Business

Data to sustain economic growth in 2022

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Jason Ward

THIS has been a year in which organisations across Northern Ireland have embraced technology at speed. The acceleration in digital transformation that we've witnessed has fuelled the recovery efforts of many businesses who now increasingly understand and value the power of data.

And as we look towards a new year the importance and dependence on new technologies remains clear and will be central to helping us to unlock the power of data and look to a future fuelled by innovation. There is no doubt that in 2022, data will be central to helping us to sustain economic growth in Northern Ireland and beyond.

The new year will mark the turning point for widespread connectivity. The expansion of 5G together with high-speed broadband will enable a greater number of organisations to gain access to data – irrespective of where it is located.

This increased connectivity will benefit many industries including those working in manufacturing and logistics. Greater access to 5G within the healthcare will also allow for the expansion in the use of telemedicine and real-time remote monitoring of patients.

As many employees continue to work remotely and as the future of work embraces a hybrid model, the dependence on cloud technology will continue to grow. This will not only help employers to support a hybrid workforce over the long-term, but it will also enable SMEs to rapidly transform their business models and remain competitive in the face of higher costs.

2022 will also see organisations look to access data wherever it resides – including at the edge. In capitalising on the benefits of edge computing, businesses will increase the speed at which they gather data and enable decision-making in real-time.

Today, organisations are managing ten times more data than they did just five years ago. But with the ever real and present danger of cyber-attacks on public and private sectors, many still struggle to protect this increasingly valuable asset.

That's why we must ensure businesses prioritise building their cyber resilience in the coming months as we know from recent experiences that it's not a matter of “if”, but “when” an attack might take place.

No longer seen as an ‘added extra', organisations will build security and resilience into the very fabric of their IT ecosystem - from supply chains and services to infrastructure and devices. Many industry leaders have already begun to take action moving their business-critical data off grid into a ‘cyber vault' so they can withstand a cyber-attack.

As a cyber-security hub, Northern Ireland has an important role to play in helping to mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks in Europe and across the world. Maintaining a strong pipeline of talent will need to be a top priority.

But above all, 2022 will be the year in which businesses transform how they consume technology. Embracing technology ‘as-a-service' will allow innovative start-ups as well as more established businesses to scale as they look to access new markets and meet the needs of consumers long into the future.

At Dell Technologies, we're confident about the data-driven future that lies ahead, and the role technology can play in helping to sustain an economic recovery.

By prioritising cyber resilience and adopting new technologies, businesses in Northern Ireland can safely and successfully transform to ensure they're ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

:: Jason Ward is vice-president and managing director of Dell Technologies Ireland and Northern Ireland

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