Financial services company Northern Trust recently hosted an Economic Trends Breakfast where a number of Wisconsin IT and business leaders came together to discuss the tech sector's priorities for 2015. Attendees stressed the importance of cyber security in light of recent high-profile attacks and named the Internet of Things (IoT) as an area that could present interesting developments in the coming months. Overall, they expressed optimism for the state's IT industry.

"[Cyber security is] a topic that hits home for Wisconsin very directly because of some of the business sectors that are located here — financial services, insurance, retail, health care," said Wisconsin Technology Council president Tom Still. "Those are all sectors that need to be thinking on a daily basis about their cyber security, and they also have to be strong sectors in Wisconsin."

A growing number of companies are recognizing the need to protect their data from cyber attack, but recent history proves how difficult this is. In this respect, the IoT presents both a major challenge, because of the vast amounts of data that are transferred between connected devices all the time, and nearly limitless potential to improve business intelligence, information gathering and decision-making.

The applications of this data range from observing trends in consumer behavior to optimizing energy usage. Still believes that, in the fast-evolving IT world, Wisconsin has a chance to take a preeminent position on the national stage. From being a biotechnology hotbed, the state has diversified into other tech areas over the past decade, attracting more venture capital along the way.

MC Services provides expert IT consulting to businesses in Wisconsin and surrounding states, ensuring that they are able to stay up to date on the latest trends.