Top Tech Trends for 2021


What a difference a year makes. When it comes to the technology we use for business, innovations come quickly and trends change rapidly. Knowing what’s on the horizon and what to look for can be the difference between being ahead of the curve or being left in the dust to play catch up. In 2020 we dealt with a world changing event. As we come out of it in

the second half of 2021, what should you be looking for when it comes to tech? What are some trends that can help your business?


Now, this may sound a little RISE OF THE MACHINES to you, but automation is a powerful tool that can help you both run your business and manage your data. In the field of analytics and finance, many are turning to automation that is capable of what is known as machine learning to do the more arduous tasks that can bog down employees. Take Google for example, who has implemented a machine learning system into their award-winning Google Analytics software, which gives businesses not only insight, but helpful tips on how to maximize their adspend, and their websites in the future. Many factories and shipping facilities have also begun to use automation for more dangerous tasks, as well as tracking

both inbound and outbound shipments. Major institutions such as hospitals as well as other medical companies can use AI to predict the needs of the populace, from beds to medication. What can this mean for you and your employees? Well, while it may seem that the machines would take the place of the employees, it’s been found that that isn’t really the case. In fact, what many see is this allows the employees who would have to focus on the mundane, tedious tasks, more time and creative energy to strategize and implement new ways to grow the business, market, sell, ship and take better care of their customers!


In what many are calling the evolution of the cloud, edge computing takes some of the processes used by the cloud and puts them back in the user’s space. This enables the cloud to process faster, as it reduces the amounts of long-distance transmissions needed to execute. The edge is where the device, be it the user’s computer, router, phone etc, communicates with the internet. By doing this, it cuts down on what is referred to as latency, or the delay as the user’s device communicates with the server that the cloud is hosted on, which in some cases is across the world. Latency issues can affect everything from your SEO to customers choosing your product or service. After all, we live in an era where 2-3 seconds of lag time is considered slow. Edge computing could be a game changer for everything from medical devices to self-driving cars, and even the office, with it aiding in video conferencing as well! What’s more, it’s also more cost effective, as it cuts down on bandwidth charges. 5G Leaps in technology are not merely limited to things such as robots and home computers. 5g, or the 5th generation of mobile wifi, presents a game changer for many businesses. In the past, while your phone or tablet may have been more powerful than your home PC, today, things are much different with the advent of 5G. It is the fastest mobile data has ever been able to be sent or received, which means that businesses can rely on a mobile customer base more and more. Your websites can be more robust to mobile users and tablet users. Your data will transmit faster. If you have employees who use

their mobile devices for work, or tablets for orders in the warehouse, these systems become as reliable, if not more that traditional wireless services. 5G has exponentially more connectivity than 4g and can relay much more bandwidth. In fact, research has shown the 5g can connect and support 1 million devices in a .38 mile radius, as opposed to only 2000 with 4G. Latency also has been shown to greatly decrease with the advent of 5g, making it easier for customers to reach your business, and your business to reach their customers. As we move from offices that merely work on pc’s to offices that are interconnected through a myriad of devices, 5G technology helps ensure that no matter what

device you are on, you are connected and supported at the highest speeds.


As we touched on earlier, cyber-crimes are getting costlier as each day passes and cyber criminals are getting craftier in their approach, and braver in the endevours. Of course, this means that those who wish to thwart these criminals also are constantly updating their approaches to minimize the risk to both everyday citizens and business owners. While many businesses are using VPN’s as a way to secure their networks for remote workers, a new approach known as ZTNA or Zero Trust Network Access, is beginning to emerge as an even more secure solution for networks. While a VPN merely cloaks the mobile users path into the network, a ZTNA checks everything from the user, to the content, to their network for malicious and suspicious activity, making it much more secure.

Leaps in Multi-Factor Authentication are also being made. Traditonally, an MFA system would employ a SMS text message or an email in order to authenticate the user. However, both SMS and email are accessible to hackers and other malicious actors. 3rd party applications such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator and Duo, which is used at Delval Technology Solutions, offer a secure, encrypted 2FA platform, giving endusers and network operators a more trusted method of protection.

Data is both an invaluable commodity to a business, and a high profile target to a hacker. For this reason, data privacy is becoming less of a component of a greater cyber-security plan, and more of a separate entity to be protected. Attacks on personal data aren’t just problematic for identity theft, but are costly to business owners who can lose both customer trust, and thousands if not millions of dollars in regulatory fines.

Cyber security professionals, such as the folks here at Delval, are becoming less of a “luxury” item and more of a necessity for business owners. Attacks are becoming more frequent by the day, and targets are becoming even more broad. It is imperative to consult and work with cyber security professionals if you are not one yourself in order to protect yourself, your business and your customers. Oftentimes people have stated “it’s better to have one and not need it, then need it and not have one”,  when speaking about firearms. Think of a cyber security professional the same way. You have someone to watch your back and your network, and ensure that your enterprise is compliant and protected, and to be vigilant in protecting your company.

While these aren’t the only tech trends, they are the ones that you will be hearing more and more about.

Data Loss and How to Protect Yourself In House and In The Cloud

Picture this. You spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars implementing a cloud solution to your network. Your team meticulously catalogs and backs up your data to the cloud. It’s working well, but you are still experiencing data loss. It is frustrating, as everyone has told you the cloud is the be all end all for backing up your data. There is some truth to

that. When you move your data to the cloud, it’s not backed up to a single server, but multiple servers around the globe, which does greatly reduce the risk for data loss. However, there are a few ways that your business can lose data in the cloud, as well as a few practices you can follow to ensure these losses are a minimal occurrence, and not a daily headache for your IT department and your business.


The cloud isn’t perfect technology. That is because there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to technology. These are ever-evolving platform and they are of course run by people. This brings us to the first problem, human error. We have all been there, you open a file, make edits, and forget to save your work. You open an email, click a link or an attachment, and before you know it, your data is corrupted, or you accidently save changes to a document that should not have been altered. We are human, and we all make

mistakes, and sometimes, those mistakes can lead to data loss.


Another issue that can lead to cloud data loss is third party apps. When some of these subscription apps update, they change format, which can affect your data. Data can also potentially be overwritten, such as if an update is occurring and a new file that is named the same thing as an old file, the old file will automatically be overwritten. This could also occur with entire folders.


The final way a data loss can occur is malicious activity. As you know, cyber-crime is on the rise, and cyber-villains are looking for anyway they can find to steal data, install ransomware, and engage in other malicious activity. Obviously, these actors can install software or use other methods to wipe out your data, regardless of your server if you happen to be a target. Remember, there is no such thing as an immunity to hackers, but there are always ways to protect yourself, some we have outlined in previous blogs,

and others we are going to show you now.


Due to it’s vast nature and multiple servers, the cloud is perhaps the most secure way to store your data, back-up your files, and run your network. However, you do have to make sure you take care of your network the same way you would your body. Just like you may have a daily routine for hygiene, exercise, diet, and relaxation, you should also have a routine for keeping your data safe no matter where it is and no matter what happens.

THE 3-2-1 Strategy

3-2-1 isn’t just for starting a race or blasting off anymore. In this case the 3-2-1 strategy is a great way to ensure that even if one method of storage fails, you are backed up. All data should have 3 copies, one original and two copies, on two different devices, with one off-site storage system. Therefore, it’s called the 3-2-1 rule.


While it seems obvious, backing up your data frequently is the best way to ensure that you have minimal headaches and minimal data loss. Make sure you have your auto-save feature enabled for any projects you or your team are currently working on. Utilize the 3-2-1 rule and make sure you have copies, and copies of your copies, stored safely and where authorized users can easily access them. Figure out which data is updated the most, and make sure they are the ones being backed up with a higher frequency. Use multiple methods

of back-up, both cloud and onsite hardware, as different backups work best for different type of data. There is no such thing as backing up your data to much, as it is better to be safe than sorry. That brings us to our next point…


Earlier, we mentioned that your files should be easy to distinguish. That was meant for those with internal access to your files. What about external access, which could be anyone, authorized or unauthorized. You want to make sure that you encrypt all files you back up. This will require authorized users to provide an encryption key to see said files. You want your account to be able to easily legible to say, your accountant, by having the file clearly labeled “Q3 2020 Financials”, but not to external operators who may be trying

to illegally obtain your data. Just like a burglar is going to look for houses with open windows and without security systems, hackers are looking the path of least resistance. If you have your data properly encrypted, the chances of having an outside force corrupt your data drastically decreases.


Who you choose as your internet service provider and your managed service provider can make all the difference. You want to know what they offer, down to the details of every feature, and if they put limitations on backups or maintain a backup schedule that differs from your own. A proper MSP such as Delval Technology Solutions will advise you on the schedule, on your hardware and software you are using for backups, handle your cyber-security needs and work with you to create a disaster recovery plan in case of an emergency.

Your data is perhaps your businesses most asset. System outages happen, breaches happen, accidents happen, but how you back up your data can mean the difference between a minor hiccup and a catastrophe causing productivity and financial losses. Cloud storage is a fantastic way to back up your data, but it shouldn’t be the only way you back up your data. Do not rely on automation alone, be sure to have multiple systems in place to back up your data, and protocol in place such as a back up schedule and a disaster recovery

plan. These things, along with the tips will surely save you time, money and headaches.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Change MSP’s

Mike has been running his accounting firm for the past 25 years. As the time went by, his technology needs grew. What started as an office of two with two computers grew into a firm of 20, each with their own computer. When the pandemic hit, Mike decided to move his team to a remote model. When he did, he also hired an MSP, or managed service provider, as he knew he needed help. The first two months were smooth sailing, then something happened. As his MSP gained bigger clients, Mike’s company and his needs seemed to get placed on the back burner. Phone calls were not getting returned on time, help desk tickets went from hours to days, and the decision Mike made to help his

business, well, it began to hurt it. Mike was faced with a rough choice. He either had to hire an in-house, dedicated, IT staff, which he knew he could not afford to do, or to

dump his existing MSP. From there, he knew he needed to start shopping around immediately for a new partner, as tax season was coming up, and he could not afford any

more downtime.  The first time around when choosing an MSP, Mike went in blind, only knowing his immediate needs. Now, after dealing with his former provider, he knew what he wanted and more importantly, what he was not going to deal with. What are some other reasons people would want to change providers?



Response time is of the utmost importance when dealing with your company’s technology needs. Depending on the issue, minutes can cost you hundreds if not thousands in damages and downtime. No matter what the issue is, you want your MSP’s help desk to give you an expedient response. Not only could it save you downtime and money, but it will also make you feel your business is valued and not lost in the shuffle. Another big factor in this is the level of customer service. No one wants to feel dumb or like a second-class citizen, and it’s no different when dealing with your IT team. Ask yourself this “Does my MSP make me feel valued as both a business and a human being?” If not, it may

be time to move on.


Trusting a company with your systems and your data is hard enough as it is. After all, these are the things that power your business and allow you to track your performance. Your MSP exists to advise, implement, and optimize the technology side of your business. It is important that you can see the results of the work being done, and the changes being implemented. This allows you to know what is working and what isn’t, so you and your MSP can make changes accordingly. You could be getting the best advice in the business, but

without seeing the data to back it up, how will you know what is effective or what needs amending. The answer is, you can’t. Being kept in the loop by your MSP is invaluable, as is being able to trust that the decisions they are making are working as they told you they would.


Does your MSP get to the bottom of an issue the first time it happens? No company is immune to tech issues, be it firewall issues, system errors, or worse yet, breaches. How these are dealt with can be a make-or-break moment when choosing to continue with an MSP or changing course and finding a new partner. Do they take the band-aid approach, and just cover up the problem and keep it moving? Do they get to the root of the problem and fix it, ensuring that it goes from an avoidable issue to an issue that is being avoided? Those

are the questions to ask when analyzing your choice of partner.


This is perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to trusting an MSP and continuing to do business with them. In the past two years, we have seen a rise in MSP’s getting hacked. From the hackers point of view, it’s simple. Why take the time to hack one business for their data and access to their network, when you can hack an MSP and get that information for multiple businesses? You want an MSP that takes their security as seriously as your security, not one that fails to practice what they preach. Ask for an explanation of what they do on their end to protect the data of you, their other clients and themselves. You also need to make sure they take compliance seriously. An MSP that isn’t on top of their compliance isn’t on top of your compliance, and this has serious consequences. As covered in previous blogs, being found non-compliant can cost your company thousands, if not millions of dollars in fines depending on the sector you are in.


Do you look at your MSP bill every month and see things that you are being charged for that you never use? Does your MSP take a “one size fits all” approach?  Just like with your

cable company and other services you use in your personal life on a day-to-day basis, you want to make sure that you are only being charged for what you are using, not what you are not. A great MSP, such as Delval Technology Solutions will offer a la carte or tiered pricing plans to make sure that you are getting a solution that fits your business.

After doing his research, Mike realized that it was time to dump his existing managed service provider and move on. He knew what to look for, an MSP that was based on security, customer service, and proactivity. At first, he was cautious to trust based on his past experiences, but eventually he found the MSP that was right for him. They were willing to show him each step of the process, and he felt like their only client, although he wasn’t. Mike learned what many before him already have, a great MSP partner is invaluable.

What is A VCIO and What Can It Do For You?

Valerie had a problem. She runs an accounting firm, but they still do many things the old fashioned way. She knows she needs to update her hardware and software to stay compliant and ahead of the curve for her business and her customers. After all, her competitors are. Valerie isn’t a “techie” as she calls them, and she also can’t afford to hire a full time CIO to keep her informed and keep her company up to date. A friend of hers told her to look into a VCIO, or Virtual Chief Information Officer. That way she had access to

an expert for a fraction of a cost. Is a VCIO right for Valerie, is a VCIO right for you?


CIO stands for Chief Information Officer. This executive is responsible for managing, implementing and executing decisions related to IT and computers for the company. Technology is everchanging, with new updates and products hitting the market seemingly daily. It is the job of the CIO to stay up to date on both emerging technology as well as how the technology that is currently being used by the company is functioning, both strategically and practically. However, having a full time CIO is a costly endeavor. The average CIO salary

currently stands at $129,000 annually. For companies that are in the tech field, having a full time CIO is a necessity. For other enterprises, such as Valerie’s, the need for tech

expertise on an as needed basis is there, but having a full time CIO on staff is simply unfeasible. They will not be utilized on a full time basis after all, but will have to be paid on one. This is where the VCIO comes in.


A VCIO is a virtual CIO. It gives companies access to expert advice and opinion on an on-call basis. It is usually a service offered by an MSP such as Delval Technology Solutions. Having a VCIO is a great way to fill in the gaps in expertise of both yourself and your staff. It’s also a fantastic way to grow your business while saving money. What can a VCIO provide your business?


If you are like Valerie, your business is your expertise. Many business owners have specific ways of doing things, however some of these methods may be outdated and while providing personal comfort can leave a company falling behind. We exist in an era of ever changing and ever updating technology. If one were to try to keep track of everything new on the market, it would eat into those valuable hours spent servicing customers and building your business. Having a VCIO in your proverbial back pocket allows you to have

an expert to call on to answer questions, help you strategize, and aid in implementation of your hardware and software upgrades. It is key to remember that since this person does not hold an executive position within your organization, they are providing suggestions and insight, which is up to you and your team to implement.


Cyber-security is becoming an increasingly hot button issue. Hackers and other cyber-criminals are working full time to breach businesses and steal data. They are crashing servers with DDOS attacks, installing various forms of spyware to pick up vital information, and even installing ransomware, locking up sensitive files until a ransom is paid. Once these breaches occur, your data can hit the dark web where it is for sale to anyone with access. These attacks and breaches can ruin an enterprise. Having a VCIO gives you

access to someone who can help you build not only a nearly impenetrable network, but also aid in both monitoring of your network and help your business bounce back in case a breach does occur. A VCIO stays up to date on all the newest threats and the newest ways to combat them, helping you keep your business and your customers safe from the dangers of cyberspace.


Choosing your technological plan for your business isn’t something to do with haste. It takes proper insight and foresight, so your choices work for your business, not hinder your company. Having a VCIO on your team gives you access to someone who can think five steps ahead. They know what you don’t know to look for, the hurdles and headaches you may encounter, and how to navigate through these issues to ensure that your plan is properly executed from the start. Not only that, but they will also evaluate your existing systems so that you can use what is already in house to the best of your and your technologies abilities.


At times, adding an executive to your team can bring with it some headaches. While you may control the budget, you do not however, control the decision. A VCIO puts you in the driver seat with an expert co-pilot. Your budget is under your control, from start to finish. You know what your expense for the VCIO each month will be, without having to worry about paying out bonuses (unless of course you want to), hiring more employees for your team to aid you CIO, paying benefits, and other costs incurred from hiring new employees.

When it comes time to make the final decision, they will guide you, but at the end of the day, you are in control of the situation. To top it all off, most companies such as Delval Technology Solutions have multiple VCIO’s, so if you don’t feel your particular VCIO is right for your business, you can easily change who you are working with seamlessly.

Valerie called her MSP and signed up for their VCIO program. She was comfortable knowing that she now had access to an expert who could help. They made a strategic plan, working with her to upgrade her technology to fit the growing needs of her business. They showed her how to utilize her existing systems more effectively and she was able to eliminate hardware and software that was now obsolete. Valerie felt relieved knowing that she had someone watching her back on the security end to keep her system protected and have a plan in case the worst did occur. Her staff now had access to better technology and had someone to call on if they had questions, and productivity soared. When it came time for Valerie to choose what to add to her business, she did so with confidence as her VCIO had set her up for success. She had all that, without having to break the bank on a new executive. Valerie didn’t just gain a VCIO, she gained peace of mind.