulting firm changing the way people do business. We provide a broad suite of solutions including application managed services, cybersecurity, digital and data analytics.  Since 1981, Oakwood has served over 11,000 organizations globally.  Partnering with us offers you world-class technologists to architect, deploy, optimize and support your critical IT, security and digital marketing investment.  With numerous industry awards, our proven holistic approach offers best-in-class approaches that create measurable business outcomes.

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About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

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