Interview: James Bergl, Datto
In our annual Leaders in Technology series, we ask the experts what the year ahead holds. Today we talk IoT, cloud and disaster recovery with Datto’s James Bergl.
How are AI, IoT and cyber threats changing your industry sector?
There has been a significant increase in the number of network-connected devices. This is creating additional levels of complexity for IT departments, as well as for managed services providers (MSPs), because there are now many more avenues to infiltrate a network for those with malicious intentions. There is a real need to lock down IoT-enabled devices on the network so that there are no weak points to exploit. IoT devices also take up considerable additional bandwidth on the network, so we are seeing an increased need for network performance monitoring and management technologies. These identify peaks, troughs and trends in the network and help to optimise network performance.
Which innovations or disruptions are your customers most concerned about in the year ahead?
Security is still the number one concern. There is also a much larger regulatory framework around the industry today, particularly with public sector contracts. There is a lot more complexity than there ever has been, given the level of risk associated with new and emerging technologies, such as IoT-connected devices. We are also seeing a lot more IT departments working more closely with outsourced IT companies, such as MSPs, because they recognise that the new security risks associated with their business require specialist attention, whether it’s networking security or infrastructure security.
At the same time, we are seeing some of our partners playing a greater role in helping organisations dissect all this new data that is being produced on behalf of their customers. This is where business intelligence comes into play, as it can turn this data into actionable insights and information that can really progress an organisation and get IT working strategically with the business.
What will be the biggest growth opportunities for your company in 2020?
Our business continuity disaster recovery solution is still growing at a significant rate. I believe that we are also going to see a huge uplift in cloud backup and cloud data protection solutions in 2020. The other solution that we’re already seeing substantial growth in, is our infrastructure and network management and monitoring platform. This is down to the growing need for all aspects of IT on a network to be monitored and managed, and done in a way that automates the whole process.
Our core focus is providing enterprise-grade technology at an SMB price point, and providing enhanced levels of automation so it takes fewer clicks to complete tasks. This allows IT departments to focus on more strategic aspects of their business, so it is a very important component of any IT infrastructure management strategy.
Which technologies do you think will be game changers in 2020?
AI and machine learning, tied to a focus around automation, are going to be real game changers, closely followed by network monitoring and optimisation technology, and business intelligence technology.
Understanding and making most effective use of the vast amounts of information that organisations will generate — and having the ability to automate this process to focus on key growth areas — are going to top the list of priorities for IT decision makers in the coming year.
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