On security and innovation:
Digital transformation has been a driving force in the IT industry over the last three years, boosting innovation, IT spending, and enticing cybercriminals. This is likely to continue, and I expect another record-breaking year for ransomware attacks.
Although the security industry will continue to adapt and innovate to mitigate cybercrime, there are signs of consolidation within the cybersecurity space, with acquisitions and layoffs high. In 2023 and onward, as the looming recession takes hold and contains the ambition of these innovators and their investors, I expect this consolidation to continue, combining vendor expertise and, hopefully, allowing companies to reduce vendor sprawl.
The momentum of cloud over the last decade has been almost unstoppable, particularly as a means to meet the pressures of the pandemic. Cloud adoption will of course continue in 2023, but I expect that push factors such as unpredictable pricing and organisations simply realising that some workflows may not be best suited to the cloud will see a shifting of workloads to SaaS and PaaS, or even repatriation back to on-premises solutions.
On the IT industry and the skills shortage:
The combination of the growing skills shortage in IT and rapid growth of digital transformation technologies in the first six months of 2022 created a hotbed of opportunity for IT professionals to seek higher salaries, positions, or shift into new industries. As these same companies began to prepare for financial difficulties that lie ahead, however, this well of opportunity has begun to dry out. I believe that in 2023, the IT talent market will settle into a middle ground, allowing for a greater sense of normality after the rollercoaster of the pandemic.
In high-demand employment areas, such as cybersecurity, we will likely continue to see great opportunities for IT professionals to move around, improve their pay and accelerate their career. However, the pressures of the gap between needs and talent availability will create an increasing trend towards managed service solutions within companies unwilling, or unable, to pay for in-house talent to protect their business.