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The future of work – then, now, and beyond

In the world of IT, a lot can change in two years – a period which might as well be a lifetime given today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape. Yet despite modern technologies bringing greater opportunity and threat – often in equal measure – Europe’s IT decision makers are very much focused on many of the same tools in 2018 as they were in 2016, according to our latest research. A look at their investment priorities shows that data security and cloud-based solutions remain integral to IT strategies, each ranking within the top three priorities both then and now.

At the same time, IT budgets are on the rise, with 76 per cent reporting a year-on-year increase in funds to spend on IT infrastructure and strategy. That organisations are loosening the purse-strings of their CIOs is testament to the ongoing challenges faced by IT teams in addressing the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce, while at the same time protecting against a mounting array of security threats.

It is for this reason, perhaps as much as any other, that investment priorities remain similar. Over 42 per cent of the global workforce will be mobile by 2022 (1.87 billion people) according to StrategyAnalytics, while SonicWall logged an 18.4 per cent yearly rise in malware attacks in 2017, as well as an over 100 per cent increase in ransomware variants as cyber-criminals shift their tactics. These stats perfectly exemplify why cloud-based solutions, which can address both mobile productivity and security, and data security itself, remain key priorities for 62 and 58 per cent of IT decision-makers respectively.

That’s not to say that new innovations aren’t also on the radar of organisations, with 90 per cent now using IoT or M2M technologies to some degree, and over one-fifth doing so extensively. In fact, the third most important investment priority for the upcoming 12 months is to improve organisational productivity through IT, and 43 per cent of IT leaders believe the more innovative use of digital tools – such as IoT solutions – is central to this.

One such technology which is set to take off within the enterprise in the next few years is that of wearables, particularly smart glasses, with market conditions ripening to the point of triggering mainstream adoption. The arrival of 5G, the development of Windows-10 based solutions which can easily integrate into existing IT architecture, and continued innovation in the areas of assisted and augmented reality are all expected to heavily drive smart glasses uptake in the enterprise, with 82 per cent of organisations expecting to deploy such a solution within the next three years.

For more information on IT priorities and challenges for the year ahead, read our research Report here: Maximising mobility: Navigating the future IT landscape

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