“IT security will play an even more important role in 2022”

"IT security will play an even more important role in 2022"

Manfred Köteles, Managing Director of Bacher Systems, talks to the COMPUTER WORLD about what we can take with us from 2021 for the future, explains how the corona crisis and new work are affecting us and outlines the most important IT trends for the coming year. […]

What lessons can be learned from 2021 in general and from the corona crisis in particular for the future?
An important lesson from the year that is coming to an end is how vulnerable our economic system and our society as a whole has become and how much depends on superficially optimized but often insufficiently secured structures and processes.

Last but not least, the corona crisis has confirmed to us how flexible we are as a company and also want to be in order to support our customers in the best possible way in this challenging time. To be able to keep our flexibility and partnership at a high level on a permanent basis, we take this with us into the future as an important success factor.

In your opinion, how will the corona crisis affect the IT industry, companies and our society in the coming year?
Due to the corona crisis at the latest, many companies have relied on cloud services such as MS Teams and Office 365 to enable working from home. In society, the greater desire for home office is gaining ground in many industries. This will further accelerate the trend towards moving to the cloud: even more services are moving to the cloud and should be mobile-friendly. But this also greatly increases the risk of cyber attacks. If it was possible to close off your network in the past, it is now a matter of securing access to distributed infrastructures (partly in the data center, partly in the cloud) from anywhere.

What were your professional and personal highlights in 2021?
The willingness of many customers to talk to us about their cloud and hybrid concepts and to work together on solutions was a highlight. The fact that we were able to effectively support very large organizations in their security challenges is also one of the highlights of 2021. It was a special highlight both personally and professionally to see with what commitment and competence our employees, together with our customers, have partially solved even very extreme challenges.

Which topics do you think should be at the top of the agenda of IT managers in the coming year and why or which IT topics will play a particularly important role in 2022?
IT security will play an even more important role. Due to the exorbitant increase in cyber attacks, especially ransomware attacks with the following ransom demands – and this on companies of all sizes – we see a great need for action here. At the same time, the cloud transformation will continue to progress, especially where old applications have to be replaced. This, in turn, fuels the management, monitoring, and integration of cloud services – from infrastructure to application.

“If you used to be able to close off your network, now it’s about securing access to distributed infrastructures (partly in the data center, partly in the cloud) from anywhere.“

Manfred Köteles

The last two years have been marked by the pandemic and accelerated digitization and brought us hybrid working models. After the pandemic, the next – bigger – crisis, the climate crisis, has to be dealt with. How do you think companies need to change in terms of sustainability? What concrete measures are you/is your company planning for 2022 and beyond?
We expect that the future energy consumption of IT infrastructures will increasingly become an issue. The increased outsourcing to cloud providers alone will not solve the problem. The right balance of on-premise with modern energy-saving technologies and off-premise can make a significant contribution to this overall.

How well is your company or how well are Austrian companies generally positioned for new work – i.e. distributed teams, home office, hybrid working models, etc.?
We are now well positioned for working from home and have introduced hybrid working models. However, one cannot view New Work in isolation in one’s own company: as a service provider, we work closely with our customers, and so all working models must also enable this cooperation! We see a very diverse picture here: It is often easy for technicians to exchange ideas online and solve technical problems. But as soon as it comes to more complex consulting topics, a workshop in which ideas are developed together in front of a flip chart is worth more than any online tool.

Do you think that the tense situation regarding the shortage of IT specialists will improve in the coming years? What can be done in this area?
At the moment, we see that the shortage of skilled workers is getting worse. We also notice this in the demand of our customers for our services, for which expert knowledge is required. In order to be attractive to new employees, you need clear and actually lived values, interesting tasks and the opportunity to develop and grow. That’s why we also offer expert careers where further learning is in the foreground. Since there are no experts on the market for many technologies, we are taking the path of building up employees with the necessary knowledge ourselves. While we do this well as an IT service provider, it is neither economical nor sustainable for other companies to hire and develop their own experts in all the necessary areas of IT operations. In this respect, cooperation with partners you can rely on is becoming increasingly important.

This article is part of a series of interviews for which the COMPUTER WORLD interviewed around 50 top managers from the IT industry. You can read more interviews in the next few weeks on computerwelt.at.

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