Curo Talent asked business leaders about the IT opportunities and challenges in 2017. Cloud, intelligence and security seem to be key, but some of the other answers may surprise you.
It’s difficult to make predictions – especially about the future .
If, however, you ask a sample of British business leaders about their views on IT budgets, technology trends, resourcing and challenges for the forthcoming year, you are likely to get a clearer picture of future technology usage in UK companies. Curo Talent has done that and will reveal the answers in the report ‘UK IT Forecast 2017; trends and challenges’ which will be published on Friday 27 January.
I had a preview of the report, so here’s a few words about it mixed with my own obsessions and predictions for 2017.
1. Secure Clouds with Intelligence
As in 2016, Cloud Services are still the major focus area for the majority of the surveyed organisations. 23 percent mention Cloud Services as key technology focus, while Business Intelligence and Security are mentioned by 15 percent.
There is probably a bit of overlap between these categories as Business Intelligence, with for instance Microsoft’s Power BI offering, seems to be heading towards the cloud. If so, the question about the security of confidential information in the cloud will be ever more relevant.
2. Bigger budget to meet challenges
47 percent of all surveyed expect that the IT budget for 2017 will increase, while only 10 percent expect a cut in the IT budget. Some of the budget increases are likely to be used on hiring or contracting skilled IT-people – if the right people can be found. Programmers and developers are the most difficult roles to fill. More than a third of those surveyed mentioned this, while 1 out of 5 found it most difficult to find architects and designers.
It is not necessarily a question of salary when attracting and retaining good IT-people. Curo Talent has previously published ‘IT Talent Acquisition; the candidate’s view‘ which shows that career prospects and good management matters more than salary for potential candidates.
3. IT as ‘business enabler’
A rapidly changing technology landscape is one of the challenges when it comes to reaching the IT-objectives, which is probably not a big surprise. What is a surprise to me is that aligning goals with other departments is seen as the biggest challenge (19 percent of all surveyed mark this as a big challenge).
It suggests that IT is not part of the executive planning process where department goals are set, which in the year 2017 is quite disheartening. IT is a business enabler, but not if it is perceived to be unimportant compared to other departments.
Another surprise is that uncertainty caused by Brexit is not seen as a challenge by many. Only 6 percent mention Brexit as a challenge. Speaking of Brexit; I just want to remind you that Brexit does not mean that you are exempt from the EU General Data Protection Regulation if you are doing business with EU-companies or -citizens .
4. The IoT threat
What is not mentioned in the report is Internet of Things (IoT), so please bear with me, while I get on my hobby horse.
IoT already had a big impact in 2016 by being instrumental in some of the biggest DDOS-attacks . It is therefore very important that the security threat from IoT-devices is addressed before they really starts flooding into UK businesses and homes .
And they will.
“Starting this year” all of LG’s appliances will feature “advanced Wi-Fi connectivity” . If that is not depressing enough, I almost lost faith in humanity when I saw that a ‘smart’ hairbrush – with Bluetooth- and wifi-connection, of course – won an innovation award at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) .
A potential saviour of humanity is – believe it or not – coming from American lawyers as the Federal Trade Commission has started a case against D-Link for inadequate IoT-security .
5. Microsoft Reorganisation
But I digress…
I suppose an internal reorganisation in Microsoft will affect Microsoft partners and to a lesser extent users of Microsoft technology in 2017. The reorganisation of Microsoft’s sales, partner and services teams will take effect February 1 and there will probably be some ripple effect through the first half of the year .
Well, that was a bit about 5 it/tech predictions for 2017. You are welcome to write a comment about your own expectations for 2017. If you want to receive a copy of the Curo Talent report titled ‘UK IT Forecast 2017; trends and challenges’ then sign-up for the Curo Bulletin below.
Happy New Year to you all!
 I have always attributed this proverb to the Danish writer Storm P, but some cites Mark Twain, Yogi Berra and others. I checked with Quote Investigator which sides with me on the Danish origins.
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 Originally reported by ArsTechnica, but as usual Slashdot and HackerNews have fun and sometimes informative comments
 We’ve reached peak IoT. There’s now a smart hairbrush
 FTC sues D-Link over router and camera security flaws
 One Microsoft’ strikes again with latest partner, services reorg