We consider the key trends that will define 2018’s key business challenges… Plagued by cyber-attacks and skills shortages...
The IT landscape is becoming even more complex. It seems every year businesses are confronted with even more issues and potential pitfalls that they need to navigate around – not only to remain competitive, but to avoid the loss of reputation and customer trust.
Upcoming legislation like the EU Data Protection directive will mean even more pressure to secure mission critical data, and CIOs need to ensure they are doing everything in their power to protect customer information. The story is the same in the public sector: with ministers under increased scrutiny thanks to the 2015 election, mistakes and data losses will simply not be tolerated.
Alongside increased pressure on governance and compliance, organisations are also expecting the IT department to make a greater contribution in achieving their business objectives – a difficult task when so much of the CIOs time and resource is tied up in simply keeping the lights on. Within this environment we will see an increased demand for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that can help businesses through what is set to be an IT minefield of a year.
Here are the first three top six trends that will shape enterprise IT in 2015:
The cost of raw infrastructure is already plummeting thanks to price-wars between the biggest providers – including AWS, Microsoft and Google. As a result the bottom is falling out of the market and customers now look beyond raw infrastructure for value
And with many IT departments moving away from the traditional maintenance model and looking to demonstrate business value through innovation and a focus on the application-layer, organisations no longer have the expertise, or the need to deal with raw infrastructure.
In the next year we’ll see a rise in the number of businesses turning to MSPs – with IT priorities shifting from reducing costs to helping create an agile and flexible work environment, businesses will look to their technology partners to do the dull maintenance work. Thanks to MSPs the CIO can now pour his or her department’s resources in to developing an IT environment which can be shaped and customised by individual departments – trusting that the heavy lifting and availability demands will be dealt with elsewhere.
As I’ve already mentioned, the traditional role of the CIO is shifting, with more attention being paid to the innovation. Again, this means a move away from tried and tested methods of managing infrastructure. Over the next year we will start to see CIOs throw out the outdated ‘command and control’ model of infrastructure governance. Instead IT leaders will begin to embrace data centre orchestration technologies that can offer seamless infrastructure performance, with data moving freely across hybrid IT infrastructures.
The move will allow CIOs to continue to pull away from the ‘dirty’ infrastructure work, retaining their focus on demonstrating real value to the business and delivering a competitive edge.
We’re starting to see a number of companies coming under increasing scrutiny for their data protection and compliance policies, and this scrutiny is only going to increase with the new laws coming in 2017 from the EU Commission concerning data regulation. This will significantly increase a business’ responsibility for critical data, and have the power to impose large sanctions for mishandling, or failing to take every step possible to protect it. This ruling will greatly impact any business model based on the use/management of data such as cloud, Bring-Your-Own-Device and datacentre storage.
We will start to see more debates around who will have to take responsibility for this. MSPs should also prepare for a huge influx of queries from customers about their data, so a thorough understanding of the new regulation itself will be crucial in order to deal with all of the inbound requests. 2017 might seem like a long time away but the radical changes in law will require organisations to work hard over the next two years to have a chance of complying and avoiding substantial fines in the future.
Next week, I’ll reveal the final three, as I see them.
Have a great Christmas in the meantime!
 IDG Market Insight, CIO Perspectives on Digital Disruption: 45% of CIOs would explore the possibility of working more closely with hosting and MSPs.
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