Widely publicised breaches of privacy and security in 2013 cast a shadow for businesses and consumers, according to Netgear A/NZ vice president and managing director, Brad Little.
In particular, Little saw the activity in last 12 months raise concerns for businesses in storing data in the Cloud.
"While the Cloud is and will continue to be a valuable storage alternative for businesses of all sizes looking to reduce costs, simplify asset management and utilise greater flexibility, maintaining the integrity of business data is crucial in this digital age," he said. Vulnerabilities in Cloud-based storage unearthed this year, and as a result, has seen businesses currently using Cloud platforms starting to re-evaluate their approach to data stored online. As for how data can be compromised, how Little said there are "countless ways," such as a natural disaster, cyber attack or simple human error.
"Through implementation of a smart data backup and disaster recovery solution that includes local storage infrastructure and considers the vulnerabilities of Cloud based options, businesses can mitigate this risk," he said.
The next generation
SMBs are already citing security as one of their key concerns in relation to Cloud adoption, though the silver lining is that they are aware of the importance of data protection.
"We believe this will result in the growing consideration of local storage infrastructure with businesses opting to embrace technologies such as Cloud based replication to secure data in the event of a disaster," Little said.
When it comes to the outlook for next year, businesses are expected to continue reviewing and adapt their network infrastructure to cater for what Little dubs as "Generation WiFi," the next generation of employees.
"Generation Wi-Fi have only ever known an Internet enabled world and will rely heavily on technology, particularly robust connectivity and mobility in order to do their jobs," he said.
"This is a group not used to being confined by IT and will require management to embrace new ways of doing things."
As a result, Little foresees that businesses will look into updating IT systems and policies in 2014 and beyond, with a focus on preparing their company for "the workforce of the future."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.