Q3 2018: Evolution's industry news round-up

Q3 2018 has been filled with football mania, unexpected heatwaves, expected rain showers and a wealth of IT industry news. At Evolution Recruitment Solutions, we’ve rounded up our consultants’ favourite updates and revelations from across the IT industry, starting with:

Storage sales spike

The enterprise storage market grew by 21.3% this quarter to $13.2 billion. 111.8 exabytes of capacity was deployed, with a third of total sales by the hyperscale market using commodity hardware. Key drivers behind this hike are storage modernisation projects, the dynamism of the public cloud and the growing data economy.

Algorithms in decision-making

The government published its response to the May report, Algorithms in decision-making, fully supporting the calls for safe and responsible innovative uses of data. The government added that: “Data sharing frameworks such as data trusts could operate using a regulatory sandbox model to facilitate exploratory analyses and offer new insights.” The response also said that the Crown Commercial Service will engage with technology and data science organisations, including the Alan Turing Institute, in developing its category strategies.

Alan Turing Institute supporting AI start-ups

Speaking of the Alan Turing Institute, a new collaboration with Digital Catapult will see London-based start-ups and scale-ups supported in the development of their innovative ideas. Nine companies will have the opportunity to work with academic researchers on data-driven industry challenges.

AI leads the way

A new report revealed that immersive technology drives better efficiencies, productivity and safety, with augmented reality, leading the way for business operations (not virtual reality). 82% of businesses currently implementing AR or VR feel that the benefits are meeting or exceeding their expectations. Problems, however, lie in a shortage of in-house expertise and sufficient back-end infrastructure. US and China are the biggest adopters of AI, with over 50% of companies already implementing the technology. The UK is lagging behind, with only 33% of companies beyond experimental stages.

Cyber attacks get more personal

The latest research suggests that today’s cyber-attacks are targeting people, rather than infrastructure. Aimed at tricking employees into certain actions, these attacks are difficult to control through software security updates. Individual contributors and lower-level managers receive 60% of targeted malware and credential phishing attacks, and those in operation and production are most exposed. The report also revealed that email fraud attacks on companies rose 85%, and phishing through social media 30%. At Evolution, we have seen a corresponding rise in the call for experienced cybersecurity professionals, especially in the financial sector.

Go west

The government has confirmed that the West Midlands is to become the UK’s first large-scale 5G testbed, paving the way for the future rollout across the UK. Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton will pilot 5G hubs as part of the Urban Connected Communities Project. £50m in funding is available for the project, with an additional £25m available at a later stage.

Cyber-criminals flash the cash

The cybercrime community is spending over $1tn each year on developing attacks, which is dwarfing the $96bn being spent by companies to secure themselves. Cyber-attacks are increasing around the world, with the UK being one of the main targets. A recent survey indicated that 92% of UK businesses have faced attacks over the past 12 months.

Job losses to dwarf those of the Victorian revolution

The Bank of England chief economist warned the UK that a skills revolution is critical if we are going to survive the onset of artificial intelligence. Andy Haldane said that AI will make many people ‘technologically unemployed’ in what he describes as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Engineering professionals hoping to ride the wave need to pay attention now to training and upskilling, to take advantage of the new jobs that will results.

Most Influential Women in UK Tech

The shortlist for the Most Influential Women in UK Tech award was released, following more than 200 nominees. A panel of experts will judge the shortlist, considering influence, achievements, profile, leadership, potential and community, and announce the 50 top winners very soon.

FBI warning

The Federation Bureau of Investigation has warned banks of a global ATM cybercrime spree. Unspecified reports indicate that the attack will involve a card issuer breach, enabling the cloning of cards to make repeated ATM withdrawals over a short period (i.e. a weekend when banks close). The FBI is urging banks to review their security infrastructures now.

Fly away data

British Airways announced the theft of customer data from their website and mobile app, taken over a two-week period. It has been estimated that around 380,000 customers could have been affected, with the stolen information including personal and payment details. Security researchers from RiskIQ claim that the attack involved the use of a paid-for SSL certification, making it appear as a legitimate server. This certificate was issued on 15th August, meaning that the hackers likely had access to the BA site before the reported start date of 21st August. RiskIQ suggests that this highly-targeted attack was conducted by web-based credit card skimming threat group, Magecar - previously linked to the Ticketmaster breach.

PC Azure reporting for service

The MET police has chosen Microsoft Azure as its new cloud platform and is engaging New Signature for their cloud migration. The Microsoft Cloud platform will be used for future digital transformation, and the first set of applications should be live in the cloud by early 2019.

Diversity and pay in the industry

Computer Weekly has reported that 40% of IT professionals feel that firms are not addressing diversity issues. Larger firms are better at confronting diversity issues, with 47% agreeing that there were plans to improve the gender balance in their organisation. Meanwhile, the average salary for IT professionals in the UK and Ireland has reached over £80,000 per year, increasing more than £15,000 from 2016.

Evolution Recruitment Solutions

This quarter we looked at 11 common characteristics of successful .NET developers, the DevOps stats that will influence your next career move, 6 reasons to develop your career into cybersecurity, taking the leap from a permanent IT job to a contract role, 9 skills that will boost your .NET career and the top tips for developing your DevOps career.

And last but by no means least, Evolution has been shortlisted for Security Recruitment Company of the Year, for the fourth year running. The awards ceremony takes place in London in two months’ time. Please vote for us here.

Our next quarterly round-up will be at the start of January, but in the meantime, keep an eye on our blog and twitter account for the latest news, tips and insights.

Steve Corley

Director - Key Accounts

View Profile