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Industry experts discuss the CIO’s priorities for the year ahead

Industry experts discuss the CIO’s priorities for the year ahead

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The year 2019 has taught us many lessons, including how best to tackle the challenge of securing cloud operations, how to make our Digital Transformation journey a success, and what approach we should be taking to close the cyberskills gap. We hear from industry experts who discuss priorities for CIOs in particular, in 2020.

Jon Lucas, Co-Director at Hyve Managed Hosting:

“Many of the predictions about the technology industry in 2020 are likely to be about the one thing on every CIO’s lips: cybersecurity. Recent research found that in 2018, 70% of cybersecurity professionals said the cybersecurity skills shortage had impacted their organisation, and the fact is that this cybersecurity skills gap is set to get even wider. This will mean the latest ease-of-management technology solutions become a necessity rather than a luxury and the growing skills shortage will cause a boom in businesses choosing to outsource their IT security requirements.

“With the newest technological advancements still in their infancy, but growing exponentially, things like IoT and 5G will bring about positive change. But they also bring with them complex new cyberthreats as the mammoth surge of data volume and the new ways to create and connect this data will make implementing effective cyberdefences from every angle a much bigger task.

“Cybersecurity will become top of the board agenda across all industries, and businesses should expect to increase cybersecurity spend and look to deploy specific training in order to rise to the challenge and keep ever-valuable data protected from new threats and growingly sophisticated cybercriminals.”

Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO and Co-Founder at Content Guru:

“AI has already started to feel like an old conversation but the reality is that it’s only just off the starting blocks in many industries. In the last year, contact centres and organisations that focused on customer engagement have moved beyond the AI hype into practical implementation. There are tangible examples of AI applications already in full swing in the contact centre industry, ranging from Natural Language Processing (NLP) to image recognition.

“Research from industry-leading analyst, Gartner, suggests that in 2020, 80% of customer service interactions will be handled, at least partly, by AI. This is hardly surprising as around a quarter of customer interactions are already handled through an automated chatbot and the customer engagement technology sector is constantly expanding the very definition of what AI is and what it can do. As it becomes the key business differentiator, organisations that stay ahead of the curve are seeing happy, loyal and engaged customers and higher profits, by turning AI hype into tangible business success. Moving beyond the hype and towards result-driven applications of AI will be critical to the success of any company wanting to survive in this competitive landscape in 2020.”

Steve Blow, Tech Evangelist at Zerto:

“In 2020 we will continue to see the adoption of cloud. As the old tech saying goes, ‘one cloud doesn’t fit all’, so I fully expect that businesses will continue to want more mobility and choice when it comes to their cloud. Microsoft and AWS will continue to go strong as more and more organisations will look to pursue their ‘cloud-first’ strategies, adopting the cloud and its services. Because of this, having the ability to move to a cloud, from a cloud and back again will become more and more valuable.”

Phil White, CTO at Scale Computing:

“Most Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology today relies on the cloud and makes decisions based on the collection of data that is stored in the cloud it is accessing. However, this can cause latency as data has to travel to data centres and then back to the device. For example, this can be problematic for self-driving cars, which cannot wait for the round trip of data to know when to brake, or how fast to travel.

“As a result of this, more organisations are turning to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and Edge Computing to capture data at the source of creation, specifically to support high-performance use cases, such as AI. The implementation of HCI and Edge Computing in AI will see the industry reduced form factors, since HCI allows for technology to operate within a smaller hardware design. In fact, some companies have already announced that they will be launching HCI Edge Compute clusters that are no bigger than a cup of coffee.

“By 2020, it is expected that 80% of all devices will have an Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature. While the cloud has provided AI the platform it needed to grow to the level of being available on nearly every technological device, the combination of HCI and Edge Computing will give AI the tools needed to evolve to the next frontier, with smarter and faster decision making for organisations in 2020.”

Eltjo Hofstee, Managing Director at Leaseweb UK:

“As the drive for reducing energy consumption to benefit the environment reaches an all-time high, we predict that an increased demand for virtualisation will be a key route to achieving sustainability in data centre operations. Virtual servers use far less energy than their physical counterparts as they share a lot of resources, yet enable IT teams to fully utilise the capacity of a physical server to run the same environment virtually, and in many cases without compromising performance. In comparison with on-premises hosting, data centres have some of the most advanced tools and capabilities of any sector for improving energy efficiency – so why not use them?”

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