Tomorrow’s tech or today’s reality?

The 2019 Softcat Business Technology Report

Industry 4.0 is rewriting the rulebook for how businesses use technology.

With a new industrial age comes new ways of working, higher stakes and fresh challenges to overcome.

Each year, Softcat surveys its customers in the UK and Ireland to understand their technology priorities for the year ahead and offer guidance on how to maximise these investments.

Executive Summary

The 2019 report is based on a sample of over 1,600 organisations across 18 industries, all of whom were all asked to rank different business technologies in order of importance... and the results are in:

Cyber security continues to be the biggest technology priority for UK businesses for the third year running

End User Computing & Mobility is ranked as the second biggest area of investment as people-centric computing becomes vital to business productivity and job satisfaction

The Datacentre and Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure has become integral to IT strategies, coming in third place overall

Surprisingly, businesses ranked emerging technologies (Big Data, IoT and AI) as their second lowest technology priority despite the hype surrounding this area

Three sectors - construction, public education and public healthcare - ranked EUC as their top tech priority in 2019

83% of industries surveyed ranked cyber security as their biggest technology priority

Real Estate, Private Health & Social Work, and Energy & Utilities sectors placed the greatest value on Big Data, IoT and AI investments

Expert analysis

Softcat’s Chief Technologists commented on the findings of this year’s survey:

Adam Louca

Chief Technologist – Security

“Cyber security continues to be the number one priority for the majority of organisations. This year, we have seen the first enforcement actions as part of the GDPR regulations, proving the ICO isn’t afraid to punish those falling short of the mark.

“Investing in security by design not only reduces risk but enables organisations to more rapidly take advantage of new technologies and platforms to support digital transformation and hybrid infrastructure.”

Dean Gardner

Chief Technologist – Cloud

“The use of cloud allows organisations to extend from the datacentre to adopt new business models, extract valuable insights from data, develop new workloads at scale and speed, and gain competitive advantage.

“The need for convenience and speed will shape the future of cloud as it adapts to the sheer amount of global data held and becomes so ubiquitous it’ll simply be known as 'computing'. A hybrid cloud model will also be the norm, helping organisations keep agile in the fast-paced digital race and avoid vendor lock-in.”

Craig Lodzinski

Chief Technologist – Data and Emerging Technologies

“Some may be surprised to see a low level of interest in emerging technologies (Big Data, IoT and AI) but for many organisations these aren’t 'business as usual' technologies yet. Instead, organisations continue to prioritise 'utility' services which are essential to their operations today

“Emerging technology can seem daunting, but in reality, recent developments mean that they are easier to adopt than ever before and already underpin many business projects. As such, we expect investment in emerging technologies to grow over the next couple of years as industry catches up.”

Adam Harding

Chief Technologist - End User Computing

"The digital workspace is the experience created by securely connecting people, applications, data and devices. It is the link between the digital and physical working environment and it is the key to greater workforce mobility, flexibility, and creative collaboration.

"The intensifying war for talent and ongoing disruption from every angle means that organisations across all geographies and sectors are focusing on improving employee engagement and protecting and amplifying the culture that differentiates them. An effective and enjoyable digital workspace will unlock a multitude of opportunities for organisations to delight and retain their people.”

The Top Tech Priorities for UK Businesses in

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