IT wishlist: what tech leaders hope for in 2017

Forget predictions, here’s what IT leaders want to happen next year

IT skills

After a year like 2016, it seems wise to look to the future.

We've asked tech leaders from across industry not for their predictions, but their wishlists what they hope will happen in 2017 to make IT a safer, better, more productive industry. Here's a selection of responses, highlighting a focus on security, automation, the cloud and connectivity.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Security now

It'll come as no surprise that security experts desperately want customers and the companies that serve them to take their digital safety more seriously.

Duncan Hughes, systems engineering director for EMEA at A10 Networks wants to see security become a priority at companies. "Equally, we would like to see the public become more personally aware of cybersecurity and the steps they can take to secure themselves," he added. "This could start simply with a heightened sense of caution when approaching websites and emails."

What practical steps would IT leaders like the rest of us to take? To start, Marc Boroditsky, vice president & general manager of authentication at Twilio, wants companies to offer two-factor authentication as part of their customer logins. "2FA requires an extra step for example, a one-time verification code sent to the user's device or a request sent via push notification which substantially increases the difficulty in compromising that account."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Next up is Albie Attias, managing director of IT solutions provider King of Servers. Attias has a simple request: train your staff in basic IT security. "I think this would help make sysadmins' and IT managers' jobs that bit easier as it will give employees a better understanding of why IT departments invoke restrictions on users. They will be less likely to sneakily sign in to their work account on a random device if they understood the repercussions for doing so."

Attias would also like to see bigger budgets for security. "IT managers should not be expected to just deal with what they have'. If an organisation wants to introduce BYOD or encourages employees to work remotely, the IT department should be able to buy the security products they need to make sure they are adequately protected," Attias said. "Unfortunately, we have found from speaking to IT managers, that this is often not the case and they are left struggling to keep the network secure due to budget constraints."

Advertisement - Article continues below

More money for protecting data? That's sure to be on everyone's wishlist.

Data privacy

Todd Ruback, chief privacy officer of Ghostery, is optimistic about 2017, thanks to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). "The GDPR is a brilliant piece of legislation that over the course of 2017 will get more and more attention, culminating with an all-out sprint to compliance this time next year," he said.

He'd like to see IT pros get reading the regulations. "I would like to see it force us all to look inward to understand what we really collect and how we use it, and then transparently explain it to consumers," he said. "It should be a career-defining moment for anyone dealing in data." 

Accepting automation

The past year marked the rise of the bots, but the full force of automation hasn't hit us yet. The IT leaders we spoke to want to see the industry getting ready for the opportunities and implications of AI, machine learning, and other automation technologies.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Neil Kinson, chief of staff at Redwood Software, wants companies to realise there's more to this revolution than cutting staff numbers. "In 2017, the business, outsourcing, shared services and IT community must move away from the idea robots simply replace humans. It is too simplistic an argument," he said. "In 2017 and beyond, the technology will evolve to a point where it can be integrated into existing systems, talking directly to applications that have a built-in understanding of the end-end process best practice."

For example, said Arnaud Choveau, brand and marketing at CCA International, AI could be used to help support staff to offer better customer service, rather than merely replace them. "For example, using AI to develop a chatbot to deal with online customer queries would massively cut costs by providing support without needing to train enough front-line workers to deal with every single query immediately," Choveau said. "Customers would then waste less time being bounced from department to department, platform to platform and having to explain their problem multiple times, as AI picks up basic details, such as location and correspondence history, meaning the agent can get to work solving the issue sooner." 

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/security/privacy/355155/zoom-kills-facebook-integration-after-data-transfer-backlash
privacy

Zoom kills Facebook integration after data transfer backlash

30 Mar 2020
Visit/security/data-breaches/355173/marriott-hit-by-data-breach-exposing-personal-data-of-52-million
data breaches

Marriott data breach exposes personal data of 5.2 million guests

31 Mar 2020
Visit/security/cyber-crime/355171/fbi-warns-of-zoom-bombing-hackers-amidst-coronavirus-usage-spike
cyber crime

FBI warns of ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers amid coronavirus usage spike

31 Mar 2020
Visit/infrastructure/server-storage/355118/hpe-warns-of-critical-bug-that-destroys-ssds-after-40000-hours
Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020