The brief window of quiet as the end of 2017 meets the start of 2018 is the perfect opportunity to look around and consider how things will unfold during the year to come. In addition to our own stories, there are political and economic influences in the world which remain highly unpredictable.
It will be organisations' ability to react and respond to these things - as well as to diligently plan and prepare for them - that determines their success. Businesses that are clear on their own digital transformation, who embrace new technologies and have secure, robust delivery platforms will most likely have the adaptability and agility to navigate a successful outcome for 2018 and beyond.
From an IT perspective the year will continue to bring opportunity alongside challenge. Cyber crime and the wider security threat landscape remains front-of-mind: top of the agenda for many organisations will be ensuring that they have adequate protection in place, and access to the necessary threat intelligence and security expertise to understand and manage their security environment.
Doubtless the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to explode. The statistics are mind blowing: another three billion devices are forecast to be connected to the internet during the year - that’s over eight million devices a day. By exploiting the IoT and its associated analytics, organisations can and will reap enormous dividends, but again the security threats need to be recognised, understood and mitigated. Nor can organisations lose sight of more workaday concerns such as the storage, compute and network demands.
The ability to consume applications and compute power in a multi-cloud, software-defined, secure world will be the foundation of the digital journey. Reliability, flexibility and scalability will be crucial to help businesses adjust and accelerate their transformation programmes. Yet as the way we consume IT gets simpler, the successful business application of technology gets more complex. Getting more for less is one of the many contradictions facing companies in 2018 as they build and invest in their digital business. If we add developments in AI, the rise of the bots and blockchain everything to the mix, there is plenty going on to keep all of us on our toes.
So what does it mean for Ideal and its customers? We take an ‘outside in’ view of the world, placing our customers' challenges and opportunities at the centre of what we do. After a year of planning for the changes we can all expect in 2018 and beyond, we're ready to excel across the network, cloud, IoT and security. We'll continue offering expert advice, implementing best-of-breed solutions, and providing 24/7 managed services that cover an expanding range of opportunity and challenge. We expect to make a big difference in 2018 – we can’t wait.