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Ampliphae’s top 6 predictions for 2018

Ampliphae's top 6 predictions for 2018

Tuesday 9th January 2018
Trevor Graham, CEO

1. There will be a last-minute panic about GDPR compliance
Where to start? Already in January, research by a leading law firm has found that only 39% of FTSE 350 companies have set up a GDPR compliance team and only 29% have hired a data protection officer .

Similar research conducted in September last year discovered that nine out ten businesses hadn't updated their policies in preparation for the GDPR coming into force on 25 May 2018 . At this rate, there just isn't enough time for every business that isn't doing anything — or even isn't doing enough — to be ready for the revised and GDPR-compliant UK data-protection law.

Either companies aren't thinking about this or are assuming compliance will be simple. It won't be. Once they start looking into it, companies will realise that and start a last-minute rush to audit their data storage, data policies and relationships with third-party companies and SaaS providers.

2. The first companies will be fined for non-compliance
Some of those companies won't be able to hit the 25 May deadline. They will be caught out with data gathering and storage practices which are not GDPR compliant. They will be fined by their national data-protection agency.

3. The perimeter is now in the cloud
Business assets no longer stop at the network's edge. Companies are waking up to the reality that security and compliance must extend to assets in the cloud. These assets range from increasingly valuable social-media properties — as more sectors shift to a digital retail model, social properties become central to customer acquisition and conversion — to large-scale SaaS partnerships which see a significant amount of functions and data shifted to the cloud.

It was never the case that companies could simply move operations to the cloud and then relax. But as the volume and importance of business functions being outsourced to cloud providers grows , so the need to secure not only data but also the continuity of business-critical operations increases.

In 2018, the perimeter is in the cloud.

4. SMBs will realise they also need to pay attention to cloud security
Larger organisations — the ones with a CISO and dedicated security and compliance teams — already understand that the cloud is a complex mix of platforms and architectures, all of which come with benefits but also with security and compliance implications. 2018 is the year in which this reality will bite for SMBs.

According to a recent survey, 64% of SMBs are already using cloud-based software. And cloud adoption by small businesses is on the rise. Between 2016 and 2021, analysts IDC expect SMB spending on new IT on-site hardware to grow by 1.8% while spending on cloud-services grows by 6.9%.

As SMBs move more and more functions to the cloud, SaaS compliance and security will become more important than ever.

5. SaaS providers will become enterprise platforms
SaaS providers which previously specialised in one niche area, will expand their offerings to become enterprise-wide platforms. Already, we're seeing CRM providers move into marketing automation, online accounting and even mail hosting. In 2018, this trend will accelerate. And the more data and functions businesses vest with single suppliers, the more important it will be to ensure that those suppliers are secure and compliant.

6. SaaS cost-control will become an even bigger headache for the CFO
In 2018, CFOs will need to asses whether consolidating with a smaller number of SaaS providers, offering platform-style services, will offer better returns than staying with a wider range of more specialist providers. The CISO will also need to monitor 'data creep', where the use of SaaS services previously assessed as storing non-sensitive data is gradually expanded to more sensitive business areas, something which can have cost and compliance implications.