The IT industry is well placed to meet the challenges of the coming years, but needs to remain flexible and ready for change, according to analyst firm Canalys.
Steve Brazier, chief executive of Canalys, said that, despite the major issues that have affected the industry in the past two years, such as the recession and the upcoming public sector cuts, the industry remains well placed for success.
"There is a sales job that needs to be done by the IT sector to convince the public sector it can provide efficiencies and savings at a time when budgets are being cut. In the past IT schemes have been too centralised, which has led to problems," he said.
"But now it's about using small datasets and collaborating openly to allow this data to be used as and when necessary in a wider context. This is a great opportunity for SMEs to benefit from what could otherwise be a very tough time. "
Another area identified as a key challenge for the coming months is cloud computing and the issues surrounding its terminology and security.
"There's no doubt of the benefit of cloud computing for staff and customers, but there are issues regarding the nature of clouds, either public or private, that firms needs to consider, such as where data is technically held," said Brazier.
"Salesforce.com is held up as the poster child of cloud computing, but its data is all held in the US, which brings issues of data security for UK firms that need to be considered in the wider context of cloud computing."
Brazier also noted that political situations in some countries, notably China, could affect global businesses trying to set up cloud systems if issues of access and censorship became a problem.
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