Privacy was one of the most significant issues of the year gone by, from playing with FaceApp to Mark Zuckerberg facing a trial due to the privacy infringement at Facebook. And how was it all triggered? With the anthological series genius of Black Mirror on Netflix, we know how the future (even though the makers wanted to portray the series as dystopian) will look like with tech giants having access to your location, microphones, search history, and predicting your behavior, calling it ‘to better cater to our customers.’ The question I pose here: Where does it stop being enterprises using data to give us better choices and start being an infringement of our privacy? What is the legality or the ethics of it?

If 2019 was not successful in turning you into a paranoid techie already, it is but evident that the onus is on us to safeguard our data. Moving on to another most viewed series of Netflix, ‘You.’ The protagonist, Joe’s daily activity consisted of stalking (both physical and cyber). He would lurk online strategically, getting into Guinevere’s phone and stalking her and his other victims on social media. What we learned last year should consist of our resolution this year. Let us focus on the tech resolutions all of us as individuals and enterprises should be taking to avoid such Joes and an episode of Black Mirror in our lives.

Resolutions of 2020

Resolution #1

“I don’t want to live in fear of worrying about downtime and data breaches to my business. I want to adopt the best ongoing practices of data security.”

Well, there is going to be a lot of resources and manpower to keep your business productive as well as secure. You can either evangelize and scale up your current in-house IT support or partner with a provider who will design a comprehensive assessment to uncover your vulnerabilities and help you fix them. If you have the right IT vendor, they will go out of the way to architect your security plans with you.

Resolution # 2

“I want to know my IT better, including the people, IT costs, and get a report of key reports and KPIs to understand performance better, and implement a better process or strategy accordingly.”

If you don’t want a Black Mirror situation happening to your business, then buckle up. Data is readily available to you, and it will help you in your business choices and will be invaluable for you in the future. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have any process or protocols in place to measure or interpret this information. Discuss with your IT team the possibilities to predict this Big Data and options available to you for your specific needs. Once you have a plan in place, you can gather the data, review it, and make it a part of your management routine to ensure you are using every bit of information that is out there.

Resolution # 3

“I will no longer only settle for fixing IT issues but will implement a proactive process to maximize IT and my business.”

This is the simplest yet the most crucial to your business’ ongoing success. If you have been relying on IT support entirely to keep your technology up and running, then we have bad news for you boomer. 2020 is the year you must be fixing this.

While it is vital to have an IT support that you can immediately fall back on when something goes wrong, it is much more essential to have support in place that ensures that nothing goes wrong in the first place. You need to have a full range of managed IT service support and maintenance to stay ahead of potential problems and have the ability to leverage your business technology in ways you never thought possible.

Resolution # 4

“I will not only focus on three quarters, but I will also consider Q4 momentum.”

The ‘holiday season’ is also known as the fourth quarter of the year and is both a boon and a bane for businesses. Of course, the period between Halloween to New Year is a time when sales can skyrocket. But as much as you capitalize during this period, consumers are known to tighten the purse strings around January. The holiday hangover has sent many businesses into a panic, especially e-commerce.

Let us now get into some pointers because you need to turn your holiday customers into long-term brand advocates:

1. Start leveraging the data you collect (refer to Resolution # 3 of how to manage and interpret data) and reconnect with your customers with personalized and relevant offers and segment your audience smartly.

2. Create long-term offers with a subscription model or complementary product sales to generate ongoing revenue from Q4.

3. Always strategically plan for Q4 as these holidays come every year. Start with promotional campaigns or targeted campaigns and content that your customers will find helpful.

4. Listen to your customers and not your instincts. If data privacy is an issue for you, it is also an issue for your consumers. They don’t wanna land in the hands of another Joe from ‘You.’ Keep that in mind and uphold their privacy.

5. Email marketing campaigns are one of the best tools to extend customer relationships. So create a follow-up sequence that will be triggered during Q4 that will smartly re-engage your customers for 2020.

Resolution # 5

“I will get a hold on the content moderation shit show.”

If you remember the news from TechCrunch, then you will remember how hackers exploited Twitter to spread Islamic State propaganda. This was followed by a New York Times article on Facebook’s disorganized content moderation efforts.

2018 saw a lot of tech industries change their policies and promised commitments to detox the web from hate propaganda through proactive screening and AI. Many tech organizations did strive to learn from their mistakes in 2019, putting better content moderation guidelines and sealing up their loopholes. The stakes are too high to let the propaganda of any kind to flourish online.

To conclude…

Don’t clamp down rule-breakers, be one, apply rules and not diffuse them; it is always refreshing to see someone not abide by the rules but play along as you go. You are an extremely powerful arbitrator of speech and change. Just like any vow or diet plan as a resolution for the new year, if enterprises enforced specific resolutions, businesses would have shaped better. Let’s welcome the beginning of a new millennium, and I hope we are not too late to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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