Fact: We will make as much technological progress in the next 100 years as we have in the past 20,000 years.
Today, we are seeing the live impacts of digital disruption through examples such as Tesla, Uber and Uber-spawns, and the Amazon-effect in retail. Technology is taking that which is scarce or unthinkable and making it abundant, creating exponential growth. And in this environment of constant change, size doesn’t matter. New businesses can move from “I have an idea” to “I have a business” overnight. This makes for exciting, and yet, challenging times for Canadian IT and business leaders.
With analysts predicting customer-obsessed firms will outpace competitors, and the cloud will accelerate business innovation in 2018 and beyond, the only way for businesses to compete is to invest in technology that keeps them flexible, fast, connected and informed.
In December 2017, we reached out to TELUS business customers across Canada to learn about their 2018 priorities and where they are investing to respond to the new digital reality. Here’s a look at what they had to say.
Security is the biggest investment driver
Considering the many high-profile cybersecurity attacks and data breaches such as WannaCry grabbing headlines in 2017, we weren’t surprised to hear that security tops the list of planned investments for businesses in 2018. More than 50% of our respondents told us they will be strengthening their network and data defences, aiming to minimize risks to their business and brand. They also plan to engage in more employee education to reduce vulnerabilities to breaches and phishing attacks. As participants in our TELUS Digital ThinkTank executive roundtables have told us, it’s not a question of “IF” you’ll be attacked, but “WHEN.”
IT involvement in business decision-making is growing
Despite security concerns, there is considerable good news. While 28% of Canadian IT resources will still be directed towards operations and maintenance, IT leaders themselves are playing a growing role in business decision-making. Close to 25% of the leaders surveyed told us that they influence the business at an executive level, while almost 50% of them do so at mid-management levels. This demonstrates IT progress towards becoming trusted advisors to the business, including the C-suite and boards. It’s an opportunity for IT leaders to speak the language of management and use their knowledge of new technology trends to sell the business on digital capabilities needed to flourish and remain secure.
Cloud migrations expected to drive efficiencies and access to resources
There’s a growing interest in cloud and managed IT solutions, with the public cloud slated to become mainstream in 2018. Approximately 30% of our respondents plan to migrate to the cloud for operational efficiency and to help manage costs. This may help explain why, despite security challenges and the need for IT to support business growth, most businesses aren’t planning to hire new IT resources in 2018. Many are looking to managed solutions for access to the specialized skills they’ll need and that are hard to acquire.
Cloud applications will also give businesses the ability to manage data and deliver systems of insights that they can use to enhance their knowledge of customers, drive business efficiencies and outpace competitors.
Working together to support Canadian businesses
When it comes to business needs, the following are right up top:
- Uptime and reliability to keep the business operational 24/7
- Increasing business productivity
- Improving the customer experience
At TELUS, we’re excited by the future and we look forward to working with and supporting our business customers through their digital transformation.
TELUS is working to advance digital transformation at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit. Drop by Booth 161 in the Marketplace to learn more about how you can work with TELUS to transform your business and make sure to check out the TELUS session stream, “Innovating Success in the Global Economy,” on May 16. Plus, join us at the TELUS World of Science for the official #BCTECH Summit After Party!