2021 will require organisations to both respond to digital acceleration and proactive risk management. Covid-19 has helped us all become more familiar with uncertainty and has also shown us how important certain technologies are than we previously thought. This includes artificial intelligence and machine learning as many business operations have incorporated such technologies more than ever before.
In a recent survey by Harvey Nash and KPMG, it was found that small scale deployments of AI and ML have increased from 21% before COVID-19 to 24% in a period of only a few months. In the next few years, we will witness more investment in IT and automation initiatives that will necessitate the demand for cloud solutions that offer resource controls and real-time analytics capabilities.
As we forge ahead with digital transformation, it is also important that CIOs achieve a balance between agility and risk management, especially in the face of sustained uncertainties. Hence, there will be increased spending on cybersecurity tools and software as well as business intelligence, data analytics and cloud solutions in the year ahead.
To support their overall digital strategy, more companies will invest in AI and ML-powered analytics and position it as a strategic asset for improving business forecasts in order to gain management buy-in, for instance.
Additionally, as remote working will continue into 2021, spending on cloud-centric infrastructure and applications will continue to be crucial so that businesses can remain competitive and become more technologically resilient.
At Heriot-Watt University, we have already reprioritised our technology spending inspired from the Building our Commonality programme – a project that seeks to enhance collaboration across our five campuses in the UK, Dubai and Malaysia as we aim to move towards becoming a more globally connected university.
What this means is putting our students needs and those of our colleagues, at the heart of how our services will be redesigned in the future, and also finding global solutions by promoting knowledge, information exchange and cross-working between our teams and directorates, and most importantly, finding single Heriot-Watt way of doing things.
In 2021, we will focus on ensuring the best utilisation of advanced IT infrastructure and cutting-edge teaching and learning technologies at our brand-new campus. We are equally focused on enhancing our network and security systems and invest more in developing our teams’ cybersecurity skills.
- In a recent survey it was found that small scale deployments of AI and ML have increased from 21% to 24%.
- Companies will invest in AI and ML powered analytics as a strategic asset for improving business forecasts.
- Spending on cloud-centric infrastructure and applications will continue to be crucial to remain competitive.
- At Heriot-Watt University, we have already reprioritised technology spending inspired from the Building our Commonality programme.