Top 10 for 2019 and BEYOND

I wish you and your family happy holidays on behalf of the entire Beyond Technology team. Thank you for your continued support and I hope that the challenges ahead in 2019 bring you success and exciting opportunities. In thinking of the year ahead, I thought that I would share with you what the BTC Team has identified as the key trends and challenges that we feel our clients will be facing next year. As independent IT management consultants, we not only see a variety of different industries suffering the same issues, but it’s our job to help you identify and form the solutions. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss how Beyond Technology can help your organisation.

  1. Compliance cost focus – After a year where the Australian Privacy Principles were cemented into the consideration of many boards and the true cost of compliance to the requirements of the GDPR out of the EU became understood to those with clients or operations in Europe, many have predicted that our local compliance burden will soon mirror that of Europe. Armed with this prediction and observing the challenges in the EU we expect that a more mature approach to compliance will be formed in 2019 that seeks to avoid additional compliance costs by baking the consideration of privacy directly into the business processes and technology solutions. Those organisations that have taken this approach have successfully demonstrated an improved responsiveness of technology to the business and a reduced compliance cost.
  2. Less “Geeks” in the office  – The importance of technology engaging with the business and aligning its priorities has never been higher, and with the ongoing simplifications efforts there are less a less technicians required to keep the light on. Technology departments will increasingly focus on IT business analysis skills and engage more directly with efforts to assist users to get more productivity from technology investments.
  3. Ongoing focus on IT governance – The importance of technology strategy and execution has never been higher, boards have continued to ask questions of organisations executive team on IT strategy, risk management and benefits realisation which has spurred on the deployment of more formal IT governance frameworks. Independent external advisors to boards and steering committees have become common place and IT governance frameworks based on the ISO/IEC 38500:2008(E) are the norm.
  4. Digital Engagement transformations – As second order digital disruption became common place over the last few year the organisations response continues to seek more involvement of IT in defining the business needs. Boards and CEO’s continue to move away from the focus on the defensive play to instead seek out digital engagement and transformational opportunities.
  5. Decline in MPLS networks  With carrier diversity increasingly considered the best approach to business resilience the deployment of MPLS based networks is expected to see an acceleration in its decline.  With Hybrid Network and Internet based SD-WAN quickly maturing the use-case for MPLS networks will become increasingly rare.
  6. Initial 5G deployments  With the battle lines drawn and the major telco’s all seeking new opportunities for better margins I expect to see the rollout of 5G technology this year primarily in the fixed line broadband replacement space. Although this will only be with Mid-band spectrum, the use of pole-top densification will ready the networks for mmWave deployment in the future.
  7. IoT (Internet of Things) – With Cat-M1 and NB-IOT carrier networks being available nationwide at around 10 cents a day, new use-cases will develop and we can start to expect all new field assets to come standard with centralised telemetric capabilities.
  8. NBN Matures and 10G becomes mainstream – with the mainline NBN rollout due to complete in the next 24 months and a likely change of the federal government providing some blame shifting opportunities we expect to see the NBN offering mature significantly. With FTTC set to be the upgrade path for FTTN and with the completion of the HFC rollout we expect to see 1G consumer connections become feasible. Similarly with telco’s around the world starting to work with the retail equation of “double the price for five or ten time the bandwidth” and the market increasingly being able to distinguish between congested and contented bandwidth, we think that commercial users will increasingly deploy 10G connections.
  9. Further increased board-level oversight of IT operations – The importance of secure, reliable and efficient IT to support the competitiveness of businesses will be a focal point for many boards. Data custody has become an increasing concern as increasingly complex supply chain and IT environments threaten to affect the “line of sight” of organisations to its information. Boards will continue to ask questions on their risk levels for data integrity, information protection and privacy compliance. We expect many more organisations will opt for Independent external review to provide appropriate oversight directly to the board.
  10. Security as an Immune system – With cyber criminal gangs proving to be the most digitally agile organisations on the planet we continue to evolve our defensive security posture. As always the trade-off between high security and high functionality continues to be a fine balance, however new approaches seek to embed security responses into the core of our environment. We have reached the conclusion that healthy living through isolation is not feasible and our systems need an immune system that can respond to the inevitable breach.

Organisations that are waiting to be digitally disrupted will simply not survive into the future. To take advantage of digital innovation and transformation opportunities CEO’s must have confidence in their Technology capabilities. Those that don’t have this confidence must act quickly before being left with a legacy cost base leaving them uncompetitive and be in the dark compared to others that will be leveraging digital innovation to exploit market opportunities.