The Trends That Will Define Tech in 2019 – Brexit, the Cloud and Adapting to Ransomware


Steve Blow, technology evangelist at Zerto, explains how ransomware, hybrid cloud, and how Brexit will impact IT operations this year.

Steve Blow, technology evangelist, Zerto

There’s no denying that some political trends will shape IT throughout 2019, changing attitudes to risk, where companies feel they can store data, and even the technology adoption decisions that companies will make.

At the same time, throughout 2018 headlines became dominated by technology – data breaches, privacy, GDPR and more brought how companies use, store and manage data firmly into the public eye. Against this backdrop, 2019 is sure to be another momentous year, and there are a few trends I expect will come to define it.

Firstly, the elephant in the room for the UK: Brexit is going to have a significant impact on IT operations next year, and people will start to understand how the UK’s decision to leave the EU will impact where they can run their IT infrastructure. Many organisations may find themselves with a new requirement to move things to, from or between different cloud and on-premises environments to ensure their data falls in the right regions for regulatory purposes. And a key to minimising the disruption this could bring is having the right mobility tools in place.

Risks in moving to the cloud

This is against a backdrop where cloud adoption is soaring, with Eurostat suggesting that the UK is adopting cloud technology far faster than the rest of Europe. In 2018, we saw UK organisations dreaming about making new services “born in the cloud”, but facing challenges getting the data there with minimal disruption. In 2019, we’ll see more business begin to make this dream a reality.

This is raising new challenges around protecting workloads once they’re in a public or multi cloud environment – something that people just don’t think about. It’s easy to assume that once your data is out there, it’s already safe, and the platform won’t go down. However, this simply isn’t the case. Businesses need to be actively looking to protect and monitor data wherever it is, and understand what role mobility can play in this. As workloads needs change, businesses will need to make sure they have a way to move data to, from and between different infrastructures without interruption, to ensure the organisation is able to seamlessly adapt and protect itself.

It is important not to make downtime vulnerability an ‘acceptable’ risk for UK businesses, in order to focus on continuous development, speed and performance – especially in the post GDPR era. I certainly hope that, in 2019, more business leaders will opt for technologies that provide assurances that all workloads, data, and applications are protected no matter where they reside, where they are moved to or what outside influences impact them. Achieving this, without slowing the pace of business transformation, will be the great technology challenge that business leaders should look to overcome in 2019.

Backing up on backup

These new attitudes to risk, and adoption of new environments is opening traditional technologies up for further scrutiny – backup being a great example of this. In 2018, it became clear that current backup solutions are no longer fit for purpose, with nearly half of all businesses experiencing an unrecoverable data event in the last three years. However, preventing data loss requires constant, second by second backup. The big challenge for backup vendors with this is how to minimise the impact such frequent backups can have on production. Some hardware vendors have worked hard to try and minimise the impact, however have created more of an evolution to backup technology rather than revolution. The race is still on to find a way to eliminate the impact entirely.

To solve this, the absolute fundamentals of backup are going to have to change. Organisations want real convergence of solutions with fast recovery and more granularity – 24/7 – without the negative impact on compute or network bandwidth. In 2019, whether businesses want to roll back seven seconds, or seven days, their backup system should let them do this quickly and easily – minimising the disruption of data loss from any cause.

Weathering ransomware fatigue

One of the leading causes of data loss – certainly in the news, is ransomware. 2018 became the year of ransomware fatigue, as attack after attack seemed to be hitting the headlines. In 2019, as these attacks get bigger and more dangerous, it’s crucial that businesses don’t let this fatigue overwhelm them, but continue to do everything they can to prepare. If as much time went into ransomware protection and recovery as people spend talking about the dangers of attacks, businesses would find themselves much better prepared overall!

In order to stay protected and competitive, organisations need to focus on remaining ‘always on’ – weathering the disruption and getting back online within seconds. With this sort of reliable data availability, businesses can finally rest and let concerns about ransomware take a back seat to a more positive focus on digital transformation.

How 2019 will play out is far from clear at this point, but it’s likely that these trends – of cloud risk management, changing approaches to data mobility and navigating ransomware fatigue – will shape much of how enterprise IT will develop over the year ahead. It’s sure to be another exciting year, but we can only hope that it will be one of progress towards a more resilient technology future.

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