Technology and IT are constantly evolving, with new capabilities appearing all the time. This means that the way in which we use tech and IT in business, and the things we can use them for, are also changing just as quickly.
Below are some of the trends in cybersecurity, infrastructure and managed IT services that we think will be seen in 2019…
Trends in cybersecurity
Weighing up the risk
There is more pressure than ever for organisations to demonstrate security compliance since the introduction of GDPR in May 2018, and new security policies are being created and enforced by industry regulators all the time.
Because of this, organisations will be more concerned with managing their risk profile in 2019. They will need to think carefully about implementing new technologies and focus on how this might affect their risk profile. They will probably also consider the security risks associated with new solutions more than before.
Security threats are always evolving, and hacking methods are becoming more sophisticated. Complying with security regulations can make adapting to threats more difficult, but it is still necessary to do so. Organisations will need to find new ways of complying with the mandatory standards while fighting off evolving security threats.
Using digital profiles for IDAM
Until recently, many organisations have had a ‘trust no-one’ approach to security. This means that nothing and no-one was trusted to access the network without having their identity verified.
This was a robust approach to security, but it was also impractical in lots of ways. It made accessing apps and data harder for users and was hard to implement in companies with complex legacy systems.
Increasingly, this approach is being replaced by a digital trust philosophy which centres around verifying user identity through their digital profile and creating custom permissions. Over time, users develop a digital identity based on the devices they use, locations from where they access the network and their role in an organisation. This user activity can be used to verify identity and as a basis on which to grant access; as long as the user’s behaviour is consistent with their usual digital profile.
Taking this approach means there are fewer obstacles for users accessing the data and systems they need. But it also means security around the repository of users needs to be watertight to avoid breaches and ensure digital identities aren’t hacked.
Trends in infrastructure
Extracting value from data
In 2019, organisations will be looking to get more value from their data. Because of this, data accessibility will influence the decisions they make around their IT infrastructure and its architecture.
Organisations are already architecting their data management infrastructure so that it can capture, store and secure data efficiently, to maximise its value. The infrastructure must let users have easy access to data from applications and also through the Internet of Things.
While there is a definite focus on ensuring easy access to data for those who need it, this needs to be balanced with strict data security and compliance with GDPR. Inevitably, more industry-specific data regulations will be introduced over time, and organisations need to keep ahead of these to ensure they are compliant while still getting value from the data they collect.
Applications dictating infrastructure
The latest apps dictate how and where they operate, so integrating applications with infrastructure is becoming more important.
Organisations are seeking advice on where to place apps so that they deliver the business outcomes they want. Placing applications in the right kind of infrastructure is key to achieving this.
Instead of viewing apps and infrastructure as two different entities, more and more businesses will recognise the importance of having an infrastructure which enables the applications to deliver their desired outcomes, be it in the cloud, on-premise or a combination of both.
Trends in services
Companies using consultants
Companies have used consultants to help them align their technology solutions with their business strategy for a while. But this trend will increase in the coming 12 months because of the complex and ongoing changes in business strategy and IT; particularly with Brexit looming.
Technology and IT capabilities are evolving rapidly, with new possibilities arising all the time. It can be hard for organisations without specialist IT experience to navigate these changes and make the best possible use of them. Add to this the ever-increasing risk of and evolving cybersecurity threats, and it is little wonder enterprises are seeking the help of consultancies to ensure they stay on top of all this and ahead of their competitors.
For this reason, 2019 will continue to see an increase in consulting services being used, in an advisory capacity and through managed services.
Focus on outcome-based services
Customers want their MSP to provide services that deliver a defined business outcome and have measurable success. Because of this, MSPs are being held responsible for their success, or failure, to deliver the business outcomes the customer wants. There is more risk for the MSP, which will probably result in a change in how they pitch and deliver their services.
Another element of this is that organisations are increasingly using full-stack (multiple) services rather than a single-stack service so that all aspects of their IT are integrated and work together seamlessly to deliver objectives.
In short, MSPs will need to evolve and adapt to this changing approach from their customers. Not only do they now need to provide the services that customers want, but they also need to provide consultancy, change management and on-boarding to help the customer ensure they achieve their desired outcomes.