2020 vision: Y-Soft print industry predictions
2019 has been a year of profound change as organisations across the globe have recognised the importance of digital transformation. As a result, more businesses have started experimenting and deploying new smart tools and workflow solutions which in return have enabled rapid information sharing, increased productivity and automation of some of the more mundane tasks. According to Y Soft Corporation, companies have recognised how Cloud has become a crucial part of their company’s print IT strategy and this transformation is set to go even further with the advent of Edge computing disrupting the print sector.
In light of this transformation, Ross Penman, Head of Global Delivery Management at Y Soft, notes the following key predictions for the year ahead:
1. Cloud and Edge computing
While cloud adoption has been around for several years now, plenty of companies still struggle to move into the cloud completely because of old legacy technology and hardware. However, in a world of increased remote and flexible working, cloud adoption will not only help companies to improve their overall productivity, but it can also help companies to improve costs and risk management.
In the next 12 months more companies will see a cloud approach as a crucial part of their business strategy. By prioritising models such as Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service companies can begin to consume applications without having to invest in skills to build solutions themselves from the ground up. Following on from this, more companies will also begin exploring Edge computing as part of the print setup to solve issues that Cloud can introduce, such as latency and bandwidth costs, which can, in turn, impact productivity and efficiency.
2. Green credentials
Sustainable lifestyles have become increasingly important not only for individuals but for organisations no matter how large or small they might be. Green movements such as Extinction Rebellion have created a huge political movement that has made climate change more imperative. As a result, individuals hold organisations more accountable than ever before, not only for their consumption but also for their contribution to the environment. Organisations are expected to improve their green credentials and do more to achieve energy efficiency goals. For most companies, print IT will play a huge role in this and organisations are expected to report on elements such as how many trees are used to print as well as report on their water and energy consumption. As a result, more companies will adopt automated scan workflows, which transform paper-based work processes into digital workflows, helping companies to keep track of their consumption and be more productive, while focusing on their core everyday tasks.
3. Security and identity
While security has always played a crucial role for IT staff, the huge amount of high-profile data breaches in recent years have made businesses more security-conscious than ever before. As companies continue to adopt smarter and integrated workflow solutions, the security of the entire system must be considered as a whole. Unfortunately, too often the security of the print IT is overlooked. However, print hacks such as the PiewDiePie incident showed that organisations can never play it safe.
Therefore, better collaboration between an enterprise solution provider, the MFD service provider and an organisation’s IT department is crucial. In addition, companies that adopt a good identity management will not only improve their overall security but will also simplify the complexity of managing multiple sets of credentials. This is especially important as more people within organisations adopt flexible and remote working.
4. Reseller and customer agility
Customers have recognised that having one integrated supplier across all their hardware and software solutions will not only reduce overall costs but also provide a smoother and much more integrated experience. It is important that resellers should look to make software that supports this demand and integrate with key manufacturers in the tech space. In addition, resellers should harness new technologies to refurbish old legacy technology rather than try to completely replace them.
5. Artificial intelligence
While many predicted at the beginning of 2019 that artificial intelligence and robotics would eliminate a huge number of jobs by 2020, there is now a consensus that the increased efficiencies delivered through these technologies could actually result in more jobs. In the next 12 months, more companies will experiment with AI and robotics to run security and quality assurance tests on software and hardware solutions. This in return will help companies to detect security attacks, programme mistakes, and viruses much more quickly in addition to providing higher quality products and services.
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.