By anyone’s measure, 2022 has been a surprising, bumpy, and sometimes encouraging journey. As we’ve emerged from our work-at-home cocoons and returned to a semblance of everyday life, the business has returned to usual. But make no mistake about it— 2023 will continue to be a challenging year.
Between inflation, the ever-increasing hacking attempts, and continuing uncertainty in the economy, there are many challenges ahead. I, however, prefer to think of them as opportunities. 2023 will be a year to use your IT stack to address some of those challenges. With that in mind, I’ve identified the five top ways companies can solve their problems with IT in the coming year. Let’s take a look.
Top Five IT Trends/Challenges for 2023:
#1—Streamlining to Battle Inflationary Pressures
Inflation, arguably, has been one of the biggest headlines of 2022. While it appears to be slowing and maybe even stabilizing, companies are still dealing with the fallout. Fortunately, you can wring enough productivity out of your IT stack to address these issues.
Studies have shown that the right applications can cut the labor out of your processes, improving your productivity by about 20 percent and your overall cost/benefit ratio, too. How were our clients doing this? By using new software and designing systems that automate repetitive tasks. Or by creating flexible work platforms that allow for faster, better collaboration with fewer bottlenecks. Or by finding new tech that eliminates labor-intensive processes and replaces them with more efficient ones. This strategic IT planning can help you consolidate roles, eliminate overhead, and get everything done faster.
If you are in business, your goal should be continuous improvement in speed, service, and time to market. We can help you get there.
#2—Getting More Productivity out of The Cloud
According to most statistics about cloud adoption in 2022, more than 50 percent of all US businesses have moved their work to the cloud. The pandemic greatly influenced this number, as companies scrambled to use the cloud to enable remote and hybrid work situations. In 2023, this trend is only going to continue to grow.
I believe in this coming year, companies will be investing more in the cloud and finding new and sophisticated ways to use it. According to the latest numbers from O’Reilly, 45% of companies in the cloud now have invested in private cloud services. I believe we will see more of this as more companies get rid of their server rooms and maintenance expenses by moving their most sensitive data to the cloud.
The benefits are apparent as more companies realize that the cloud allows them to work more flexibly and with greater cyber security controls than they can within their internal network. We’ve been helping our clients with our private cloud offering and have been very pleased with the results we’ve gotten for them. I think you will too.
#3—Tightening up Compliance
Compliance burdens used to be a worry only large companies in specific niches like healthcare had to worry about. But, as cybersecurity concerns have intensified, even the smallest of small businesses have to seriously think about the latest recommendations from organizations like the National Institutes of Technology and industry-specific regulations such as healthcare’s HIPAA or manufacturing’s CMMC.
Even if these regulatory agencies don’t govern your business, companies are still trying to follow at least the Shields Up guidelines issued by the federal government. Why? Because hackers have realized that small and medium-sized businesses drive the economy and often handle data-rich streams of financial information with minimal cybersecurity protections. In short, they’ve become a juicy target.
Companies of every size also get cyber risk insurance to protect them in this far more dangerous cybersecurity environment. To qualify for a cyber risk policy, those insurers have high standards you must meet. So, in 2023, we expect to implement complex cybersecurity protections for even the smallest companies. And for larger companies, building systems around your cybersecurity posture will help you win the day.
#4— Responsible IT Infrastructure Will be Our New Byword
Starting next year, we’ll be talking a lot about responsible IT architecture. This is an Integris term to describe our holistic approach to cybersecurity. Its premise is straightforward. We believe that cybersecurity cannot be achieved without a robust and interlocking set of cybersecurity tools to protect your business.
Next year, we’ll look at all our customer accounts to ensure they have these tools through another provider or us. We’ll be making sure, too, that each one of those tools is up to the latest standards from regulators and insurers. We won’t be working with clients unless we know their cybersecurity controls are up to this level.
It’s a bold approach, but one we’re committed to. After all, if your systems aren’t safe, everything you do on them will be at risk. If you’d like to learn more, check out this latest blog from my colleague Kris Laskarzewski, our Chief Product Officer. He puts it best.
#5—Getting More Strategic Than Ever with Your IT
This loops me around to point #1 about spending more efficiently with your IT budget. There’s only one way a company can achieve that goal: strategic planning.
Many people think strategic planning means figuring out how to get your information from point A to point B safely. But the best strategic planning isn’t just about getting the job done today. It’s about preparing for the job you need to do tomorrow. To do this well, you need an advanced understanding of your usage patterns, security gaps, and how this might change given your upcoming business outlook.
Your strategic IT plan should take that holistic view, eliminating wasteful programs and processes, and investing in tech that can set you up for the future. In 2023, companies should be asking themselves these questions:
- What processes can I automate?
- What hardware do I need, and what can I eliminate?
- How much of my business can I move to the cloud, and how much would I save by doing so?
- Where are the gaps in my cybersecurity, and what should I invest to mitigate upcoming threats?
- Do my written IT policies and processes currently match how our systems work? Would they be considered sufficient for a review by regulators or cyber risk insurers?
To answer these questions, we invest heavily in our strategic planning resources at Integris and will continue to do so in 2023. With our recent acquisition of Blue Jean Networks and Security7, we’ve been able to build a formidable team with a deep leadership bench in cybersecurity and industry-specific vertical knowledge. We look forward to deepening our strategic relationships with our customers in the coming year.
Your Tech Stack in 2023
As always, 2023 is a year that will come with opportunities and challenges on the horizon. Remember, it pays to have an IT vendor with the strategic chops to help you see down the road. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’d love to help you.