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Predictions trends, priorities

What will 2019 hold for your organisation? writes Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer at the IT management software firm Kaseya.

2019 is fast approaching and most of us will be looking at our plans and strategies for the coming year. This year, we saw a lot of change driven by the introduction of GDPR in Europe and similar laws across the US, but what can we expect to see from 2019?

With GDPR compliance and data security still having some way to go for the majority of businesses, it is likely these issues will be priorities for the next year, but what avenues will businesses take to finally get a handle on these issues? Here’s what you should be looking out for in 2019:

1. Data governance will become a company-wide initiative

While 2018 was the year of GDPR, we have achieved about 20pc of overall GDPR compliance so far. In the next year, the compliance conversation will move to data governance – a top-down initiative that starts at the board level, or business-owner level for SMBs. As a direct result of the backlash from failed security measures from the past 18 months, stringent compliance demands on global businesses will force stricter data governance, starting at the top. Businesses benefit from data governance because it ensures data is consistent and trustworthy, therefore it must become a priority.

2. Security plans will be stepped up

As data breaches and security threats continue despite GDPR etc, SMBs will begin to realise how vulnerable they truly are. This will drive them to finally take security measures to heart and lock down on a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution to protect their business and ensure continuity. We will also see more organisations forming new standardised, block and tackle game plans to keep the business safe.

3. AI and machine learning will enter wider use

AI and machine learning will start to show actual production use case applications in 2019. AI and machine learning technology will increasingly assist in presenting a better view of data and situations for businesses as well as improving backup and disaster recovery solutions.

4. Inter-operability will mean the difference between market winners and losers

While interoperability doesn’t define winners, a lack of interoperability will clearly define who the losers are. In 2019, interoperability must become part of a company’s technology DNA, just as a company must pledge to put the customer and customer experience first. Since no one has everything for everyone, and until there is one button that you press that does everything, one vendor’s proprietary technology will have to work with another vendor’s proprietary technology. Successful companies are customer-centric companies and anyone who fails to recognise that will continue to lose market share in 2019-2020.

5. MSPs must harness the power of SMB customers

In 2019, SMBs will continue to drive big technology growth and MSPs that don’t have an SMB-centric strategy in place will lose out. SMBs consume technology in a less expensive yet more efficient way than their larger counterparts and as such, vendors and MSPs must offer products that are easy to consume and easy to do business with. Machine learning will also have a substantial impact on small-to-midsize-facing companies, allowing them to operate at an incredibly higher level of efficiency that they are able to offer their managed services at a lower price. We predict that these will be the most successful MSPs in 2019.

6. Continued growth for Microsoft in the MSP market

Over the last three years Azure growth among MSPs has rocketed, from 47pc to 67pc and this looks set to grow even more next year thanks to two major factors: relationships and product familiarity. In terms of relationships, some MSPs have been working with Microsoft for 15 years, and even have their sales rep on speed dial. While product familiarity means starting over with AWS or Google Cloud Platform can be a daunting endeavour.

Microsoft is making it easy to move on-premises applications to Azure. Microsoft is not just building the infrastructure for MSPs to use, but they are also building the apps and services on top of that, making the transition to the cloud that much easier. In short, Microsoft owns the MSP market and its growth will continue in 2019.


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