As we look back over the past year in technology, Paul Blore, our MD, shares his predictions for the digital trends disrupting business in over the next twelve months; including the challenge of cyber security issues, the rise of cloud computing adoption and how continued investment in emerging technologies can help tackle the UK’s productivity problem.
With an increasing number of high profile data breaches over the last year, it comes as little surprise that the issue of data security has become a key topic for businesses of all sizes, and rightly so; there’s no doubt that the number of these types of incidents will only increase further during 2018, in line with the value of data.
Whilst no business wants to be the target of any type of attack, a common issue we see is that many businesses still see IT as a tactical overhead rather than a vital strategic investment. SMEs often believe they are too small a fish to be a target for hackers but if data is valuable to a business, then it’s valuable to hackers. With such an increase in the number and sophistication of cyber attacks, we expect to see a greater emphasis from the security industry at large, on reviewed cyber security measures and strategic business protection.
In relation to the cloud, we have noticed a seismic shift in opinions surrounding security. In recent years businesses have been cautious about committing to the cloud, fearing that with no physical security, data could be vulnerable to attack. However, businesses are starting to recognise that the cloud might actually be a safer place for data than an on premise server and as such, are now focused on the operational benefits of moving to the cloud.
With 60% of workloads expected to be operated in some form of hosted cloud service by 2019, we are already seeing significant growth in the adoption of cloud computing amongst businesses of all sizes. As a result, the choice of providers is greater than ever before and therefore the consideration of a multi-cloud environment is becoming more and more popular. However, for many organisations that cannot justify spreading their infrastructure across multiple data centres, we anticipate an uptake of customers hosting with one provider, but using a number of web-based applications from a variety of vendors that host elsewhere. This multi-cloud approach is an unintended consequence rather than a planned strategy for many organisations, but importantly from the user’s perspective, it is completely invisible.
The Technological Revolution
It has been well publicised that the UK lags behind much of Europe in workforce productivity. The Confederation of British Industry has argued that the government should be encouraging greater uptake of new technologies, such as the cloud, to help close the productivity gap between the UK and neighbouring countries. Thankfully, the government seems to be listening, announcing an investment of £500 million in the Autumn Budget to be targeted at technological initiatives from full-fibre broadband to new start-ups. Some argue that the funds committed do not go far enough, but with such a focus placed on the UK being at the forefront of a technological revolution, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. With continued investment in emerging technologies and services, businesses will be able to – flexibly and cost-effectively – deploy the very latest applications that automate processes, provide complex analytics and boost productivity.