According to a new survey, cyber security is the main technology priority for manufacturers next year, far ahead of more talked-about tech like Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) or AI.
Technology solutions and services firm Softcat surveyed over 1,600 companies across 18 different industries, asking them to rank ten IT technologies by order of importance:
- Cyber Security: Protecting data, networks and systems from internal and external threats
- Networking: Having fast and flexible physical or virtual networks able to meet today’s challenges and scale to meet future demands
- Datacentre and Cloud: Leveraging the ever-changing capabilities of on-premise and public cloud platforms to increase efficiency
- Data Regulations and Compliance: Clarifying areas of risk in how an organisation stores, secures, manages and accesses personal data to improve compliance
- Print: Managing and monitoring the performance of printers to increase efficiency
- Communication: Improving the way teams communicate on-site and remotely
- End User Computing: Bringing the full ‘digital workspace’ to life, including mobile solutions to keep employees productive and service on-the-go
- Managed/Support Services: Moving the full or partial responsibility of IT to third party operators to free up more time and resources
- Big Data / IoT / AI: Integrating the ‘tech trinity’ within key processes and daily tasks
- Software and/or Asset Management: Making efficient and cost-effective procurement decisions for an optimised and successful technology portfolio.
Cyber Security proved the number one concern for the manufacturing industry, following by End User Computing and Networking.
The finding reflects recent research from Make UK which revealed that most manufacturers were “woefully unprepared” to protect their systems from cyber attacks, even though around two-fifths have already been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee their security processes.
Despite the hype surrounding emerging digital technologies and Industry 4.0, the lowest priority for the surveyed manufacturers was Big Data, IoT and AI.
Craig Lodzinski, Chief Technologist for Data and Emerging Technologies, explained:
“It’s surprising to see low interest in 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 for day-to-day operations.
“However, recent developments mean emerging technologies are becoming easier to adopt and as such, we expect investment to grow over the next few years as industry catches up.”