Every business knows that each year brings its own set of unique challenges, and alongside these can come opportunities. But as we enter 2023, it may seem that external pressures are greater today than ever before. 

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the technological landscape has changed dramatically, as has the way in which businesses operate. Add to this a fragile global economy, and rising costs only add to the uncertainty. For many businesses, 2023 may be all about surviving rather than thriving. 

But that needn’t be the case. 

Let’s look at the four big IT challenges businesses will face in 2023, and how they can prepare to handle them…. And even use them as a springboard from which to thrive.

IT Challenge 1: Rising costs

Whether a direct or indirect result of Brexit, the fuel crisis and the global pandemic, UK businesses will have to balance financial uncertainty against their business priorities in the months ahead. For some companies, the burden might be felt most in supply chain shortages, while for others it might be the rising overhead costs that’ll be the biggest financial burden in 2023. 

Businesses will be looking to cut costs wherever possible, whether this means automating tasks rather than hiring staff, turning towards more agile processes and technology or even relocating offices, there are ways in which IT costs can be cut whilst also actually benefiting  your business. 

What you can do: 

When it comes to your IT infrastructure costs can be saved without compromising the integrity of your systems and processes. Rather than hiring an in-house IT team or ITO, consider outsourcing all or part of your IT support to a specialist service. 

Not only can you pay for what you need, but you can scale up or down depending on your business priorities and budgetary constraints. In fact, by hiring an external IT support team, you’ll benefit from a whole range of individual expertise, rather than finding one or two in-house employees to fulfil every IT role you need. 

IT Challenge 2: Digital skills gap

In a recent Gartner survey, IT executives have stated that a lack of talent is the biggest barrier to the adoption of new technologies. In fact, it’s a challenge bigger than cost, security risks, and implementation. 

The fact is that over the last decade or two, the rate of technological innovation has by far outpaced the growth in skills available to businesses, leaving them with a dilemma: either pay higher salaries to recruit the right talent or compromise the overall growth and development of their business. 

But there is a third option…

What you can do: 

If you’re suffering from a gap in digital skills, it’s cheaper for you to outsource your IT to a specialist company with the depth and range of skills and expertise your company needs. By finding the right contract that’s flexible enough to scale with you as you grow, you can keep your risk and spend low, whilst enjoying the benefits of digital expertise.

Additionally, you can even benefit from in-house training from your IT support company to ensure that your existing workforce is kept up-to-date with the latest advancements in digital tech. 

IT Challenge 3: Digital transformation

Digital transformation is simply the integration of tech into every part of business operations. Many businesses feel the pressure (often mistakenly) to implement digitisation right away, lest they get left behind by their more forward-thinking competitors. Companies are increasingly feeling the pressure to keep up with the cloud, edge computing, machine learning, web3, robotics, non-fungible tokens, Internet of Things (IoT), metaverse, and 5G…. The list goes on. 

That being said, this “gung ho” approach risks a rather haphazard, incidental kind of digital transformation which will almost definitely lead to inconsistencies amongst both operations and the customer experience. 

What you can do

By taking a more strategic, thought-out approach to digital transformation, you’ll be able to plan how each bit of tech integrates into your business operations. You can ask yourself basic questions about the ROI of each piece, and the advantage (and drawbacks) of including it in your toolkit. By approaching your digitisation more gradually, it’ll be more likely to develop at the same pace as the rest of your business.

IT Challenge 4: Cyber security threats

It’s no secret that as digital technologies develop, cybercriminals become ever more sophisticated in their techniques. The problem is that as businesses become more digitised, they inadvertently increase their risk of data breaches and ransom attacks unless they take steps to mitigate the problem. 

One of the reasons businesses fall prey to cyberattacks is that they simply don’t have a full understanding of the scope and nature of their software environment. Especially in recent years when remote, flexible, BYOD models of work have become the norm, businesses don’t always have a full grasp on all their endpoints and access points that are vulnerable to cybercrime. 

The second reason, and linked to the first, is that many companies tend to adopt a rather more reactive approach to cybercrime, rather than developing a proactive strategy from the outset. 

What you can do: 

In this day and age, the only way to keep your business safe from attacks is by taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity. This begins with conducting an audit of your digital assets – your computer and mobile devices, printers and scanners, software, and networks  – and identifying all the points of potential weakness. 

Secondly, draw up your cybersecurity plan to outline how you’re going to ensure your IT environment remains secure. This plan should involve company-wide security protocols such as multi-factor authentication and password management, staff training, as well as implementing the tools to ensure ongoing monitoring, detention and response. 

In fact, many businesses are taking their cybersecurity response one step further and hiring an IT support company to help them get Cyber Essentials accredited. By going through this process, they are demonstrating their proactive approach towards their security and putting it front and centre of their business goals. 

If you’d like to know more about getting your business Cyber Essentials accredited, please get in touch and we’ll explore your options.