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2018 - The Challenges Ahead

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As we continue in to the year, it is a great time to look at the trends and developments which we think will unfold in 2018. In this article, we share our views on the top trends for 2018 in the key areas of cloud, digital workplace, networking and security.

Cloud and Data Centre

The past few years have seen an unprecedented adoption of cloud technologies, which give businesses an unmatched opportunity to adopt a flexible and agile environment. This trend will accelerate in the year ahead as organisations continue to utilise cloud to transform the way they do business. We expect to see the further adoption of multi-cloud strategies, as organisations seek to leverage the maturing Public Cloud offerings available in the market alongside their hybridised internal infrastructure.

Garter state that in 2018, IT organisations must prioritise advancing cloud strategies and mature the use of cloud services across the organisation. However, the cloud environment will continue to be a security target, with organisations needing to develop dynamic security strategies for both private and public cloud.

Also in 2018, data centre expectditure is expected to become the largest IT cost centre within an enterprise. Because of this high expenditure, it is imperative that organisations find a compromise between investment, technology and governance, which delivers the business outcome they need.

Digital Workplace

Enabling the digital workplace provides employees with a more efficient way of working, raises engagement and boosts agility. The requirement for organisations  to deliver flexible working solutions that enable users to access IT services from any device in any location will see the trends in the adoption of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Application Delivery, Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) continue to gather momentum.

During 2018 we can expect to see further customisation and consumerisation through the adoption of Bring Your Own App (BYOA),  whereby employees are enabled to bring the cloud apps they use on their personal devices to work. By enhancing digital dexterity, companies can seek to gain a significant competitive advantage - however, security becomes increasingly challenging.

To support the adoption of flexible working solutions, organisations need to take consideration across their Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Endpoint Security (EPS) solutions, striking a balance between mitigating risks whilst driving engagement and efficiency.

Networking

In 2018 the network will become more critical than ever.

The volume and variety of devices connected to the network are increasing dramatically, with the prevalence of non-client based devices leading to a more diverse and complex landscape. This shift in the dynamic of devices connected to the network, coupled with the data intensive nature of the applications and content being delivered across the network, means ever-greater demands are being placed on the networking infrastructure. Organisations will need to modernise their networks, leveraging Software Defined Solutions and extending their Wireless LAN capabilities.

As Networking Infrastructure continues to modernise, organisations will need to focus on the broader security considerations that an extended network border provides, whether that be at the end point device or within the cloud. As traditional network security solutions cater primarily for devices that are secured locally within a corporate network, organisations should fully review the impact that broader network usage has on their overall security provision.

Security

Whilst it is often difficult to predict future trends, one which is almost certain is that cyber-threats will increase at an unprecedented level. We have already seen, by examining the key areas of Cloud, Digital Workplace and Networking, that security is paramount in all aspects of the environment.

Predictions for 2018 from across the industry concur that cyber threats and the number of attacks will continue to grow. The numbers can vary, but predictions are reaching in the neighbourhood of $6 trillion (£4.43 trillion) in global cyber attack damage by 2021, according to data from Cybersecurity Ventures. This would make cybercrime larger – economically - than all of the drug trafficking in the world combined.

Looking ahead, regulators will also be looking for a more holistic approach to cyber-security – it is no longer an issue to be dealt with solely by IT Departments. The implementation of GDPR across Europe means a higher level of accountability is required by all businesses who hold data on EU citizens, which is bound to have an impact during the year ahead.

Nothing is ever certain, however we predict that 2018 will be the year that your security strategy needs to evolve. Perimeter security has all but disappeared as mobility, cloud, third-party access, digital workspaces, and the IoT are completely changing the nature of the threat universe.

For more information about any of these trends or topics, please contact Stack on 0151 521 2202 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Stack

Founded in 1979, profitable and growing, The Stack Group provide a comprehensive range of IT services and solutions from cabling through to cloud services. Our offerings encompass all aspects of business continuity, virtualisation, data storage, networking and security.

With two wholly-owned, UK-based, ISO27001 accredited datacentres, all of our vSTAX® cloud solutions are industry certified and comply with EU regulations.

In September 2017 The Stack Group was strategically acquired by PCM Technology Solutions UK, to deliver technical service solutions across The UK, Europe, North America and Canada. 

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