There are few in Canada who could deny that 2015 was a challenging year for companies.

This comes as no surprise given the macro challenges we faced. The price of oil brought the Canadian dollar tumbling down to the lowest it’s been in a decade,  the manufacturing industry stalled and unemployment rates rose at the end of the year.

While both the price of crude oil and the Canadian dollar remain low, we can look to the new government for potential changes in 2016. There’s no denying that Canadian organizations spent 2015 weathering the economic storm and when it came to technology, they buckled down to maximize the potential of their existing infrastructures.

Despite these issues, spend on IT in Canadian companies remained static and largely unchanged.

While overall technology use in 2015 remained status quo, organizations did take steps towards change by evaluating their security efforts. Last year was peppered with breaches, in fact, two of the top five largest breaches ever to take place made headlines in 2015. It’s no surprise that security concerns were at the top of minds for many organizations. However, companies primarily focused on the security of their networks – through access to apps and the Internet, but there was a lack of focus on securing what’s really of value to an organization: the data. Fortunately, we foresee more importance placed on securing company data in 2016.

Looking ahead to this year, organizations will attempt do more with their IT. We’ll see change towards a “cloud-first” mentality, with more organizations focusing on how data can be kept and stored safely externally. Organizations will also shift towards “webifying” – or digitizing – their apps, to migrate legacy apps and data to be more aligned with a mobile strategy. This need for a ubiquitous sense of secure access and increased demand and expectations from employees to have ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to company apps and data will escalate this up the chain of priorities.

While the current threat landscape demands that companies place significant value on security, the desire for greater flexibility will be a strong theme in 2016. We’ll see that flexibility and security do not have to be mutually exclusive; they can complement each other.