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Looking back and facing forward – what the rest of the year ahead holds

Written by Prashant Ketkar, Chief Technology & Product Officer at Alludo 

So far this year has taught us that we cannot always predict and prepare for every eventuality. We often find ourselves somewhere different to where we thought we would be. Although businesses are often thrown curveballs, we can also put measures in place for what the rest of the year ahead is likely to hold. Forward-thinking is what so often sets successful businesses and their leaders apart from those who fall behind. The first quarter and a half saw a lot of change across all businesses, but particularly in the technology sector.

For the UK, one of the biggest economic curveballs reared its ugly head in the form of a recession. With businesses’ purse strings being tightened more than ever, key decision-makers have no choice but to re-evaluate where they need to curb costs and what areas they need to focus on the most. With the continued talent skills gap and tech skills shortages, businesses are left with smaller talent pools than usual. With all these macroeconomic conditions and pressure from employees and third parties to adopt more sustainable business practices, what do the next two-quarters of 2023 hold in store?

 

Making more with less 

Businesses, particularly in the technology sector, are facing a smaller pool of resources from skills shortages to budget cuts. In the UK, the recession is at the forefront of business leaders’ minds as to how to make do with less.

With slashed budgets, ROI will be more important than ever. Firstly, businesses should take a look at current processes and strategies in place and assess if there are areas that are not seeing a high ROI. This will then establish whether these particular processes need some adaptations or if they need a total overhaul.

Businesses shouldn’t stop innovation in these tough times but, they need to be selective. Again, ROI is of the utmost importance and valuable time and money shouldn’t be wasted innovating technology that will have very little ROI. Aligning innovation with clear goals will ensure IT and technology teams to have strong areas of focus.

 

Filling the skills gap

The technology industry has seen significant skills gaps in the last few years. According to techUK’s recent Digital Economy Monitor, 57% of UK IT firms find the present talent shortage and access to skills among the biggest barrier for their companies. Businesses are struggling to fill roles that require specialist digital and technological skills.

As a result, companies are having to adapt tasks and processes in the absence of this essential talent. Augmenting and automating repeatable and repetitive tasks is one of the key ways we will see businesses altering their processes. Additionally, in the wake of a short supply of talent and a hugely competitive job market, we will undoubtedly see an uptick in upskilling and up-scaling existing talent. Without this new and valuable talent, businesses need to turn inwards and focus on educating, nurturing and building up their existing workforces.

Businesses should also look to support talent that is yet to enter the workforce, such as students. This long-term investment will allow for future talent to blossom and ease the skills gap burden in years to come. At the moment this isn’t always happening enough early on, with 22% of UK employees admitting a lack of digital skills was affecting their ability to hit targets. Businesses need to think carefully to create considered plans to overcome these digital skills gaps in the coming year.

 

Successful sustainability solutions

Despite the economic crisis we are currently facing, ESG should not fall by the wayside. There are no two ways about it: sustainability must be at the forefront of business agendas. With the threat of a global energy crisis as well as a recession continuing to become more prevalent, enterprises will become more mindful of their carbon footprint. This will be a universal trend, not just sector-specific, although we will particularly see the mid-to higher-end enterprises significantly speed up their investments into more sustainable technology.

One of the main areas of IT investment will be in cloud adoption. According to Gartner, worldwide public cloud end-user spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion by the end of this year. Cloud will be a key element of the move to Green IT with its ability to securely and efficiently manage both modern and legacy applications. Although the cloud isn’t perfect when it comes to sustainability there is no doubt that it is more eco-friendly than traditional data centres.

As well as this, while more companies migrate their workloads to the cloud, we will see cloud providers continue to invest in renewable energy sources. This will enable more environmentally friendly-native applications. Green computing will be the way forward for creating a sustainable future.

 

Cloud optimisation surge

With many businesses rushing to the cloud in the wake of the pandemic, enterprises have finally had the time to take a step back and evaluate how they can optimise their cloud applications and migration. This process of cloud optimisation involves eliminating cloud resource waste by provisioning and selecting the resources you spend on a specific cloud feature to ensure you have the right model for your cloud usage.

With this will come less wasted funds and as a result, the rest of this year and the years to come will see true hybrid cloud come to fruition. This will mean that businesses will start to integrate cloud services with legacy infrastructure teams in the most efficient way possible.

However, as touched upon earlier, there is no escaping the impact that skills shortages will have on cloud migrations, particularly successful ones. Finding those who have the skills to build such complex serverless and cloud-native infrastructures is like finding a needle in a haystack – it’s rare. And finding them is only half the problem; convincing them to leave their current position is often met with a hefty salary request. Despite these obstacles, the hybrid cloud will continue to grow and dominate the cloud space.

 

So, what’s next?

The exciting aspect of looking forward to the year ahead is the prospect of new technology and processes. I think we are going to see some really big shifts within the technology sector this second half of the year, largely led by external influences and pressures. All three of these areas will look different by the end of 2023 and I’m excited to see where we are by the time we reach the end of 2023.