2022 has been another year of transformation for businesses of all sizes. There were plenty of innovative technologies that emerged throughout the year that changed the way businesses worked, delivered new efficiencies, and protected valuable assets from emerging cyber threats. But as we prepare for the new year, 2023 looks set to be another 12 months of change. It is important to start thinking about your strategy now to get ahead of the game and prepare for the IT challenges that will shape your business in the new year.
As 2022 draws to a close, here are 4 things we think will be high on the agenda for IT teams in the coming months.
1. Continued cyber threats may prompt changes in strategy
Cybersecurity remained a key focus area in 2022, and this is unlikely to change in the new year. Businesses are well accustomed to the threat of regular cyber attacks, and as the Cyber Security Breaches Survey showed, 2022 was no exception. 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack in the last 12 months, and of those explored, phishing attacks emerged as the most common attack vector.
Businesses must continue to protect themselves against both new and existing threats, including phishing attempts, and must do so at a time when skilled cybersecurity personnel are in short supply. As such, it’s likely many businesses will review their approach to cybersecurity, choosing to seek out external security expertise such as outsourced Security Operations Centre (SOC) solutions to access a skilled team of security experts in absence of their own resource.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) may also be harnessed to help alleviate the burden of detection and response. AI can be trained to quickly recognise patterns of cyber attacks, identifying malicious activity and even taking automated action to resolve threats. Our recent blog discusses AI in cybersecurity and how IT teams can expect a reduction in false positive alerts, allowing them to focus on the most critical threats.
2. Return to the office won’t stop hybrid collaboration
2022 saw many businesses continue hybrid and remote working, but while new ways of working continue to have a place, many organisations also looked to introduce formalised returns to the office – something which brings new challenges of its own.
When returning to the office, businesses must focus on how best to reignite and maintain their desired culture, particularly when teams are working from multiple locations. Diverse ways of working need to be integrated to ensure collaboration and productivity.
Wherever your users are working, they’ll need to be able to access the right tools to support collaboration in real time. Where people have already become accustomed to using collaboration tools while home working, they will now need something that offers consistent experiences for those both at home and in the office. This will place even bigger importance on collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, a platform that is already at the heart of more flexible working for many organisations. It is likely that we will see an increased demand for smart meeting room technology like Teams Rooms as the deployment of these solutions will allow users in the office to easily join calls and collaborate with their remote colleagues. Microsoft has already made a commitment to this, with new Teams-enabled devices in the works. But it’s likely that 2023 will see more new updates and features released as businesses harness smart meeting rooms to keep their employees connected and productive.
3. Virtualisation could alleviate supply constraint pain
Supply constraints have consistently featured across the IT landscape throughout the last 24 months, delaying device refresh plans for many. While positive steps are being taken, this is likely to continue into 2023.
Many businesses that are already sweating assets may not be able to refresh as soon as they might like, and the continued use of legacy devices can also impact user experience and present security risks. There are however options for businesses to continue delaying a device refresh, while also extending the value of their existing technology.
Many businesses have already turned to virtual desktop solutions to support flexible working, and these solutions can also help to alleviate the urgency of device refresh. Virtual desktops shift dependency away from the physical device with a desktop hosted virtually in the cloud – the upshot being that performance is then no longer dependent on the capabilities of the PC’s own hardware. Users can also make use of the latest OS versions and run powerful software without the fear of being held back by their device. The accessibility of virtual desktops also allows users to securely access their work PC from any device, opening up avenues for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models.
4. Cloud overspending could spark a rethink
Cloud spending continued to grow throughout 2022, and is likely to increase again in 2023. But while businesses see cloud as a route to better commercials and greater agility, increased usage can expose inefficiencies.
Poor planning and inadequate strategies could lead to over-provisioning, leaving you paying for cloud resource you do not need. According to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report, organisations self-estimate that they are wasting 32% of their cloud spend. As budgets tighten, some of this investment could be better utilised elsewhere, but only once your cloud environment has been properly optimised.
As such, it’s likely many businesses will look to rationalise their cloud spend next year, rethinking their strategy to assess the make-up of their environment, and where improvements can be made. Giving due consideration to what services are required, or which workloads should or shouldn’t be migrated will also be important to help right-size any future investments.
As the last year has shown, 2023 is likely to provide a host of IT challenges and exciting innovations. We aren’t sure what these will be just yet, but getting ahead of the 4 trends highlighted above will get your strategy off to a positive start in the new year. To learn more about any of the topics highlighted above, or to discuss any IT projects in your plans for the next 12 months, please get in touch.