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The report shows that nearly a third (32%) of respondents think increased cyberattacks had the most significant impact on the Mid-Market. Indeed, they felt it was a more disruptive factor than COVID-19 (25%) and Brexit (21%). Furthermore, 29% of respondents believe that cyberattacks will continue to present the most significant challenge in the next 12 months too.
Node4’s report indicates that increasing and strengthening security is by far the most important IT objective for Mid-Market IT decision-makers, with 32% planning to prioritise IT security in 2022. Respondents also revealed other key goals for next year, including meeting compliance challenges (16%), improving customer experience (16%), deploying new collaboration solutions (15%) and increasing hybrid cloud development (14%).
Looking beyond security, 83% of respondents think that managing compliance will become more complicated in 2022. The research suggests that compliance worries include long term data retention (23%), data loss prevention (21%), BYOD (21%), post-Brexit regulatory changes (18%), and GDPR (14%).
The report indicates that the anticipated shortfall in IT budgets — in combination with a range of external factors — will continue to drive the adoption of cloud and managed services, even for companies that would prefer to retain an internally resourced IT infrastructure. Our findings reveal that three-quarters (75%) of Mid-Market companies are finding it challenging to roll out Microsoft 365, and 87% are likely to rely on more managed services during 2022 than they did this year. With managed services helping to fill important expertise gaps during their cloud transformation journey, Mid-Market companies plan to increase investment in public cloud (39%), private cloud (41%), and colocation (35%) in 2022.
These days, it’s rare to find a Mid-Market business with a 100% on-premises IT infrastructure. However, our survey revealed that around one fifth (21%) of companies retain a predominantly on-premises component. But it’s important to note that on-premises technology does not immediately mean legacy technology. Indeed, components that form some of the latest colocation and MPLS WAN infrastructure can legitimately be referred to as on-premises — and they play an essential role in supporting modern hybrid cloud or colocation environments.
Commenting on the report and its findings, Paul Bryce, Managing Director at Node4 says: “Cybersecurity is the most significant current and future issue faced by Mid-Market organisations. But IT leaders must confront this challenge while dealing with the ongoing issues raised by Brexit and COVID-19 — and while coping with ever more complex compliance regulations and an increasingly crowded market.”
Paul Bryce continues, “This would be a difficult task under normal circumstances. However, with little optimism for increased IT budgets over the next 12 months — and with many Mid-Market IT leaders still unhappy with current budgets — our research points to the need for IT solutions that will deal with all these issues and deliver maximum value for money. Adoption of cloud and managed services offer a way to navigate this complex set of issues — with most Mid-Market organisations choosing a hybrid cloud infrastructure as their preferred cloud transformation strategy.”