Nigel Field, founder of Alchemy Systems, shares his predictions for 2016.
“I think 2016 will be another exciting and challenging year! My predictions are based on my extensive reading of reports from companies such as IDC, the UK government, the EU to name but a few as well as discussions with our partner suppliers and of course – our clients.”
Digital Transformation (DX)
Digital transformation (DX) will drive everything that matters in IT. The International Data Corporatrion (IDC) predicts that by 2020, “almost 50% of IT budgets will be tied into DX initiatives.”
Unsurprisingly I see a continued dominance of the Cloud. IDC consider that “Cloud First” will become the new mantra for enterprise IT” and the most “functionally-rich IT offerings” will be found in the Cloud.
The Cloud is really changing the nature of computing and how business gets done and will almost certainly continue to do so. Indeed according to IDC: “by 2020 clouds will stop being referred to as “public” and “private” and ultimately they will stop being called clouds altogether. It is simply the new way business is done and IT is provisioned.“
Although many businesses are reluctant to migrate to Cloud computing, we are getting an increasing number of clients who hire us to manage their migration to the Cloud. Perceptions are starting to change as business owners, albeit reluctantly in many cases, recognise that the Cloud is the way foward.
As to Cloud providers there is likely to be consolidation in the market. A report by Forrester predicts that: The major public cloud providers will gain strength, with Amazon, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft capturing a greater share of the business cloud services market. […] Even with innovative new players like Aliyun and DigitalOcean emerging, the number of options for general infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud services and cloud management software will be much smaller at the end of 2016 […].” This aligns with IDC who predict that by 2018, 75-80% of public cloud services will be consolidated to 6 platform vendors, including Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce.
Unfortunately we will see an increase in the frequency, size, complexity, method and impacts of cyber attacks. As McAfee Labs says: “the past year has marked the beginnings of a significant shifttoward new threats that are more difficult to detect, including fileless attacks,exploits of remote shell and remote control protocols, encrypted infiltrations,and credential theft.” (McAfee Labs 2016 Threats Predictions).
The EU and the UK government are becoming more active in the area of cyber security and this trend will continue.
Organisations (companies and not-for-profits) will need to deveop a clear strategy to prevent cyber attacks and mitigate impacts. They should also put in place a multi-layered approach. A multi-layered approach means regular updates to software, firewalling, email cleansing as well as threat detection processes and management. In addition filoes should be backed up on a regular basis and stored off site so that if the worse happens a complete restore is possible. The security products market will benefit from stronger growth.
Dual Factor Security
Dual Factor authorisation using passkey, smartcards or smartphone apps will become more essential to secure computer systems over the coming year.
Yes, we will all have to move to Windows 10 even though it can be a frustrating piece of software for people who are not using tablets. There is, however, a wealth of productivity and security capabilities hidden in this product (we’ve found mnost of them!)
There is likely to be a continued shortage of IT talent. Indeed IDC predict that by 2018, 65% of all enterprise IT assets will be housed offsite and 33% of IT staff will be employed by third-party managed service providers. At Alchemy Systems we are increasingly being hired as the off-site IT department for our clients.
Disruptive Technologies – a Paradigm Shift
With increased workforce mobility, off-site working, real time decision-making, virtual teams (in some cases globally dispersed teams), social inclusion, cyber security issues companies are going through constant and rapid change. The overarching theme is how companies hire and enable their people to play to their strengths in their work situation. The Cloud is undoubtedly bringing significant changes to the culture of the workplace. Companies need to include these trends in their business strategies and put in place the IT capabilities to harness these for their future business success. (Nigel Field, Founder of Alchemy Systems)
How Alchemy Systems can help you
At Alchemy Systems we have the expertise and experience to help you migrate to the Cloud; develop your cyber security strategy; design and implement a multi-layered approach to security.
If you are finding it hard to hire the right person to manage your IT we almost certainly have a support plan that would suit your business needs and budget.