With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) expected to come into force in 2018, 65 per cent of IT leaders voted security as the number one investment priority and 52 per cent identified it as the greatest challenge for the year ahead, with Security (39 per cent), big data (40 per cent) and cloud (46 per cent) voted as trends to have the greatest impact in the long-term. This is according to new research from IT services provider Getronics.
Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of businesses plan just twelve months or less in advance, with 36 per cent working to a two-year roadmap, and three per cent not having one in place at all. In addition to security (39 per cent), big data (40 per cent) and cloud (46 per cent) were called out as the trends likely to have the greatest impact on long-term IT planning, as well as these three being the priority investment areas for 2017/2018.
The study also indicates that cloud services continue to grow in prominence, with three quarters (74 per cent) of mid-market businesses having already invested in cloud to date and 93 per cent expecting to migrate some services to the cloud by the end of 2017.
“Cloud continues to have a huge impact on the speed at which we’re able to drive innovation at ACCA. We worked with Getronics to transition our Managed Firewall & Cloud Connectivity services to its Cloud Platform, in incredibly short timescales and at a time when ongoing projects were dependent on its delivery, with no impact on the end-user. This engagement now gives us the ability to flex into the Getronics cloud as and when we need deliver or transition services. These results correspond with our strategy for the year ahead which, following our recent service engagement with Getronics, will see us work together to deploy further cloud technologies to ensure we deliver an intuitive and reliable service to our customers and employees,” said Al Gibson, Head of IT Operations at ACCA.
For those intending to invest in cloud in future, flexible storage, managed software updates and physical security of data were called out as key drivers.
Ninety-six per cent outsource at least some of their IT function, with 31 per cent of businesses stating IT staffing as one of the greatest challenges for 2017. Other reasons for outsourcing IT in the mid-market include, risk reduction (44 per cent) and business continuity (40 per cent).
Mark Cook, Group CEO at Getronics commented, “Mid-market organisations are the lifeblood of the European economy. Innovation has meant that technology has become more accessible to this market segment. For example, the rise of the cloud has allowed firms to experiment with new technologies whilst gaining a greater access to computing power than ever before.
“Our research indicates cloud and security will continue to be priority focus areas for IT decision makers in 2017. We’re working closely with customers on complex cloud migration projects, as well as guiding them on their journey to GDPR compliance. The current flexibility of mid-market companies, both in size and financial situation means that they are the best equipped to adopt technology. We look forward to partnering with some of Europe’s most innovative mid-sized organisations to drive transformation and business growth through IT.”