Four Years on – What’s Changed

2020 marks four years since the formation of the Nuvias Group.

While our vision, mission and values have remained consistent, the technology landscape around us certainly hasn’t.

Given all the changes that have intervened, we thought it important to highlight some big trends that have shaped our landscape, considering how they will inform the future of the Channel.

Security breaks into the boardroom

Security breaks into the boardroom

It may come as no surprise that security features as a key trend which has shaped our evolution over the past four years. Cybersecurity and data privacy have made it to the boardroom, becoming established as primary concerns for the C-suite. Incidents like 2017’s WannaCry laid bare the devastation a cyber threat can cause to not just a business, but entire industries and critical infrastructure. The Yahoo and SWIFT attacks that followed made it clear that just one breach can cost a business hundreds of millions in the blink of an eye. The Cambridge Analytica incident and the arrival of GDPR cemented data privacy as one of the biggest issues of our time.

Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that there has been a seismic cultural shift in the approach to cybersecurity. Where previously it was seen as the sole responsibility of CISOs, now it is being discussed at boardroom level, as a shared responsibility rather than a mere IT concern. This has the positive effect of raising awareness and promoting education of both executive level and with employees too. While security awareness and education alone are not a panacea, they are of fundamental importance to improving an organization’s security posture.

Fear of cloud is just vapour

Fear of cloud is just vapour

Cloud adoption has been constantly progressing over the past few years. The initial reluctance and fear surrounding the move to the Cloud has gradually been overcome, by necessity and through the advancement of networking and security technology, offering businesses the reassurance and trust that was needed to make the switch to the Cloud a safe bet. Looking ahead, the move Cloud is set to continue despite the COVID-19 emergency. Gartner updated their forecast to show that growth in the worldwide public cloud services market will slow to 7.4% in 2020, down from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 16.4%. The continued progress towards a Cloud-based economy will naturally mean that security solutions that can protect both Cloud and on-premise are likely to succeed as businesses look to improve their security.

Remote working and working from home

While the move to Cloud had been widely predicted for some time, it’s safe to say that no one quite saw the rapid transition to remote working that took place as a result of COVID-19. This shift has been slowly progressing for a number of years. The global pandemic accelerated it to the point where nearly 50% of the UK’s workforce are working from home. What’s more, with many businesses planning for only a partial return to office-based work, this is unlikely to be a short-lived trend.

This change in the way we work will likely accelerate the adoption of new approaches to cybersecurity such as Zero Trust. In the next four years we expect to see increased consolidation of security platforms as mobile, Cloud and network solutions are brought together. For the channel, this means that the pace of change for security will not be slowing down any time soon as businesses make a priority out of ensuring both their data and users are safeguarded from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

Enterprise-grade open source

Enterprise-grade open source

DevOps has seen huge growth and development over the past four years. For instance, in 2016, GitHub, a global company that provides hosting for software development and version control using Git had 5.8 million users. Fast forward four years and it is now over 50 million! This growth has partly been fueled by increased enterprise adoption, with more businesses looking at ways to tap into the large open source community to speed up and secure their software development. Combined with the latest automation features, which make it even quicker and easier to scan code and prevent vulnerabilities, it is clear that open source has firmly established itself as an enterprise-grade tool.

Visibility and Monitoring

In addition to open source, network visibility has become a big focus in the past four years for enterprises too. More recently, we have seen the arrival of products that monitor infrastructure, storage, servers, application, services and end user experience. Having this holistic view of the network will become more important with the move to remote working and the coming deployments of 5G and WiFi 6 networks too. With these new technologies and standards enabling new uses and applications, it will be even more important to have networks running efficiently and with greater visibility.

Consumerisation of IT – XaaS

Digital transformation is changing the entire way we do business. It is driving a global shift towards ‘anything-as-a-service’ to meet the customer demand for agility, choice, flexibility, and cost-savings in technology consumption.

The rapid growth of ‘as-a-service’ models has dominated the IT industry in the past few years from Infrastructure (IaaS) and Platform (PaaS) through to the biggest growth area of Software (SaaS).

To satisfy growing IT needs within limited budgets, customers are demanding a change in the way they consume IT, transitioning from traditional capital expenditure purchases to a subscription-based model.

This change in buying behaviour has brought both challenges and opportunities for the Channel.  Revenue recognition, managing cash flow value and the changing the nature of the salespersons role are just some of the difficulties faced by Channel organisations in adapting their established business models to embrace ‘X-as-a-Service’.

But with improved customer experience, better payment terms, reduced risk, and faster services, ‘Anything-as-a-Service’ is here to stay. Nuvias continues to develop business strategies, partner services and solutions that enable the channel to adopt this new way of selling.

The learnings

Looking back, if the past four years have taught us anything, it is that keeping up with the rapid pace of change both from external and technological factors is key to success. Working closely with our channel and vendor partners, we intend to do just that. Our focus is firmly on leveraging the latest innovation to enable our customers to overcome business challenges and maximise their business growth.