Feeling secure about 2011? The Information Security Forum (ISF) says an increasingly rapid move to the cloud and mobile devices, alongside the merging of workplace and home, will mean a growing burden of cybercrime and online espionage.
Its Threat Horizon 2012 survey warns that growing overreliance on the web means businesses will soon need better ways to cover internet failure. And with m-payment proliferation, hacker opportunity rises too. A “toxic information wasteland” will reign as organisations struggle with expanding volumes of data accessible in myriad locations, which criminals can loot, the ISF adds.
Many organisations agree that cloud – and cloud security -- will certainly be key. Colin Bannister, UK vice president and CTO at CA, says cloud will become predominant in organisations this year.
“Realistic, practical uses [of cloud] will give flexibility and speed,” he says. “Service providers will guide enterprises ... The CIO will now manage an IT supply chain strategically, pulling in resources as needed -- everything from complete applications to massive amounts of cloud-based processing capacity and data storage.”
Consumerisation will also proceed and progress, with smart devices increasingly replacing laptops, and more home working. “The IT professional will need to move quickly,” he says.
David Ellis, director of new tech and services at Computerlinks, says mobile devices multiply and organisations struggle with budget cuts in an even more globalised market.
“And if resellers are to specialise, they will need to make some up-front investment to differentiate themselves,” he says. “Helping customers to consolidate and use IT as a business enabler are where resellers should continue to concentrate.”
Fast RoI and opex will remain key. And as customers seek to collapse their supply chain and their number of partners, VARs with strong coverage across a wider area – even globally – may have an edge. Cloud can help here too, notes Ellis.
However, Phil Orford, chief executive at the Forum of Private Business (FPB), says the year will be tough for SMBs. “In 2010 Britain crept out of recession, but many small businesses will find the year ahead even more challenging as they try to grow, creating the jobs lost in the public sector and driving economic recovery,” Orford says.
To cap it all off, there is tipped to be continuing consolidation in the IT space, with some sectors ripe with takeover targets.
Jonathan Coker, investment director at venture capital firm MMC, says “hot sectors” will continue to be well funded despite the equity gap. “We are seeing strong demand for deals in digital media, e-commerce, mobile software, cloud, clean tech and digital security and this will continue for some time,” Coker says. “However, companies reliant on old revenue models, and that are not flexible with new routes to market will struggle to raise capital.”
Coker says those that rely on public sector deals will also struggle. Meanwhile, tech giants including Cisco, Microsoft, Apple and Google continue on a “clearly demonstrated” buying spree.
“It will be very hard for start-ups to prove themselves,” adds Coker.
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