Q1 2019: Evolution's industry news round-up
Can you believe that we’re already at the start of Q2 2019? Filled with warm weather, cold weather, Brexit (still) and plenty of IT news and developments, let’s take a look at the highlights from Q1.
Let’s hear IT for inclusion
Diversity and equality in IT have been in the spotlight for good reasons this quarter. Amazon launched Amazon Amplify – firstly, a program of initiatives to increase the number of women in its UK technology and innovation roles. Also, Evolution consultant Gemma Higgins revealed how women in IT are pushing boundaries and transforming businesses, and lastly, the Learning Foundation and Nominet joined forces to ensure that all children in the UK have equal access to digital.
Cloudy with a chance of change
This quarter saw the launch of the FinOps Foundation. The non-profit consortium, consisting of big names including Spotify and JustEat, aims to help enterprises manage their cloud costs better by sharing financial management strategies. It is hoped that this leads to faster cloud adoption and better utilisation of cloud resources across the globe.
Speaking of the weather, the 2019 State of the Cloud Report was released, with some interesting data on the adoption of Azure. While AWS still leads when it comes to the public cloud market, Microsoft Azure is catching up, with interest in Google Cloud on the rise.
AI, pyramids and recruitment
What do these three have to do with each other? Well, it’s all part of Accenture’s new graduate recruitment process. Using virtual reality, eager graduates are assessed on how well they can crack codes to escape a pyramid, as well as how well they can handle a conference call. An attractive gimmick to lure prospective talent, it’s also eliminating bias by using data science and machine learning to predict future performance accurately.
Cybersecurity remains firmly in the news this quarter, following cyber incidents and data breaches involving Airbus and the Student Loans Company, who suffered a shocking 965,639 cyber attacks in 2017/2018.
In more positive cybersecurity news, Tech Nation launched the UK’s first cybersecurity scale-up accelerator program, and Orange acquired SecureData – making them a leading player in the European scene.
Speed enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that Virgin Media began testing 8Gbps this quarter. Eight homes in Cambridgeshire experienced what it was like to download a 20GB ultra-high definition 4K film in 20 seconds. Meanwhile, O2 announced that it will begin rolling out its 5G network this year - a year earlier than planned, and just in time for the new broadband speed regulations. It will also be launching a number of 5G innovation spaces across the UK, allowing businesses to begin testing their devices.
IT salaries on the rise
An increase in IT and tech jobs wasn’t the only growth in the UK last year. We saw a significant surge in salaries within the IT sector, most noticeably within machine learning, AI, DevOps, big data, data science and CIO roles. To find out more, head to our 2019 IT salaries guide.
Stack Overflow hosted its first ever hackathon. Employees working on Stack Overflow products or with the Stack Overflow community were all encouraged to get involved learning where issues were and thinking about how to tackle them next time. Part two TBC.
Another quarter for congratulations, specifically to:
- The first cohort of tech startups winning a place on the blockchain accelerator, StateZero;
- GeoSpock, who won the UK regional heat of NTT Data’s global Open Innovation Contest;
- Nineteen-year-old Santiago Lopez, the first $1m legal hacker; and
- Our very own IT department, who went for gold in achieving the Microsoft Gold Datacenter Status.
Over the pond
Elsewhere, over in Europe, the tech scene was also busy:
- Finland rose four places in the Bloomberg 2019 innovation index;
- Microsoft bought 130 hectares in Sweden, something the local mayor says could lead to hundreds of jobs; and
- 90% of businesses in the Netherlands aren’t aware of the benefits of the Internet of Things (yet).