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Nigel Jan16

Nigel Field, founder of Alchemy Systems, shares his predictions for 2016.

My extensive reading of a plethora of reports as well as discussions with our partner suppliers and our clients lead me to say that 2017 will be a challenging year for firms and organisations – not just in the UK but across Europe. Firms and public sector organisations need to grips with the requirements of GDPR (General Data Protection Guidelines); there’s an urgent need to become cyber resilient and of course we have the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

The Cloud

It’s still there !t really has changed the nature of computing and how business gets done. In time we won;’t be talking about the Cloud – it will simply be the norm.  We still see some reluctance among the smaller firms to get into the Cloud and increased cyber attacks make people hesitant. There is likely to be consolidation in the market among Cloud providers.

Cyber Security

Unfortunately my 2016 prediction that we’ll see an increase in the frequency, size, complexity, method and impacts of cyber attacks was right. The NHS was especially troubled by this. Organisations need to adopt a multi-layered approach to cyber security and have a clear strategy to prevent cyber attacks and mitigate impacts. A corollary of this is cyber fatigue.

Cyber Fatigue

Organisations are getting fed up with reading about cyber attacks, cyber security, the need to be cyber resilient. I noted at a conference I spoke at in November that people start to glaze over when you mention cyber security. They’re frankly bored with it and prefer to imitate the ostrich than do something about it. Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus are government programmes that enable organisations to demonstrate that they are giving serious attention to protecting themselves against cyber attacks and to protect the personal data they hold.


It will become increasingly hard – and expensive – for firms to get insurance to cover all risks of doing business.

GDPR (General Data Protection Guidelines)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted on 27 April 2016 and enters into application on 25 May 2018 after a two-year transition period. The UK government confirmed in November 2016 that it will implement the GDPR. It applies if the data processor (organisation) or the data subject (person) is based in the EU and also if organisations based outside the EU process the personal data of EU residents.  There are similarities between the requirements of the GDPR and the 1998 Data Protection Act but there are some important differences. Firms will need to start gearing up for these rather than waiting until the last minute.

Outsourcing IT

Given the continued shortage of IT talent there will be more outsourcing of IT functions and services. IDC predicted that by 2018, 65% of all enterprise IT assets will be housed offsite and 33% of IT staff will be employed by third-party managed service providers. Of course this is good news for companies like Alchemy Systems.  We’re increasingly being retained as the off-site IT department for our varied range of clients.

Disruptive Technologies – a Paradigm Shift

With increased workforce mobility, off-site working, real time decision-making, virtual teams (in some cases globally dispersed teams), social inclusion, cyber security issues companies are going through constant and rapid change. The overarching theme is how companies hire and enable their people to play to their strengths in their work situation. The Cloud is undoubtedly bringing significant changes to the culture of the workplace. Companies need to include these trends in their business strategies and put in place the IT capabilities to harness these for their future business success.  (Nigel Field, Founder of Alchemy Systems)

How Alchemy Systems can help you

Alchemynew_logoAt Alchemy Systems we have the expertise and experience to conduct a cyber security audit; develop your cyber security strategy; design and implement a multi-layered approach to security; help you achieve Cyber Essentials. If you’re struggling to hire the right person to manage your IT we will definitely have a support plan that will suit your business needs and budget.