Top ten for 2020 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 2020 bring you success and exciting opportunities.

With the start of a new decade comes an opportunity to think about what the twenties will bring. Many may point to climate change and increasing political uncertainty, however as a Technologist I have increasingly been thinking of the years ahead in terms of prioritization. Opportunities for technology to truly transform thinking, markets, and your business are endless – but our ability to consume and manage the required change is the challenge we face. In thinking of the year ahead, the BTC Team has identified 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. Deciding what not to do – Focus and prioritisation is undoubtedly the theme for 2020, with a planning focus of what needs to be done first to support the initiatives of the future. If your organisations executive is yet to review or understand what your IT Strategy means for the business, then now is the time to act.
  2. Network Planning 2020 style – With the NBN build completing and the fibre wars largely ending the vision for the new corporate network is clear and its new capabilities are beginning to be assumed within strategy plans. Gigabit to the branch with carrier diversity being standard, SD-WAN is combining with uCPE to make virtual network functions deployable. This along with next generation security requirements and WiFi 6 (802.11ax) has the potential to create the perfect storm for network infrastructure upgrades that will drive large CAPEX requirements if not planned appropriately.
  3. Ongoing focus on IT governance – Just ask the now Ex-Chairman and Ex-CEO of Westpac on the importance of IT Governance. The focus on 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 advisers 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 transformations – IDC reports that 85% of CEO’s believe they have only 24 months to execute their digital transformation before its too late. Second and third order digital disruption is generally focused on an embedded digital engagement capability, with organisations seeking 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. Security as an Immune system – With commercially motivated cyber attacks becoming increasingly commonplace 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 we need to embed security responses into the core of our environment. We have the conclusion that healthy living through isolation is not feasible and our systems need an immune system that can respond to the inevitable breach.
  6. User Experience Instrumentation  Technology is now clearly expected to monitor and remediate the user experience rather than focus on the technology that provides it. UX instrumentation will increasingly provide the required insights that keeps the technology department on the front foot.
  7. IoT (Internet of Things) use-cases evolve – With 1.3 billion services in use worldwide at the end of 2019 and Cat-M1 & NB-IOT carrier networks being available nationwide for a few cents a day, use-cases are continuing to evolve and we are starting to see the growing management overhead that this is bringing. New security obligations are being considered by the federal department of Home Affairs which will likely also add pressure to ensure that appropriate management automation is deployed from day 1.
  8. LowCode/NoCode Development initiatives spread – with digital initiatives seeking to exploit competitive advantages of from organisations system capabilities we are seeing more and more businesses considering bespoke development as part of their technology strategy. With offshore development team results often leading to disappointment, the LowCode/NoCode approach provides an attractive proposition.
  9. Increased penetration of integration platforms – The continued preference for replacing monolithic systems with an integrated best of breed approach has set the scene for a simplified approach to stitching systems together. Different circumstances require different approaches however the age of bespoke point to point integration patterns has definitely past.
  10. Further increased board-level oversight of IT operations – The importance of secure, reliable and efficient IT to support the competitiveness of businesses will continue to 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.

Organisations that are not deliberately planning their technology strategy will not be able to prioritise the avalanche of opportunity that they face today. To take advantage of transformation and digital innovation opportunities CEO’s must have confidence in their Technology capabilities. Those that don’t, must act now before being left with an uncompetitive legacy cost base and be in the dark compared to others that will be leveraging digital insights to exploit market opportunities.