Managed.IT - Issue 63


KYOCERA Document Solutions (UK) Limited Your green partner for digital transformation. Here at Kyocera, we're more than print experts. We also deliver bespoke IT solutions for businesses across the UK. And, as a carbon neutral managed service provider, you'll have a partner for growth that aligns with your values. Get in touch with us and book a discovery session and we'll plant a tree. Scan the QR code or visit: Discover more: kyoceraduk @KYOCERADUK kyocera-doc-solutions-uk • +44 (0)333 015 1855 [email protected]

3 Read Managed.IT online... ISSN 2055-3099 (Print) ISSN 2055-3102 (Online) 04 Innovations Modular ecosystem for all wireless charging needs 05 Analysis GoTo highlights key trends shaping IT procurement in 2023 06 News UK businesses unprepared for ISDN switch-off warns Spitfire 08 Cover Story Thomas Collingwood-Smith, Digital Transformation Specialist at Gamma, explains why the ISDN Switch Off is nothing to fear, but can’t be ignored 10 Predictions We ask the experts for experts for their 2023 predictions 14 Scanning With Matt Hill, Vice President, Sales – UK, Ireland & Nordics at Kofax 16 Cybersecurity How to survive the first hour after a breach 18 Printers Brother introduces smallest portable thermal printers to date 19 Cybersecurity BOM IT Solutions partners with Ontinue 20 60 Seconds with... Rob Rodger, Director, Managed Services, Digital Services, Ricoh 21 Sustainability Kyocera launches carbon neutral printers 22 Communications Why IP phones continue to have a place in the modern office 26 ISE 2023 ClickShare takes the pain out of hybrid meetings with CX-50 2nd generation 27 ISE Snapshots New conferencing and collaboration products 28 Displays Highlights from Sony’s stand at ISE 2023 30 Document management Housing association saves thousands with paperless filing system Editor: James Goulding 07803 087228 • [email protected] Publishing Director, Social Media and Web Editor: Neil Trim 01732 759725 • [email protected] Advertising Director: Ethan White 01732 759725 • [email protected] Art Director: Nick Pledge 07767 615983 • [email protected] Advertising Executive: Jeff Root 01732 759725 • [email protected] MANAGED.IT is published by Kingswood Media Ltd., 10 Amherst House, 22 London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 2BT • Tel: 01732 759725 No part of MANAGED.IT can be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. © 2023 Kingswood Media Ltd. Production Design: Sandtiger Media · The paper used in this magazine is obtained from manufacturers who operate within internationally recognized standards and which is sourced from sustainable, properly managed forestation. CONTENTS Managed.IT GET YOUR FREE COPY To make sure you get every issue FREE, as soon as it is published, just visit, click the ‘FREE Registration’ button and add your details to our mailing list. @manageditmag If you no longer wish to receive Managed.IT magazine please email your details to [email protected] SECURITY · CLOUD · ICT · SOFTWARE · HARDWARE PRINT · AV IN PRINT AND ONLINE THE IT SERVICES MAGAZINE & NEWS SITE FOR IT MANAGERS, IT DIRECTORS & CTOS ISSUE 63 · 2023

INNOVATIONS 4 01732 759725 ALOGIC has announced the availability of its Matrix modular charging system on Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Designed to meet the needs of consumers and business people who depend on powerhungry smartphones, tablets, smart watches and other devices, the Matrix ecosystem includes modules for charging at home, in the office or on-the-go. In all, the range includes five MagSafe-compatible wireless charging solutions that can be purchased separately or together: n Matrix 5000mAh Power Bank with Magnetic Wireless Charging; n Matrix Magnetic Wireless Charger with Car Mount; n Matrix 2-in-1 Magnetic Charging Dock; n Matrix 3-in-1 Magnetic Charging Dock with Apple Watch Charger; n Matrix USB-C Apple Watch Charger. Matrix’s modularity allows a user to combine different modules to meet varying charging needs throughout the day. For example, you could wirelessly recharge your phone and power bank simultaneously by slotting the Wireless Power Bank into the Charging Dock or Car Mount. Ritesh Kumar, Co-Founder and Global Director of Sales at ALOGIC, said: “Matrix is the first product of its kind, a complete modular ecosystem of chargers that support customers with the same seamless magnetic wireless charging experience throughout their day. We’re delighted to be taking this first step into the future of charging together with the community of tech enthusiasts on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.” Key features include: n Fast Charging – Matrix dock charges all mobile devices at up to 15W of power; n Secure Magnetic Mounts; and n Support for both Qi and MagSafe charging for iPhone, AirPods or any compatible device. ALOGIC is dedicated to combining the latest technology with the best contemporary designs. Its Matrix ecosystem of modular charging components, which enables users to create customised charging solutions for any requirement, is currently available on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. To learn more or to purchase, visit: ALOGIC Launches MATRIX, The World’s First Modular Wireless Charging Ecosystem New security platform to fight AI-based cyber attacks Cybersecurity specialist OryxAlign has launched securyXDR, a fully managed extended detection and response (XDR) platform. An advanced form of antivirus and malware management, the system is part of a solution that will address the expected rise in sophisticated AI phishing attacks. It will be valuable for SMEs and those with a hybrid and remote workforce, across sectors including financial services, recruitment, legal and more. Traditionally, antivirus systems have operated in silos, being limited to detecting and responding to threats on individual devices or endpoints. The solution was previously Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). With the rise in hybrid and remote working and the reliance on networked storage and cloud-based workflows, there is now a need for visibility of threats across a company’s entire IT ecosystem. “In 2023, we expect to see a sharp rise in sophisticated AI-based phishing attacks, as well as endpoint attacks on remote and hybrid workers. The criminals’ focus may change to SMEs as they are believed to have weaker security,” explained Nathan Charles, head of customer experience. “But because we combine our XDR platform with EDR and email management we can fight fire with fire.” To find out more about securyXDR or to book a free thirty-minute demo, visit 14% of Businesses do not have data back-ups! World Backup Day reminds us to keep our data secure. Are you backing up your data regularly? According to a recent survey by YouGov, 14% of UK businesses are not backing up their data at all, and 68% of businesses that experienced a cyber-attack or data breach in the past year lost or had their sensitive information stolen. With hybrid working becoming more prevalent the risk of data loss and theft is higher than ever. Don’t let this happen to you! On World Backup Day, March 31st, take a moment to review your backup strategy and ensure that your data is secure. And if you handle sensitive data regularly, such as in healthcare, finance, legal, or government sectors, Kingston Technology’s VP80ES encrypted SSD drive is an ideal solution. It features military-grade AES-XTS 256bit encryption to protect your data from unauthorized access and is OS independent. It’s recommended to back up your data weekly, and multiple copies of your backups should be stored in different locations to avoid losing everything in case of a natural disaster or theft. Don’t become a statistic. WHAT’S NEW

5 IT PRIORITIES IT decision-makers highlight consolidation of technology, cost savings and better customer support as top priorities it is very important to consider reducing the burden on IT when choosing new software, up from 35% last year. Two thirds (68%) of company leaders say they are now more involved in the procurement process for IT products and tools than they were a year ago. n Supporting IT teams with better IT support tools. Two thirds (65%) of organisations have seen an increase in their IT workload in the past year and 92% want to reduce the burden on IT through their software choices. Changes or upgrades to digital tools are being driven by the preferences of the IT team in 40% of organisations. n Hybrid work is still the preferred way to work. While there are now almost twice as many inoffice workers as there were last year (36% vs. 19% in 2022), hybrid work remains the gold standard, with half of respondents splitting their time between home and the office. Year-over-year results show a decrease of 10% in the number of businesses that have official rules on the number of days an employee needs to be in the office, meaning that employees have more flexibility than ever. n Finding new ways to prioritise the customer. Businesses can only function if employees have the right IT support and communication tools, and for customer-facing teams this means having the right technology to seamlessly support customers. Two thirds (66%) of respondents plan to spend more this year on customer experience (CX) technology than they did in 2022. n Partners have a key role in decision-making. Over the last year, there has been a 55% increase in the use of technology partners, with 44% of businesses now consulting channel partners when choosing new business communication and IT support tools, compared to 27% who prefer to go directly to the solution provider. For more insights, please visit: GoTo, the IT management, support and business communication specialist, has published the main findings from its IT Priorities: 2023 Report. The report, conducted by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by GoTo, looked at global trends among 1,000 IT decision-makers at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. Against a background of economic uncertainty, scrutinised budgets and overburdened resources, IT decision-makers are having to set goals and objectives to maximise their investment, grow their business and streamline their processes. Among respondents to GoTo's survey the four main business objectives are to: n grow revenue; n improve operational efficiencies; n reduce costs; and n increase customer satisfaction. The IT Priorities: 2023 Report identifies a number of key trends that will allow teams to achieve these objectives. Key IT Trends n Consolidation for enhanced productivity and cost savings. Eight out of 10 respondents (83%) consider consolidation of communication, collaboration and IT management and support tools an important initiative for the year; 93% have completed, planned or are already undertaking these consolidation efforts. The top reasons given for consolidation are to increase employee productivity, to give the IT team solutions that are easier to manage and to make cost savings, with 41% saying they plan to switch vendors to reduce costs. n Taking responsibility. Nearly half (48%) of decision-makers say GoTo reveals key trends shaping IT priorities in 2023 are focused on consolidating vendors GoTo asked 1,000+ SMB decision makers what’s top of mind right now. aim to reduce the burden on IT are supporting hybrid work

6 01732 759725 NEWS The SMB elephant in the room Nearly three quarters (72%) of UK SMBs still don’t consider the PSTN Switch Off a high business priority despite being warned about the impact of failing to switchover before the 2025 deadline. This is according to data from the ‘Switch Off Hesitancy’ survey commissioned by Spitfire Network Services Ltd, a provider of telecoms and IP engineering solutions. The survey of 400 UK-based SMBs also revealed a staggering 42% of businesses aren’t aware of the Switch Off, and the impact delaying a switch to IP could have on their business operations. The ‘Switch Off Hesitancy’ survey sought to better understand the plans of business leaders for the Switch Off, which relates to the end of all legacy analogue and ISDN telephone networks in the UK. With the 2025 deadline fast approaching, business leaders have been warned about how a lack of action or delay in making the switchover could cause major disruption to their business operations. Dom Norton, Sales Director, Spitfire Network Services Ltd, commented: “It has been very interesting to understand where SMBs are regarding the Switch Off – their thoughts, plans and reasoning behind their actions. We have really been engaging with customers and prospects to offer guidance around the Switch Off because we know the impact inaction could have. Businesses could quite literally be cut off. To see that a significant number of business leaders are yet to consider the Switch Off as a high priority is concerning. Clearly more needs to be done to make leaders aware of their need to act.” “There is no escaping the fact that the SMB sector appears to be ignoring the rather large telecoms elephant in the room – the analogue and ISDN Switch-Off, 2025,” commented Harry Bowlby, Managing Director, Spitfire Network Services Ltd. “Our advice is don’t let the Switch-Off creep up on you and leave your business exposed – make the smart move and get the ball rolling today.” For more information about Spitfire Network Services Ltd and the Switch Off, visit Virginia Hayward transforms print processes with Apogee’s managed workplace services Virginia Hayward, the luxury wine and food hamper company, has partnered with managed workplace services (MWS) provider, Apogee Corporation, to upgrade and streamline its print performance. The partnership has unlocked companywide quality and efficiency gains, generating an 80% reduction on man hours and enabling Virginia Hayward’s staff to operate seven days in advance. Apogee was selected to provide its leading-edge, integrated portfolio of print solutions, including managed print services (MPS), creative print, print management, outsourced document services (ODS) and AutoMail. Consolidating these services allowed Virginia Hayward to replace its disparate, multi-brand fleet and optimise print performance, ensuring the timely dispatch of tens of thousands of hampers with high-quality labels. With demand for gift hampers surging in the lead-up to Christmas last year, Virginia Hayward turned to Apogee to enhance the productivity and performance of high-volume print runs. Previous supplier arrangements had resulted in inefficiencies and frequent print jams, interrupting work across the business and forcing dispatch teams to downgrade to basic labelling materials. Alex Walker, Head of Operations at Virginia Hayward, commented: “The commercial benefits of our partnership with Apogee have been enormous. Apogee has provided us with a tailored combination of print services that tightly align with our needs as a high-end business, leading to efficiency, quality and productivity gains across our entire operation. With an exceptional standard of print guaranteed 24/7, we can continue giving our customers a taste of luxury, not just at Christmas but all year round.” Apogee’s MPS has enabled Virginia Hayward to consistently deliver high-quality bespoke labels in line with its luxury brand, with device uptime maximised, labelling workflows streamlined and 24/7 print support readily available when required. In addition to reduced man hours and greater dispatch efficiency, Apogee’s blend of automated print processes and industry-leading outsourced document services has empowered staff to focus on more strategic tasks. This ensures that Virginia Hayward can upgrade its print environment without needing to expand its IT team. Aurelio Maruggi, CEO at Apogee, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have helped Virginia Hayward transform its print environment and achieve such outstanding efficiency gains. The company shares our commitment to the highest levels of service quality and customer care, so this partnership is sure to continue bearing fruit in the long-term.” The partnership with Apogee has also enabled Virginia Hayward to take significant sustainability steps. New high-quality labels have reduced waste and removed the need for plastic envelopes, while the decreased man hours have led to considerable energy savings. For more information, visit Dom Norton

7 BUSINESS BRIEFING and taking action to improve is about resilience, agility, security and even long-term survival. Inside organisations, the temperature is also rising. Your employees now expect flexibility powered by digital technology. They want intelligent tools and technology that help them do their job better. In fact, a recent study of ours revealed that 65% of UK office workers would welcome some element of AI or automation into their role. And in the shadows, cybercriminals are seizing the opportunity to wreak havoc. An alarming 20% of breaches in 2021 were caused by lapses in security during remote working. Also, cybersecurity experts now believe in 93% of cases an external attacker can breach network perimeters and gain access to local network resources. By gauging your maturity level, you can start the process of change, opening the door to a more secure, efficient and resilient workplace. What makes a digitally mature organisation? Our Digital Services Maturity Indicator will help you to ascertain your current position. With this knowledge and a strategy for each of the three central facets of Digital Maturity, you will optimise the value of digital investments and set a strong future for your organisation. n Organisational transformation Good leaders play an important role and will have a clear vision of the path the organisation must take, inspire employees to work towards it and ensure digital is a priority from the top down. n People transformation Psychologically, when humans are faced with new ideas or initiatives, our first instinct is to resist. It’s in our DNA. So, employee buy-in and adoption are critical to the success of any digital project. Ample training, demonstration and change management is a must. n Technology transformation To create holistic Digital Maturity, you need to invest in technology in five critical areas. IT infrastructure, networking and cybersecurity are the foundations. Once these are secure and stable, you can start building layers of technology that give you intelligence and efficiency – your digital workspace, digital experience and business process automation. Discover how we can help Organisations that put their digital strategy at the heart of what they do will be better prepared for the challenges and expectations of tomorrow. If you’d like to understand more about your organisation’s Digital Maturity, our Digital Services Maturity Indicator is a free, nocommitment tool to help you move forward – simply scan the QR code. Why assessing your organisation’s Digital Maturity will set you on a course towards a more secure, resilient and efficient workplace. Digital Transformation is a universal phrase. But how accurate is it? Transformation describes something finite, radical and instant. When you break it down, Digital Transformation promises a result, not a process. So it’s no wonder that organisations can struggle to make it a success. We believe organisations need a longer-term plan. In our view, it’s the era of Digital Maturity. What is Digital Maturity? Commonly described as an organisation’s ability to respond and adapt to technological trends. Amongst industry analysts and thought leaders, there’s a consensus that Digital Maturity is a process rather than an end goal. It unfolds over time and is certainly not something that you ever fully mark off your to-do list. To start thinking about Digital Maturity, you need to identify where your organisation is on the journey and how you can reach the next milestone. Why is Digital Maturity important? Today, Digital Maturity isn’t just about sharpening your competitive edge. Global challenges, like climate change, have raised the stakes. Assessing Digital Maturity What is Digital Maturity? of organisations fail at their first attempt at digital transformation 70%

8 01732 759725 COVER STORY they're going to cut speeds quite substantially,” explains Thomas Collingwood-Smith, Digital Transformation Specialist at technology-based communication services provider Gamma. “Regardless of what speeds they’re currently getting, users are going to be restricted to 2 meg (megabits per second) of download speed and 0.8 meg of upload speeds, substantially curtailing and affecting services. If you're a company or a user that relies on a high bandwidth that will obviously act as an incentive to move before June, when Openreach will initiate call barring on those lines.” National stop-sell Salisbury and Mildenhall are in the vanguard of the ISDN Switch Off, but Collingwood-Smith points out that time is running out for people in other parts of the country too. “One of the main dates this year is going to be September 2023, when a national stop-sell will occur. What happened in December 2020 and May 2021 in Salisbury and Mildenhall respectively, is going to happen on a UK-wide level, so when a partner or customer comes to us for voice and broadband their only options will be all IP.” The ISDN Switch Off is tightly linked to the simultaneous rollout of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), which is providing the infrastructure for the all-IP voice and data communications of the future. Businesses and domestic users who currently have a PSTN/ ISDN landline service and ADSL or FTTC broadband must switch to an FTTP alternative or SOGEA. Standing for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access, SOGEA is basically FTTC minus dial tone and a stop-gap for customers that don’t yet have FTTP. Because it will continue to make use of copper wiring between a customer’s premises and the cabinet on the street, there will be no noticeable change after moving to SOGEA for people who currently get their broadband via FTTC, although ADSL broadband users will see a speed boost. Switching to FTTP has the potential to give users a massive performance upgrade, depending on the package selected. SOGEA and FTTP will also be used for voice traffic. If a business or consumer wants to replace their old PSTN/ISDN landline, they will need to subscribe to a Voice over IP (VoIP) service like those offered by Gamma and its partners. Many businesses and some consumers will already have made the changes required by the ISDN Switch Off simply by keeping up to speed with developments in telephony and connectivity. Even so, there are thought to be as many as 12 million landlines that still need to be moved by 2025. A complete solution As a leading business communications provider, Gamma and its reseller partners are well placed to help businesses of all sizes, from micro-businesses to larger enterprises, to make this transition. “The company started in 2001 with a fibre network and datacentres in London, Manchester and Glasgow and since then it’s grown its network in a sustainable and ethical fashion, becoming one of the first carbon neutral carriers in the UK and the number one SIP provider in the UK before extending operations to Europe in 2018,” explains Collingwood-Smith. “We have always specialised Mildenhall were left in no doubt that the ISDN Switch-Off is real. The need to address this reality dawned when their exchanges became the first in the country to terminate their ISDN/PSTN services, as part of a process of moving everyone onto futureproof voice and broadband services delivered over fibre. The two exchanges had stopped selling traditional phone line services and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband more than two years ago (known as stop-sell in industry jargon), but existing customers were unaffected and could carry on using their PSTN/ ISDN services with the same performance and service levels. That all changed on April 27, when Openreach started a process of service degradation to force people in those areas to switch to replacement IP solutions for voice and broadband. “At 10am on the 27th of April, Openreach started cutting speeds for users of the Salisbury and Mildenhall exchanges and Thomas Collingwood-Smith, Digital Transformation Specialist at Gamma, explains why the ISDN Switch Off is nothing to fear, but can’t be ignored Are you ready for the ISDN Switch Off? Thomas Collingwood-Smith

COVER STORY 9 in voice products enabled by our connectivity network. In 2011, we released what is our now flagship product, the Horizon hosted business phone system. We entered the Unified Communications space in 2019 and we have been enhancing our portfolio with a wide range of voice products ever since. “Today, we have Horizon; we have SIP Trunking (an ISDN replacement); we’ve got PhoneLine+, which is essential to the PSTN Switch-Off, being a landline replacement service; we've got the Horizon Contact cloud contact centre; and we've got a number of Teams-enabled products, such as Microsoft Direct Routing and Operator Connect. These are all ways of enabling different businesses with different business needs to use our products and to use our networks.” Seize the opportunity Collingwood-Smith adds that Gamma has two big benefits for businesses facing the ISDN Switch Off: the strength of its connectivity and telephony offering, which gives new and existing customers an opportunity to modernise and future-proof their communications; and its 20+ years’ experience in addressing the needs of business customers. “The ISDN Switch Off is a great opportunity to get rid of that legacy phone system. It's a great opportunity to audit your lines, to make sure you understand exactly what you're paying your carrier for and perhaps to save money on invoices. It is also a chance to make sure your staff have the best communication tools to help your company succeed. For example, voice integration with Teams, if that's something you need, or multiple phones ringing simultaneously in different locations to ensure no calls are missed when you are out on a job. For us, that’s what it’s all about – making sure we help people with their businesses.” One example of how Gamma is helping to make this change as seamless as possible – ‘to turn this leap into a step’, as CollingwoodSmith puts it – is its Simple Swap process. “This is something we've designed internally with smart bits of coding, an API if you will, that enables you to move your legacy service onto SOGEA and attach the voice service to that order as well. It's essentially one order that gives you three things: your SOGEA line; your PhoneLine+ line; and a port that allows you to keep your existing number, which is obviously incredibly important for businesses. “In addition, many of the VoIP solutions that we use are plug and play. It's all in the cloud, so you don’t need an engineer to plug things in and set things up, and they are designed to be as familiar as possible. PhoneLine+, for example, is designed to work with the household phone or the business phone you already have, so you don't necessarily need new hardware. And there is an app that can be installed on your mobile, laptop or tablet that you can use to make and take calls.” Act now BT Openreach announced the PSTN/ISDN Switch Off in 2017 but many people still aren’t as aware of the imminent change as they should be. And, even if they are, many haven’t done anything about it. Collingwood-Smith argues that businesses should start futureproofing their communications now, not least because there is no benefit in delaying the inevitable. “Normally, when adopting new technologies there is the risk that something new and better will come along in six months’ time. In this case, the technology is being rolled out and put in the ground for the future; there is no other switchoff on the horizon, which should give people peace of mind. “In addition, if you keep delaying because you think the time’s not right, you might be forced to rush to a product that's not quite what you needed, so being on the front foot and making sure that your business can continue into the future makes absolute sense. The earlier people take this step, the smoother they will make their transition.” Further information To help businesses prepare for and respond to the ISDN Switch Off, Gamma has produced an interactive website with loads of information on the switch-off, the timeline and suitable replacement products, plus the ability to engage with and get advice from subject matter experts. To find out more about why you should be acting now and how Gamma can help you make the switch, scan the QR code or visit: solutions/landline-replacementpstn/.

10 01732 759725 PREDICTIONS What are the key trends shaping technology and the workplace in 2023? We ask the experts The shape of things to come more scrutiny to requests for additional cloud spend. The pace of transformation is likely to be impacted as budget won’t be released without a strong business case and demonstrable ROI. Cloudscaler is a London-based AWS specialist with a track record of delivering secure, enterprise-scale cloud platforms for private and public sector organisations. HR Talent looking for stability By Mary Alice Vuicic, Chief People Officer at Thomson Reuters In a period of economic unpredictability, talented professionals will flock to healthy, stable businesses with proven models. Talent that in recent years has gravitated towards more speculative technology companies, such as cryptocurrency, will look for stability in sectors that have proved to be resilient in previous economic downturns. As the frenetic pace of hiring subsides, companies will focus on developing and growing their assembled talent via learning and internal mobility. Leaders won’t just lead; they will act as teachers and role model the behaviours needed for employees to advance in their careers. Employers may decide to use budgets not to entice new talent with high remuneration packets but to help support existing staff through the cost of living crisis We will reach a hybrid balance that continues to embrace flexibility but also values the magic of inperson connectivity, with onsite leaders a major office attraction. This will be key to retaining employees who are at the early stages of their careers and will benefit from the knowledge/experience imparted through in-person interactions with senior members of staff. Cloud Demonstrable ROI a prerequisite By Neil Butler, Co-founder and CEO, Cloudscaler Key themes for the cloud industry in 2023 are likely to be continued demand for cloud transformation, a focus on cloud costs (and potentially a reduction in year-onyear cloud spend) and reappraisals of cloud strategy and operating model with an eye on enabling greater pace and progress. To date, few companies have implemented cloud well. In the race to adopt cloud quickly, most have created multiple (often competing) cloud platforms without enforcing cross-platform technology choices and standards, resulting in cloud chaos, an unclear operating model, technology sprawl and duplication of effort as cloud teams solve the same problems with different solutions. Organisations that started their cloud journey 5-10 years ago and have not invested in ongoing maintenance, modernisation and cloud best practices will be feeling the pain of an outdated cloud platform and high levels of technical debt. They are likely to see capacity shortages in their cloud teams throughout 2023, as resources are diverted to upgrade and perform basic maintenance on cloud infrastructure, as opposed to focusing on development and delivery. Despite these failings, most enterprises still believe that shifting their systems to the cloud will reduce long-term spend, modernise ageing infrastructure and enable them to compete with smaller, cloud-native competitors. To mitigate the perception of higher cloud costs, organisations will make greater use of cloud cost optimisation techniques, which can cut year-on-year spend by more than 40%, and will apply Business Transformation It’s all about automation By Greg Jones, Vice President of Business Development, EMEA, at Datto, a Kaseya company n In an uncertain economic climate, organisations are often reluctant to invest in new solutions. This can be an opportunity to make existing processes more efficient with intelligent automation. Staffing issues are forcing businesses to do more with less and building in more automation will ultimately help them to be more profitable and productive. Examples of processes that can be easily automated include labour-intensive and repetitive tasks such as reconciling expenses, diary management, documentation and other administrative tasks. There are opportunities across almost every area of a business. n Digital transformation initiatives will continue in 2023. Harnessing technology to drive the business forward doesn’t have to be about cutting-edge technologies. Tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom can move the needle by improving productivity and streamlining remote working. Consolidated platforms can simplify how email and messages are processed or how users access services and content. Rather than rushing ahead with the latest technology, organisations should focus on the user experience and consider how to make each employee’s working day more productive. n Businesses have continued with hybrid working, but there is still room for improvement, and the next 12 months will be a good opportunity for organisations to move on from basic work-fromhome technology, for example by switching to a new marketing and communications platform or by upgrading their accounting system. It’s time to make improvements that Neil Butler Cloudscaler Greg Jones Datto In a period of economic unpredictability, talented professionals will flock to healthy, stable businesses with proven models

11 PREDICTIONS Continued... not be shooting across the floor of the Atlantic and the entire USA to a DC in California before coming back to an office in Manchester or Dundee. The development of UK-wide edge computing platforms will continue to change the way businesses operate and will improve quality of life for millions of people living outside the main metropolitan areas. It’s already starting to transform content delivery, virtual reality, real-time advertising and even remote healthcare. Watch this space! r Streaming will continue to outrun smart cars for now Smart vehicles are an exciting and massive use case for edge computing. As the development of smart cars continues, edge computing will be at the centre of collaborations between the designers and implementers of the many technologies and systems required, with edge data centres processing and filtering the masses of data smart cars and their infrastructure generate and depend on. That said, 2023 is unlikely to be their break-out year. For the foreseeable future, the explosion of video streaming services will outrun smart vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are expected to account for only about 12% of registrations by 2030, according to Statista. The video streaming market, by contrast, could grow at a CAGR of more than 20% between now and 2030 (source: Grand View Research) thanks to the increased capabilities of smartphones and the ability of edge computing infrastructure to support dataintensive content delivery and high levels of personalisation through AI. Video-on-demand, training and education, live industrial video surveillance and security analytics are all set to boost streaming. t UK business gets the tools to make hybrid cloud kick Hybrid cloud is going to grow even faster in 2023. The global hybrid use cases and specific types of connectivity and backhaul. And they will want to avoid being totally reliant on a single vendor. w Connectivity will be about more than a mast This will be the year when connectivity comes more sharply into focus. Applications focused on real-time and aggregated data analytics need connectivity that has either low jitter, loss and lag or has dedicated high bandwidth. Telcos have been the first movers in this market with 5G, but carrier fibre delivers waves that are more dependable. Expectations will grow as businesses see how the rollout of 5G mobile connectivity really does enable transformational changes in efficiency. For example, in oil, gas and minerals extraction and processing, high capacity and high bandwidth 5G opens the door to analytics-driven automation and digital twin modelling, regardless of location. Businesses looking to implement these technologies will want direct connectivity to the world’s top cloud providers at the same time as processing data locally to achieve the right level of latency and cost-optimisation. Organisations will seek simplicity in cloud connectivity partnerships to avoid the complexity of using different exchanges and third-party networks. e Regional data centres will hog more of the limelight Regional data centres will continue their significant growth. According to ResearchAndMarkets, regional data centres outside the M25 and Slough are adding 20,000 square metres annually to meet demand from regional businesses for the low latency, high-bandwidth connectivity required for AI technologies and use of SaaS applications. A route-diverse network of edge data centres connected by highspeed fibre with backhaul to all the hyperscaler hubs will become increasingly essential. Data should were put off during the pandemic. n Security is, as ever, a top concern. Connected devices and remote working have brought new risks and social engineering is becoming smarter. Attackers are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning against their victims, for example by scraping information off social media platforms, tracking users’ behaviour and exploiting time windows when they may be more susceptible to attack. Couple this with shrinking IT budgets and a shortage of cybersecurity professionals and businesses have a perfect storm on their hands. Datto, a Kaseya company is a global provider of security and cloudbased solutions purpose-built for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Its Unified Continuity, Networking, Endpoint Management and Business Management solutions are delivered via an integrated platform that helps MSPs defend against costly downtime and data loss in servers, virtual machines, cloud applications and anywhere else data resides. Infrastructure Edge ecosystems, 5G and hybrid cloud By Mike Hoy, Technology Director, Pulsant q Ecosystems will power UK business to the edge As the year progresses, organisations engaged in major projects such as smart cities or industrial IoT implementations will seek out ecosystems instead of a single-vendor approach. With their dependence on data, interactive transport systems, remote AI-powered live video analysis and highly automated, complex manufacturing will require edge computing. In each case, organisations will want access to more than just a data centre. They will want edge expertise and an ecosystem of companies with specialist understanding of Mike Hoy Pulsant The development of UK-wide edge computing platforms will continue to change the way businesses operate and will improve quality of life for millions of people living outside the main metropolitan areas

12 01732 759725 PREDICTIONS Recruitment Agile, customised support the key to buoyant, resilient companies By Iain Laws, CEO of Towergate Health & Protection The scramble to recruit and retain talent will drive the need for better benefits. There is a limit to the salary increases that can be offered but clever use of health and wellbeing support can help to ensure a strong offering to existing and new employees whose expectations of employer support will continue to increase. Benefits will become more tailored and more advice-led, de-risking the business by providing preventative care, which can reduce sickness absence. Understanding workforce demographics will become more important in selecting and offering benefits and the best wellbeing support. For example, Generation X (born 1965-1980) are typically more concerned with swift access to treatment, while Millennials, also known as generation Y (born 19811996), are more interested in help with nutrition and fitness. Risk profiling across employee groups’ health and wellbeing will become more important and is key to being able to offer appropriately tailored support. Just as health and safety risks can be assessed and mitigated, so can health and wellbeing risks. Risk profiling the workforce will allow a more tactical approach and a companyaligned strategy. The NHS is struggling and employers may need to plug the gap if they want employees to stay healthy and at work. There will be budget constraints for employers, so all will be looking to get more bang for their buck, with creative use of private medical insurance, cash plans, employee assistance programmes and a mix of offerings to employees. Towergate Health & Protection combines an independent insurance broking service for businesses and individuals with specialist health and wellbeing advice and solutions. Working with insurance providers, it develops cloud market was valued at $85 billion in 2021 and Statista expects it to reach a value of $262 billion in 2027. Organisations choosing a hybrid cloud architecture combine the best of the public or private clouds and on-premises data centres. They can benefit from greater cost-control, faster application deployment and the ability to manage all their workloads centrally while extending advanced orchestration capabilities all the way to the edge. Hybrid architectures can be notoriously complex and costly to operate, but the advent of nextgeneration cloud management platforms allows organisations to manage all their environments from a single interface and gain a full understanding of performance. Instead of watching costs rack up with no gain in performance, more organisations will switch between environments according to their requirements, not the cloud provider’s. Enterprises can also implement role-based access controls and encryption, significantly reducing risk and improving visibility for IT compliance teams. More organisations will realise they can strike the balance between cost, performance, efficiency, flexibility and security in hybrid environments. Pulsant is a digital edge infrastructure company providing cloud, colocation and connectivity services to UK businesses, regional enterprises and service providers. Its network of 12 strategically located edge data centres, interconnected through a low latency network fabric, brings 95% of the UK population within reach of businesses seeking to deploy new edge applications or securely extend hybrid infrastructure to improve performance. exclusive products to satisfy clients’ particular insurance needs, while also providing occupational health and employee assistance programmes and health screening. towergatehealthandprotection. The Circular Economy ESG boost for refurbished IT By Nick Stapleton, Managing Director of ETB Technologies In 2023, businesses looking to make new IT purchases will continue to be impacted by the same supply chain challenges we saw last year as a result of the war in Ukraine, Brexit and the ongoing semiconductor crisis. We don’t expect this to ease for at least 6-12 months at a minimum. The upshot has been a boost to the circular economy – particularly the refurbished IT sector – as organisations with digital transformation programmes have looked to new sources to improve or upgrade their IT infrastructure. We have seen this ourselves, with a 44% increase in new customer spending from 2021-22. We expect this trend to continue as more businesses understand how they can benefit from refurbished enterprise IT. Parallel to this, we expect to see continued focus on quality and standards, both for the hardware supplied and service and experiences. Another factor that will lift the refurbished IT market is the increased profile of ESG programmes. While societal impact has always been an area of focus for businesses, the reskinning of ESG to become a governancerelated topic correlates with environmental awareness becoming a board-level issue. More financing is coming into the industry from green investors and there will continue to be consolidation as distributors buy up firms focused on areas like recycling. Founded in 2001, ETB Technologies is a leading supplier of refurbished servers, storage and network equipment. ...continued Iain Laws Towergte Health & Protection Nick Stapleton ETB Technologies In 2023, businesses looking to make new IT purchases will continue to be impacted by the same supply chain challenges we saw last year as a result of the war in Ukraine, Brexit and the ongoing semiconductor crisis

13 PREDICTIONS ‘Darth Vader riding a bicycle in the style of Claude Monet’ will create exactly that, an image of Darth Vader on a bike as if it was painted by Claude Monet. Now you might be thinking, I could find that on Google image search, but it's worth pointing out that the AI isn't searching the internet for existing images and pasting them together. Instead, it's creating a completely new image based on its general understanding of what Darth Vader and a bicycle look like and Claude Monet’s painting style. So, the AI is creating something completely new – a unique image. In 2023 the field will move to the next level, going from generating static images to 3D models and video generation based on just a text description. I also predict that AI-based music generation will move forward massively. While there have been systems able to do this for some time, I think 2023 will be the year we see AI-based music generation improve to the point where you may enjoy listening to it. Lawyers Will Benefit From AI Being able to generate images, videos and music just by telling an AI what to do gives everyone the tools to be creative. Producing music for marketing campaigns, designing a logo and creating a meme or images for PowerPoint presentations become quick and relatively trivial tasks. However, the technology is evolving quickly and there are big question marks over Intellectual Property and the ownership of the created content. The common response now is that AI art can't be copywritten, which is fine if the content isn't being used commercially. But it could be a problem if used to create imagery for a movie or a marketing campaign. And although an AI image can’t be copywritten, if you create an exact copy of the Mona Lisa using an AI and you use it commercially, you could be liable. AI Will Become Even More Explainable As AI systems and Deep Learning models become ever more complex, it becomes increasingly challenging to explain how they Hybrid Working IT should not be arbiters of tech provision By Joe Walsh, Director of B2B, Samsung UK and Ireland. This year, it’s essential that we move beyond sweeping generalisations on the topic of hybrid working. Everyone is different and every job is different, and there’s no reason to have a one-size-fits-all policy in an age when personalisation is possible. For this reason, I prefer the term ‘fluid working’. With the right technology, you really can work from anywhere. Whilst it might seem like an obvious conclusion, research reveals that the biggest benefit for employees of working from home is the ‘fluidity’ to spend their time how they want. If you are good at what you do and have the right tech behind you, there are increasingly more jobs you can accomplish from a beach in Bali or a tall stalk of steel and glass in London. To render the transformation of work complete, companies need to allow – and facilitate – all styles. This puts technology right at the centre of a successful organisation, as more and more teams – HR, recruitment, even design and production – are realising. It shouldn’t just be the IT department making a plan by default and equipping employees with their best guess of what’s required. A fluid working style will have different technical requirements than pure-play remote or in-office working. It’s not just a question of having a single device that works well, but an entire ecosystem that works seamlessly together with the end user in mind. Business Technology Computers Will Be More Creative By Pete Hanlon, Chief Technology Officer, Moneypenny 2022 saw the release of state-ofthe-art image-based AIs such as DALL-E 2 from OpenAI, Imagen from Google and Stable Diffusers from Huggingface. These stateof-the-art AIs can generate photo realistic images from a simple text prompt. For example, the prompt make predictions. Deep learning models are often trained on billions of data items. However, if we want to understand why a complex model gave a particular prediction, it’s almost impossible to do in a way that is understandable to humans. To trust AIs to drive our cars and help run our lives, we need to be able to understand the processes they went through to make a prediction. This is a big area of research by the large tech companies and many research groups, and I expect significant advances in 2023. Digital Transformation Will Accelerate The world is changing rapidly, and all businesses should understand what those changes mean for them. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, virtual and augmented reality, cloud computing, blockchain and superfast network protocols like 5G are commonplace now. It’s more important than ever that businesses understand how they can embrace state-of-the-art technologies as part of their BAU (business as usual), helping them to automate tasks, make better decisions and align their products and services more closely with customer needs. The pandemic has taught us to focus on what we do best and to bring in experts when we need specific solutions, so expect the Business Process Outsourcing trend to continue to grow. Moneypenny is a leading provider of telephone answering, outsourced switchboard, live chat and customer contact solutions. It has over 1,250 employees globally and currently handles over 20 million calls and live chats for 21,000 businesses. Joe Walsh Samsung UK and Ireland Pete Hanlon Moneypenny Deep learning models are often trained on billions of data items. However, if we want to understand why a complex model gave a particular prediction, it’s almost impossible to do in a way that is understandable to humans