Cybersecurity tops tech investment priorities for the UK

In the annual business tech priorities report delivered by IT infrastructure provider Softcat, cyber security was considered a top priority for tech investment for businesses in the coming year.

Based on the opinions of 4,000 customers spanning 2,900 organisations in the public and private industries across the UK and Ireland, the report reveals an exclusive insight into the tech investment companies’ priorities for the next year.

For the second year running, 56% of respondents suggest cyber security will remain their top priority in tech investments. Kieron Newsham, the Lead Technologist for Cyber Security at Softcat, emphasises the critical role of being resilient, especially given the ongoing progression of technology and increased threats.

Newsham explains that it’s clear from the report that businesses recognise the importance of cyber security, especially with the accelerated rate of technological progress and evolving threats. To manage risk, companies must be resilient and cautious of how new technologies may impact risk levels, and apply the right solutions to control operations after a potential cyber-attack. 

The report also highlighted that Digital Workspace was the second most common investment area, with 39% planning to invest in devices and end-user computing next year. Optimising the digital workspace is regarded as critical to strengthening efficiency within the changing landscape of flexible working and digital transformation, such as generative AI. Businesses that take account of these changes are forecasted to improve productivity, security and sustainability. 

Other notable areas for technology investments include Data, highlighted by 28% of respondents, Networking and Connectivity (25%), and data centre and Private Cloud (18%). With a focus on the progressive role of AI, the report strengthens businesses by balancing opportunities and the challenges of using these new insights intelligently. 

Concerns about other challenges in the coming year were highlighted in the report. Nearly half of the respondents highlighted people-related challenges, commercial risks, processes, technology experience and procurement as core challenges. Inflation, technology progression and skill gaps were considered the most significant concerns with these challenges.

From an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) perspective, respondents prioritised people and culture as a top focus, followed closely by sustainability, diversity and inclusion. For the third year running, sustainability remained a top priority, with three times as many organisations considering sustainability as a top focus.

Richard Griffith, the chief commercial officer of Softcat, explained that as businesses navigate the changing technology landscape, we must remain agile and aware. Taking a measured and strategic approach, we can efficiently manage risks associated with emerging technology while harnessing the opportunities available. Griffith highlighted that by embracing change and remaining focused on our commitment to progress, we can continue to thrive during a new phase of digital transformation.

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