3 Business Software Applications to Acquire in 2021

If you only deploy 3 new applications in 2021 these are the three to target first.

With 2020 coming to an end, many technology leaders are planning their technology acquisitions for 2021. But this year is a bit different.

Three reasons:

  1. Cybersecurity has never been more important as the volume and severity of malware and ransomware-driven heists has continued to spike. In the last two years the average ransom increased from $5,000 to $200,000 (Wired Magazine, 2020). Meanwhile the number of attacks skyrocketed by 350% in 2018 alone (PurpleSec, 2020).
  2. The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption, driving more companies to the cloud, while more consumers are purchasing and engaging online. 73% of US consumers have changed shopping behavior, while 75–85% of them plan to continue these changes once the pandemic situation has subsided (McKinsey, 2020). Many companies also plan to retain changes to remote work policies.
  3. Microsoft is building incredible developer-friendly applications again. Satya Nadella has helped the company transform, attract talent like Python developer Guido van Rossum, and rebuild one of the best cross-platform environments for meaningful software innovation.

With this context in mind we recommend embracing three innovative applications that Microsoft has developed to deliver capability, flexibility, and security to businesses of every size.

Taking Your Business Software Online

IT leaders have been forced to rethink their on-premise tech stacks this year. Now 83% of enterprise workloads are in the cloud (Forbes, 2020). Cloud platforms afford significant opportunities to meet employees wherever they are, whether they work from the office or in another state while at the same time giving businesses the flexibility to choose and develop their applications from the ground up.

Microsoft Azure has always been a good-but-not-great product, always worth it for businesses already invested in Office, Outlook etc. But IT leaders who have yet to migrate to Azure for core services should take a second look in 2021. Customer reviews are now frequently 5 stars whereas 4–4.5 was the norm in 2018. That is largely due to cross-platform integration and most recently leading work with Kubernetes. Azure has stepped up for everyone.

Additional Cyber Security in Microsoft 365

“M365 is an intelligent productivity solution that allows secure collaboration and protects your organization’s data assets through advanced security protocols and device management features.”

– Microsoft

Many small and mid-sized businesses do not need all the advanced capabilities of Azure, but every business needs basic productivity. Trouble is third party vendors are hit and miss with their security practices, and businesses that do not spend significant resources on IT need a secure way to provide core functionality. At the same time the recent spike in ransomware and malware makes security the primary issue in 2020 and in the foreseeable future.

M365 (Microsoft 365) bundles Windows 10 and Office 365 for businesses, but this combination enables Microsoft to deliver meaningful security improvements over Office 365.

Since OS in addition to productivity applications are housed in the cloud, every core function is defended by Microsoft. This means that in order to corrupt business functionality a hacker would need to penetrate a Microsoft server. With frequent updates and a commitment to cyberdefense, this IT infrastructure makes more sense for small and medium-sized businesses and should be a top priority.

We believe that almost all O365 businesses will convert to M365 over the next couple of years.

Microsoft Teams Will Change the Way You Collaborate!

This last application is a smaller piece because it is only one application whereas the two above provide Infrastructures. However in terms of work productivity Microsoft Teams could easily be your biggest ROI in 2021.

Microsoft Teams is one of the new-guard Microsoft products, along the lines of Visual Studio Code editor. This means Microsoft Teams is 100% customizable and personalizable. Employees can easily integrate the applications they use in their work directly to Microsoft Teams communications for streamlined workflow. This includes Office Suite and all Microsoft products, of course. But even more third-party applications are available.

It is quite literally a new way of working. Microsoft Teams comes with some O365 and M365 bundles, but definitely take a look at this application in 2021.

Why should you trust Platte River Networks?

Platte River Networks provides Managed IT Services, Cloud, Technology, and Security and a 18 year Microsoft Partner including expertise in M365, Azure and Teams for small and mid-sized businesses and has won numerous awards in Colorado and US. We are founded on one question: “How would you like to be treated both as a company and as an individual?”

Please email david@platteriver.com for more information on transitioning business software applications.