Our IT Predictions for 2018
What has 2018 got in store for the small business manager in terms of IT?
Grant McGregor gazes into the crystal ball to give you the heads up…
• Everyone is going to wonder why they didn’t get started on GDPR much sooner
• The Brexit effect is going to start to bite
• The Internet of Things will impact many more products and services
• Augmented Reality will come into the mainstream
• The changing role of the CIO: Security and Information Governance will grow in importance
• The online security threat needs new solutions
• Mobile search is taking over
Everyone is going to wonder why they didn’t get started on GDPR much sooner
You can barely visit an IT-related site on the Internet these days before falling over columns full of articles about GDPR. Yet, current research shows that many businesses – particularly SMEs – still aren’t sure about how it will impact on their business and what they need to do about it.
As the May 2018 deadline approaches, we predict that many businesses will start to wonder why it has taken them so long to respond.
Of course, smaller businesses have significantly more constraints in terms of the resources available to them, so it makes it that much harder to take a proactive approach. Ironically, the perennial problem a small business owner faces to balance short-term priorities with long term projects will be even more acutely felt just when the two begin to align – and the first GDPR non-compliance fines start being levied.
If this sounds like you, read our article introducing the GDPR challenge for SMEs here.
The Brexit effect is going to start to bite
The one thing that is constant in life is change. And, at the moment, the one thing that is certain about Brexit is uncertainty.
As we move towards the May 2019 date with this uncertainty still looming, it is going to be harder and harder to justify investment and big infrastructure and improvement projects. UK businesses must rise to the challenge: we can’t afford to be left behind in this new era of technology because of fear of where the future is going to take us.
We need to start thinking strategically about investment that will reduce operational costs and enhance customer experience so we are well placed to weather the storm – whatever happens.
The Internet of Things will impact many more products and services
We’ve seen some amazing innovation in both industrial and consumer Internet of Things (IoT) devices over the last few years.
From agricultural drones being used in farming in order to help increase crop production and monitor crop growth, to improved environmental monitoring data powering intelligent energy management and continuous improvement, we are seeing how IoT technologies can reduce business risk, streamline operations and improve profitability.
Augmented Reality (AR) will come into the mainstream
Augmented Reality isn’t just for gamers. It has incredible potential for business applications too.
The new tools coming to the market illustrate the potential of augmented reality (AR). We’ve seen solutions such as augmented reality bike maintenance and the new augmented reality satnav solution from Sygic.
How could AR improve the product and service offering you offer your customers?
The changing role of the CIO: Security and Information Governance will grow in importance
As infrastructure is outsourced to the cloud and increasing numbers of business applications are delivered as SaaS, the future of the CIO role is in doubt.
After fighting so hard to get a seat at the top table, now – with so much outsourced – does the role belong in the boardroom?
There are two compelling reasons why you could argue the role of the CIO is more important than ever – security and information governance. The forthcoming GDPR regulations and hacks like the one at Equifax have shown us that these issues are critical to business, brand and profitability.
This presents an opportunity for forward-thinking CIOs to redefine the role and add impressive business value.
The online security threat needs new solutions
The security threat continues to evolve and as more and more of our business is done online and in the digital sphere, it presents an increasing risk too. We need new solutions to meet this challenge.
How can small businesses protect themselves without the resources of enterprise-class IT teams? Take the first steps by getting yourself checked and certified against the UK-Government-backed Cyber Essentials standard as soon as you can in 2018.
Mobile search is taking over – but what about voice search?
Google has warned us that it is working towards prioritising mobile search, and businesses need to be auditing and, if necessary, investing in their website technologies and optimisation strategies to prepare for this.
But if there is one new tech trend we’ve seen succeed in 2017, it is the rise of voice search. How is that going to affect the way your customers interact with you online?
There are no certainties about what 2018 has in store for us all, but the pace of technological change we are already experiencing is heady.
How can we help you keep up?
Call us on 0808 164 4142.
And may we take this opportunity to wish you and every one of our customers and friends a very Happy and prosperous New Year.