From legacy to insights and everything as a service

Softcat's Dylan Foster-Edwards (Image: Softcat)

Turning data into insights, driving operational efficiency and user experience



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14 February 2019 | 0

The Softcat Office of the CTO is fortunate to be exposed to plenty of futurology from our vendor community and in the privileged position of seeing what is happening (and what is coming next) across our wide range of customers.

It is time to polish our metaphorical crystal ball and gaze ahead into 2019, as we try to predict the important trends and themes of the next year in tech.

Craig Lodzinski – chief technologist for Data and Emerging Technologies

Intelligence and insight are going to get even bigger in 2019, with cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and increased intelligence to the whole IT estate. More solutions now offer telemetry to help with predictive maintenance and support. We now have more data than we know what to do with; the big trends moving forward will be turning that into insights and using it to improve operational efficiency and user experience.




Dean Gardener – chief technologist for Datacentre and Hybrid Cloud

Development of hybrid cloud solutions will increase from the traditional on-premises hardware and software vendors who will continue to build alliances with major public cloud providers. 

Organisations will start to understand the use cases for Platform-as-a-Service offerings in public cloud and pinpoint where these services can replace Infrastructure-as-a-Service models.

“We now have more data than we know what to do with; the big trends moving forward will be turning that into insights and using it to improve operational efficiency and user experience”

AWS will continue to innovate at pace with technologies like Outposts and will continue to disrupt the market.

Adam Louca – chief technologist for Cyber Security

Identity and Access Management will continue to be the major investment for organisations as cloud adoption hits critical mass and organisations become comfortable with, or at least accepting of, multiple SaaS applications. Organisations will wake up to the significant cost implications of poorly or incorrectly assigned permissions, leading to a more complex identity environment. Password breaches and phishing will continue to be the biggest threat to most organisations as attackers take advantage of the migration to external providers.

James Seaman – account chief technologist

Organisations will continue to work at removing legacy applications from their estates; specialist providers will fill the gaps. We would expect ‘centres of excellence’ for particular functions to emerge, potentially acting as service providers to other organisations. With technology end of life dates building up, it will be critical to make these decisions in the context of a cohesive plan and not as a knee-jerk replacement initiative if funds are to be unlocked.

Adam Harding – chief technologist for Modern Workplace

Organisations will put a greater focus on measuring and improving employee sentiment, enablement and empowerment, using data-driven behavioural analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning as tools.

Everything/IT-as-a-Service will become increasingly desirable as it delivers the ability to scale up and down quickly based on changing business requirements. It will also continue to provide organisations with access to the latest technology via a consumption model that they can afford.

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Dylan Foster-Edwards is head of the Office of the CTO with Softcat

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