Managed.IT - Issue 63

17 BUSINESS BRIEFING Conor Scolard, technical director at EKCO costs wherever they can, and technology is no exception. Energy increases in recent months, for example, have had a significant impact on data centres and this is having a downstream effect. If they haven’t already been hit, users of cloud services will pay significantly more in 2023. That’s bad news for the OPEX budget, but all is not lost. Managed service providers can help their customers yield cost reduction benefits by analysing their use of public or private cloud services, asking questions around consolidation of services and whether a particular service needs to be ‘always on’. Items such as software licensing are coming under the spotlight and with staff numbers decreasing, organisations are looking to subscription types that can scale down, rather than getting locked into annual contracts and fixed subscriber numbers. However, I don’t see cloud migration projects being put on hold, as it’s clear that organisations can never hope to replicate such a secure and robust infrastructure in their own data centre. e The CISO role will accelerate towards a stand-alone function We’ve been saying it for a long time – cyber security is a board-level issue and sits within the realm of organisational risk. As such, its separation from IT operations was always inevitable and will increase this year. The chief information security officer (CISO) is under increasing pressure not only in terms of protecting digital assets from the latest threat vectors, but also in ensuring business continuity. In fact, the responsibility for business continuity is transitioning to the function of the CISO. Hard questions are now being asked by CISOs and wider risk management professionals. CISOs want to know that their data is safe, immune from ransomware and can be retrieved quickly and easily with its integrity intact. There’s more focus on data validation and that’s a positive development. The CISO is now the one reporting to the board on these issues and must be seen more as a strategic thinker and direct influencer. 2023 will no doubt be a challenging year for companies as economic uncertainty dominates. The organisations that are focused on using technological advancements to drive better business decisions, while streamlining their systems to consolidate costs, will ultimately have the strategic advantage this year. To find out more about Ekco’s cybersecurity and managed cloud services, go to The tech industry is poised for some important shifts in 2023, with new trends emerging to further shape businesses. Here are three trends I believe will set the agenda this year. q Demand for data analysts will continue to accelerate Information is power and the sheer volume of it grows by the second. Faced with an increasing number of data streams from everything from wireless routers to business and financial applications, I predict a far greater emphasis on data analysis in the coming year, across every business sector. Company boards want to see data in a way that they can easily understand and then use it for data-driven decision-making. In many ways, data analysis goes hand-in-hand with the explosion in AI and machine learning, as they continue to drastically reduce manual data analysis. This frees up engineering staff for more strategic work for customers. Take the simple example of a support helpdesk. Ticketing data can help us as managed service providers to understand the nature of support tickets that are raised. Using AI or ML models, we can then use this data to create automated fixes for these tickets before they even reach a human for intervention. Once the script has been created and validated by support staff, it can be made operational. This can help streamline customers’ operations. w A tightening economic environment will drive cost consolidation It’s of no great surprise that organisations are looking to cut Leading the pack: Three tech industry trends setting the agenda for 2023 Conor Scolard