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Insight Named in Fortune 100 2018 Best Workplaces for Diversity

Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ:NSIT), the global system integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organisations of all sizes, has been named one of the FORTUNE 100 2018 Best Workplaces for Diversity, an annual ranking by FORTUNE and Great Place to Work of companies with the very best workplace experiences according to the diverse employees who work there.

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Emma de Sousa - winner of CRN Editor's Choice: Channel Achievement Award at this year’s CRN awards.

Following last night’s CRN Channel Awards, we are delighted to announce our very own Emma de Sousa, Managing Director UK & Senior Vice President Marketing EMEA, won this year’s Editor's Choice Channel Achievement Award.

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Insight CEO, Ken Lamneck is transforming Insight into a $6.7B global enterprise

by AZ Big Media

Read this recent interview with Insight president, Ken Lamneck, highlighting how Insight has transitioned from a hardware/software reseller into a full-service system integrator solving complex business challenges. “We’ve evolved to design, integrate, deploy and manage IT infrastructure and cloud solutions that help our clients maximize their technology investments and create meaningful experiences for their employees and customers.”

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Insight Joins Responsible Business Alliance in Support of Sustainable Supply Chains

To fully support the vision of a global electronics industry that creates sustainable value for workers, the environment and business, Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ:NSIT), the global systems integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organisations of all sizes, has joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) as an affiliate member.

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Insight Teammate Crowned Rising Star in CRN’s Women in Channel Awards.

Insight are very proud to announce that our very own Olya Scekaturova won the award for Rising Star in the Reseller / Services category.

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Insight Expands Its Leadership Team With the Appointment of New Solutions Director

London, UK, Friday 5th October, 2018 – Insight, a Fortune 500-ranked global provider Intelligent Technology Solutions™ has announced the appointment of Justin Dobson as UK Solutions Director, making him the newest member of the Senior Leadership Team.

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CRN Channel Awards Shortlist

Insight has been shortlisted for 3 awards in the 2018 CRN Channel Awards. The categories are:

Cloud Services Provider of the Year: This category is open to all cloud services vendors, whether they sell a physical product or a virtual one. This includes cloud-based software manufacturers/developers and providers of any type of cloud service/product TO the channel. The vendors entering must be able to show that they have helped their channel partners to build and grow a profitable business in 2017/2018.

Corporate Reseller of the Year: This category is open to all VARs/MSPs/integrators that deal with either mid-market (loose definition: 250-1,000 seats) or enterprise (loose definition: 1,000+ seats) customers, or a mix of both - supplying products, managed services or a mix of both, preferably from a mix of vendors. These customers can be UK based, have multiple UK offices, or be multi-national companies with a significant base in the UK, in the private sector.

Public Sector VAR of the Year: This category is open to VARs that have a clear focus on doing business, providing products and solutions to public sector customers. These organisations can be in any part of the public sector from education to healthcare, from local government to government, and emergency services.

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Artificial Intelligence Could Boost the Global Economy as Much as the Steam Engine Did During the Industrial Revolution, Claims a Research Institute.

by The Telegraph

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, AI will add an extra $13tr (£10tr) to global economic activity by 2030. The research organisation predicts 70pc of companies will adopt at least one form of AI during this time.

The technology, which uses large data sets to copy human behavior, could also bring about an additional 1.2pc to annual GDP growth by 2028.

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New report from McKinsey Global Institute: AI to spur economic growth

by Alex Guillen

AI paves the way towards creating a next-gen workforce, where bots deal with the time-consuming repetitive tasks, offering organisations the chance to redeploy workers to more engaging and value-creating tasks. Read more from Alex Guillen

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Insight Enterprises, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results and Increases Full Year 2018 Guidance

TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Insight Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:NSIT) (the “Company”) today reported strong financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

  • Diluted earnings per share of $1.44 increased 30% year over year
  • Cash flows provided by operations in the first half of 2018 were $351.0 million compared to cash used in operations of $99.3 million in the first half of 2017
  • Adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.45 increased 27% year over year

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CRN Women in Channel Shortlist Unveiled

Insight are proud to announce that five teammates have been shortlisted for this year's Woman of The Year. They are:

Olya Scekaturova - Rising Star: Reseller/Services
Jill Murray - Marketing Employee of the Year: Reseller/Services
Niki Cholia - Sales Employee of the Year: Reseller/Services
Dinet Luchies - Unsung Hero
Maya Azar - Technical Employee of the Year

With over 50 entries received in the Woman of the Year category alone, drawing up a shortlist to put before the 20 Women in Channel judges was a daunting task. It is an achievement in itself to reach this stage.

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Meaningful Insights

For Emma de Sousa, Senior VP of Insight, leadership is a vocation, a calling to build teams whose members live and breathe the core cultural values that she helps to instil. When de Sousa accepted the Senior Vice President role in January the move reflected her fast paced, dynamic nature and commitment to make a difference – all qualities she identified in the organisation she’s championed since joining in 2003. Eagerly jumping on the rolling bandwagon of Insight’s global campaign convoy, de Sousa turns her hand to reinforcing the cultural values of the company. “Insight is about people and we live by our core values of Hunger, Heart and Harmony, which sets the tone for our business and defines who we are,” she stated.

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Will Artificial Intelligence Create More Jobs Than It Destroys?

The study, from Price Waterhouse Coopers indicates that while AI could displace roughly 7 million jobs in the U.K., it could also create 7.2 million jobs, resulting in a modest net boost of around 200,000 jobs. The impact of AI on individual sectors is set to vary, however. In the health and social work sector, PwC said that the number of people employed could rise by almost 1 million, while jobs in manufacturing could fall by roughly 25 percent, a net loss of almost 700,000 roles.

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Insight Awarded Best Education Reseller for Fujistu

Insight received the Best Education Reseller for Fujistu award at the Fujitsu World Tour 2018.

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AI Will Create as Many Jobs as It Displaces by Boosting Economic Growth

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technologies are projected to create as many jobs as they displace in the UK over the next 20 years, according to new analysis by PwC. In absolute terms, around 7 million existing jobs could be displaced, but around 7.2 million could be created, giving the UK a small net jobs boost of around 0.2 million.

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AI To Create Jobs, Claims PwC Report

by Mayur Pitamber

The arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) will be a win for the UK jobs market as it will create as many jobs as it displaces by boosting economic growth over the next 20 years. This is the claim in a new report from PwC, which found that although the overall effect on UK jobs is estimated to be broadly neutral, there will be “winners” and “losers” by industry sector. It comes after Oxford University researchers last Autumn warned that 80 percent of jobs in transportation, warehousing and logistics and 63 percent in sales are likely to disappear due to automation.

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Insight Announces New EMEA Operations Boss

Insight has promoted 20-year company insider Gill Holloway to fill its vacant EMEA director of operations role. The global reseller has been without a regional operations boss since the departure of Mark Robinson in April.

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Insight Appoints New Director of Operations for EMEA

Insight, a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of hardware, software, cloud and service solutions, has today announced the appointment of Gill Holloway as the new Director of Operations for EMEA.

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Step up or Step Out: Technology Is Fundamental to Reshaping the Workplace of the Future

Typing ‘the future of work’ into a search engine provides a plethora of options and opinions. Why? Primarily, this sense of both confusion and opportunity is related to the accelerating speed of technological change.

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Insight Wins Dell Emc 'Go Big Win Big' Award for New Business

Insight are very proud to announce that they won the DellEMC Go Big Win Big Award for New Business for the year at the DellEMC #PartnerAwards.

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Emma De Sousa on the Value of Diversity and the Importance of Meritocracy

by Sara Yirrell

Insight's UK managing director and senior vice president of EMEA marketing talks to CRN about the value of diversity, the importance of meritocracy, and the many initiatives her firm supports to ensure a balanced workforce.

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Emma de Sousa: 'I Would Love to See More Female Candidates Coming Forward for Jobs'

Insight's UK managing director and senior vice president of EMEA marketing talks to CRN about the value of diversity, the importance of meritocracy, and the many initiatives her firm supports to ensure a balanced workforce.

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Insight Announces New Hybrid Cloud Migration and Optimisation Services

New services enable businesses to migrate and optimise their Microsoft Azure investment with confidence.

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Insight Announces New Modern Workplace Migration and Optimisation Services

New services enable businesses to migrate and optimise Microsoft Office 365 performance.

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Insight features in Channelnomics' list of the European Elite 2018 - the biggest channel players on the continent

by Channelnomics

From how Insight has invested in its sales teams to its plans for driving efficiencies across the business, Insight’s very own Emma de Sousa speaks to Channelnomics about what the company is up to in the UK. Check out her Q&A by downloading this month’s European Elite report.

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AI Will Be Business-Critical in Next Five Years, Say Execs

Nine in 10 business leaders believe artificial intelligence (AI) will be critical to their organisation’s survival over the next five years, according to a survey by SAP. The software company polled 2,500 C-level executives globally and found that six in 10 will implement some form of AI over the next year, while a third are planning to make significant investments in the technology over the same period.

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SAP: One Third of Business Leaders to Invest over $500,000 in Ai in 12 Months

by Alex Guillen

European multinational Software company SAP has conducted a new survey revealing that business leaders are looking to get increasingly serious about artificial intelligence. According to the report, the results of which came from a survey of 2,500 C-level executives, approximately a third of business leaders are planning to invest between $500,000 and $5mn in AI over the course of the next 12 months.

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Reasons to Be Cheerful? Six Reseller Bosses Discuss the Health of the European Channel

by Emma de Sousa

Amid dreary predictions from IDC and Gartner that the PC market is on an inescapable downward trajectory, Europe's largest resellers are swimming in optimism and have continued to grow. Industry behemoths Bechtle, Cancom, Atea, Computacenter and Econocom all posted glowing financials in 2017, most of which logged revenue growth that extended into the double digits.

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Insight Jumps 56 Spots on 2018 Fortune 500 List

Insight, a leading provider of Intelligent Technology Solutions™, announced today its inclusion in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings, jumping 56 spots to No. 417. This is its largest year-over-year leap in the rankings to date, as well as its highest position on the list since making its debut in 2008.

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Inside CRN's May Issue

Digital transformation - the concept that all organisations are becoming technology organisations at their core - is a term that's never far from the lips of vendors and analysts these days. So it's perhaps no shock that ‘DX' - as it's often shortened to - was a dominant theme in this issue's Big Interview with Insight UK boss Emma de Sousa

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Insight Named Riverbed’s ‘EMEA Best Marketing Campaign of the Year’

Another win for Insight this year as it secured the award for ‘EMEA Best Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at Riverbed’s 2018 Partner Summit. The Riverbed Partner Awards acknowledge companies for excellence in delivering on evolving customer needs and driving business results.

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Insight's Emma De Sousa on Increasing Field Sales, the Rise of Partner-To-Partner Model, and Chatbots

by Emma de Sousa

You'd be forgiven for suspecting that a large volume reseller such as Insight would be desperate to cut its cost of sale in any way possible in the current climate. Far from it: the global reseller's £450m-revenue UK arm has been investing full tilt in more expensive, field-based sales staff of late, according to its UK managing director, Emma de Sousa.

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Government Invests £300m in AI

by Lal Hussian

“With this investment, the government is acknowledging that the US and China have been able to race ahead in AI. For the US, it is the Silicon Valley ecosystem, with tech giants such as Google and Microsoft already holding the data and technology expertise necessary to fuel AI innovation. For China, it’s a case of a government-driven ambition combined with the advantage of holding a vast dataset of the world’s most populous country, plus a favourable legal context, that’s enabling them to get ahead. “In this environment, it is fantastic to see the UK government prioritise AI. But while the government can provide resources, it is down to individual businesses to consider how AI could be an advantage to them and how they can capitalise on these resources to differentiate their offerings. And they must not be afraid to stand on the shoulder of giants to put AI into practice. For example, an ecommerce company could tap into Microsoft Azure’s AI offerings, building innovative services on top of the existing infrastructure. “AI is a very complex technology, and there are therefore numerous ways in which businesses and indeed entire countries can drive it forward and ensure it benefits our economy and society. If implemented well, there will be many winners. But to become leaders in the field, businesses will need to seek great partners who’s infrastructure, services and expertise can give them the foundation they need to excel.”

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Insight Recognised in VMware’s Partner Marketing Campaign of the Year

Insight is delighted to be acknowledged in VMware’s FY18 Awards, picking up the top accolade for Marketing Campaign of the Year 2018. We produced a fully integrated marketing campaign across the year which incorporated events, social media, digital and telesales marketing. The Insight Marketing Team worked closely with IDG, commissioning an IT Automation survey and whitepaper as well as a series of CxO level events and workshops - all contributing to a highly successful multi-touch campaign.

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Will the Channel Join the Social Media Techlash?

by Emma de Sousa

Should channel firms follow in the footsteps of Wetherspoons and review their social media strategy? Earlier this week, pub retailer JD Wetherspoon unexpectedly deleted its entire social media presence, ironically announcing the news on its now-deleted Twitter page. Citing a number of reasons for the decision, including "trolling" and concerns over the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data breaches, Wetherspoon's owner Tim Martin also declared, "We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business."

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Right to Reply: Government AI Report Shows Firms Have to Work with Govt to Adapt the Workforce

by James Longworth

This week the House of Lords today issued a parliamentary report on Artificial Intelligence, which concluded that the UK has the potential to be a leader in developing AI and called on the government to support businesses in the field, while also highlighting that ethics should be at the centre of these developments. James Longworth, Solutions Architect Manager at Insight, believes that businesses should join government in helping the workforce adapt to AI.

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VPN: from an obscure network to a widespread solution

by James Longworth, Insight UK via Computer Fraud & Security ISSN 1361-3723

Looking at the evolution of virtual private networks (VPNs), one can see a clear shift in their usage in the past decade or so. While VPNs used to be reserved for big companies and government authorities – proving a mystery or unjustifiable expense to most – today we see VPNs being implemented and talked about on a much wider scale. From organisations of all sizes to individuals, more and more people are turning to VPNs to safeguard their data and ensure privacy.

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Parliamentary Report on AI

by James Longworth

"A lot of the discussion on AI so far has presented an alarming vision of mass unemployment. It's therefore encouraging to see this report take a more positive approach by focusing on the opportunity at hand. Yes, the adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace may lead to many roles becoming redundant, however, the sheer complexity of the technology will also create jobs that we currently can't even conceive of yet. And these won't necessarily all be jobs involving advanced analytical abilities. "For example, we can already see the need for AI strategists to help organisations understand where they should and should not apply the technology or for empathetic and creative people to help chatbots interact with people without getting stuck in the 'uncanny valley.' So what other jobs will spring up as more organisations adopt the technology? "In order to be in a position to take full advantage of AI’s huge potential, businesses should join government in helping their workforce move towards this exciting future. Many of these novel jobs will involve working in close contact with AI, and therefore a basic understanding of the technology is vital. Beyond this, at this stage we don't know exactly how quickly the technology will evolve, and therefore businesses must be ready to skill up their workforce as new technological possibilities emerge. The future will move fast, and this will put a premium on people and organisations who can adapt quickly. It's up to businesses to begin doing the groundwork now."

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Email Compromise to Exceed £6.4bn in 2018 as Attacks Increase Say NCSC/NCA

by Erik Westhovens

The cyber threat to UK business 2017-2018 report jointly launched this week by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency(NCA) highlights the extent of the threats faced by the UK - 34 significant cyber-attacks in the 15 months to the end of 2017( ie attacks that typically require a cross-government response) - and how the threat continues to grow.

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Uk Businesses Face Growing Threat from Cyber-Attacks

by Erik Westhovens

“The latest report from the National Cyber Security Centre makes one thing clear – we live in a world where every organisation – both small and large – is vulnerable to an attack. With fresh attacks hitting our headlines on a regular basis, experts shedding light on the best security practices, and our own multi-sector research finding that half of senior business leaders point to data privacy as one of the top things customers value, security should be top-of-mind for all UK businesses. “While it's positive to see that the 'head-in-the-sand' approach to security has been reduced by the many incidents over the past few years, and that the operational, financial, and operational risks of cyberattacks are now recognised, there's clearly still much to be done. Making UK businesses an unattractive target for criminals is the long term goal set by the NCSC, but organisations today have to think fast and find a solution that will show results starting from tomorrow. “Take the cyber security skills gap as a prime example. To address this, organisations should look beyond IT departments to establish good cyber-security awareness and practise across the organisation. Ensuring employees are more cyber-aware through effective training schemes will be one of the most cost effective ways to reduce the financial and reputational impact of human error. However, organisations should not neglect the importance of investing new technologies such as analytics or artificial intelligence. It is only by pairing such tools with strong, all-encompassing training programmes, that organisations can best safeguard themselves and their customers from the many threats of today. The key to driving this dual approach will be working with trusted partners who have deep expertise in cyber security and executional nous to match.”

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The Things You Say – Harmful Data Quest

by Erik Westhovens

“As employees are on the frontline of the cyber security war, more often than not, a breach in security can be down to the behaviour of one individual. Therefore every single person across an organisation is responsible for its security and integrity. However, this expectation can only be met if businesses give them the appropriate training and tools to do so. “To encourage proactivity, organisations should establish workshops to discuss how they manage and secure their data, what their environment consists of and how they think about cyber security within their practice area. There is an understandable urgency to solve this problem, and organisations need to look beyond the IT department to establish good cyber-security awareness and practises. “Training employees must be paired with investment in new technologies such as analytics or artificial intelligence. It is only by pairing such tools with strong, all-encompassing training programmes, that organisations can best safeguard themselves and their customers from the many threats.”

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"IT experts will drive the future of business" - Wolfgang Ebermann, president for EMEA at Insight, urges business leaders to treat IT as a strategic asset and hire accordingly.

by Katherine Lofthouse, Business Cloud

A former vice president at Microsoft has called on business leaders to treat IT as a strategic asset.
Wolfgang Ebermann left the tech giant in 2013 and is now president for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region at technology provider Insight.
He says that business decision makers all acknowledge IT is a must-have in their businesses yet companies are not putting their money where their mouths are and hiring accordingly.
“When you ask a CFO if they see IT as an important strategic asset or cost factor, it tends to be the latter,” he told BusinessCloud.
“If you look at the way companies spend in IT today more than 80 per cent spent their budget on maintaining existing IT, which is just keeping the lights on.
“At the same time they acknowledge a big change is going on in the IT industry and the industry needs to adapt because if it’s seen as a cost factor and not as a business enabler driving outcomes, it faces a challenge.
“Whether it’s the exec themselves or finding an additional transformation agent, the CIO, or a few tech experts, a person in a new [IT] role needs to become the business adviser. This is critical.”
The smartphone is at the core of this change, believes Ebermann, in its new role as an assistant for people’s private and business lives.
“Business life is changing because the smartphone is becoming a business assistant,” he said. “It’s all centred around a new way of working and how to increase workforce productivity and attract the next generation of talent.
“They’re coming from university and they’re not email junkies like when I grew up. If you want to attract the next generation and increase workforce productivity, you need to change the way you work [and centre it around chat]."
Companies must assess whether their products and services are smartphone-enabled, says Ebermann.
“Adidas isn’t just about sports shoe innovation,” he said. “Think about how their shoes are digital-enabled with a smartphone letting you check your health.
“If you build the IoT (Internet of Things) into the tool and connect to a smart assistant only then do you differentiate yourself in the market. It’s a clarity every business needs to think about.”

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‘IT Experts Will Drive the Future of Business’

A former vice president at Microsoft has called on business leaders to treat IT as a strategic asset. Wolfgang Ebermann left the tech giant in 2013 and is now president for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region at technology provider Insight. He says that business decision makers all acknowledge IT is a must-have in their businesses yet companies are not putting their money where their mouths are and hiring accordingly.

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How to Build a Smarter Enterprise with Cloud, Machine Learning and Ai

Business leaders today understand that, in order to stay competitive, they need to make digital transformation a strategic priority at the board level. And given the time pressure to innovate before their competitors do, many organisations have focused their first wave of digital investments on customer-facing applications and services. This plays an important role in addressing changing customer expectations; critical, as our own research showed 9 in 10 business leaders face challenges when delivering good customer service.

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Cyber crime is a top threat to UK charities, says NCSC

Many charities, particularly smaller ones, do not realise the value of the personal, financial, commercial and other data they hold to cyber criminals, according to a report by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

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NCSC Findings on Cyber Crime Attacks on Charities

“The key to effective cyber security is to understand that vulnerabilities don't solely originate with technology, but with people. And this is true for both private and public sector. Our own research showed that only less than two-fifths of UK business leaders hope to achieve improved security when implementing IT solutions. This attitude must change. “As employees are on the frontline of the cyber security war, more often than not, a breach in security can be down to the behaviour of one individual. Therefore every single person across an organisation is responsible for its security and integrity. However, this expectation can only be met if businesses give them the appropriate training and tools to do so. To encourage proactivity, organisations should establish workshops to discuss how they manage and secure their data, what their environment consists of and how they thinking about cyber security within their practice area. “There is an understandable urgency to solve this problem, and organisations need to look beyond the IT department to establish good cyber-security awareness and practises. Training employees must be paired with investment in new technologies such as analytics or artificial intelligence. It is only by pairing such tools with strong, all-encompassing training programmes, that organisations can best safeguard themselves and their customers from the many threats of today.”

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Cyber Crime Is a Top Threat to UK Charities, Says NCSC

Many charities, particularly smaller ones, do not realise the value of the personal, financial, commercial and other data they hold to cyber criminals, according to a report by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Charities typically do not perceive themselves as targets, but the value of the data they hold to range of cyber criminals makes them vulnerable to attack, warns a Cyber Threat Assessment report.

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Transformation Continuing at Insight

The channel player has been transforming its own business and the managed services side of the business continues to grow Insight has been going through its own transformation over the past couple of years and the aim has remained a constant one, to get into a position where it can deliver cloud-based services to help customers exploit digital opportunities.

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IDG Connect Feature on Chatbots

While chatbots are not new, advancements in the underlying technology, combined with shifts in consumer behaviour have finally made these a viable communication too which will revolutionise business in the next few years. Customers want personalisation! Chatbots can augment the client interaction in a way which delivers that individualised experience, without the huge resource overhead traditionally required. Like other disruptive technologies, this levels the playing field, giving small and medium businesses a much-needed competitive edge against bigger rivals. Generational differences in how interactions occur will drive the direction of the technology. Currently, the goal is to mimic human interaction. As millennials - accustomed to personalised interactions through mediums other than traditional voice - grow in prominence in the marketplace, the trajectory will shift towards hyper-personalisation and speed of outcome. This rapid change in customer expectations is keeping businesses on their toes. Insight’s own research showed 9-in-10 UK business leaders are facing challenges when delivering good customer service. Fortunately, implementing chatbots is becoming simpler, with SaaS providers entering the market helping provide that rich customer experience. Technology underpins the modern customer relationship, whether it be delivering services, checking the status of orders, or even making a complaint when something goes wrong. Chatbots will help drive differentiation and personalisation ushering in customer service 2.0

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Cyber report

Malware sophistication is increasing as adversaries begin to weaponise cloud services and evade detection through encryption, used as a tool to conceal command-and-control activity. Cyber security people report that they will increasingly use and spend more on tools that use AI and machine learning, according to the 11th Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR).

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Channel Pro Feature on Avoiding the Pitfalls of Digital Transformation

• What sort of obstacles do organizations generally encounter when undergoing digital transformation projects? (e.g. is it cultural, financial or something else?) List as many as you like! Do you have any advice for companies to avoid the pitfalls associated with digital transformation? “When it comes to digital transformation projects, the challenge today in the market today is getting beyond the hype. Too many “digital” projects are deemed to be a gimmick rather than generating a genuine business benefit. It’s quite simple to distil it down to these common areas: People & Culture, Process, Technology. Digital transformation requires processes to be effective, streamlined, and ‘outcome’ focussed. This can be a challenge in its own right as it’s common for processes to evolve organically over-time, meaning they can become less efficient. An ineffective or inefficient process, once digitised, will simply amplify inefficiency and allow you to fail faster. Then, people are the most complex and critical part of any Digital transformation. Because people personify the culture, failure to fully engage in a program of Change Management will result in unnecessary resistance, not to mention, avoidable drag on timelines and a high potential of failure. To counteract this, you need to bring the whole organisation with you, not just those directly involved in the Digital transformation project. The other part of the people puzzle relates to experiences. Repeatability breeds success. Engaging in Digital transformation without learning from the journeys of others means you re-invent the wheel and learn things the hard way…unnecessarily. Take advantage of networks, engage partners or hire talent so you can benefit from their experience and upskill the existing team. Finally, there is technology. Those businesses with large legacy infrastructures are facing an ongoing hurdle: overhauling these older IT systems quickly enough to keep up with evolving demands. In fact, with our latest research of senior business leaders finding only half of respondents describing their organisation as ‘digital-first’, clearly this is a problem for a huge number of organisations. Despite the ubiquity of devices and the vast opportunity to collect specific insight into customer behaviours and preferences, too many organisations are slow to put a strategic plan in place for the capture, analysis and actioning of this data. Using the Internet of Things (IoT) as an example, businesses still struggle to align the capture of data from IoT devices with various business functions. Despite the fact that understanding the data held for existing customer interactions will enable organisations to unlock the subtle differentiators which will help them earn client loyalty and attract new customers, the message isn’t getting to the teams that will action it. What’s more, there are also cultural challenges to be overcome. Looking broadly at the approach to data, the shift to being precise and secure in all aspects of data collection is uncomfortable for many. That said, businesses can’t afford to ignore the value data can hold if they’re to remain competitive, so it’s important they establish strategies and processes for it now. What’s clear is that those who approach digital transformation projects with focus and purpose at every turn will see far greater returns on their investments, not to mention, enabling them to be properly equipped to remain digitally competitive.”

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Digital Transformation: How to Avoid the Pitfalls

Most digital transformation projects end in failure, so how can you help steer customers in the right direction? The concept of digital transformation continued to be at the top of the list of industry talking points in 2017. Vendors, analysts and channel firms all weighed in on the advantages that digitisation can deliver - reduced operating costs, increased productivity, improved customer service and ensured adherence to regulation are all cited as benefits of replacing legacy systems and manual processes with a new digital environment.

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Bad Actors Increase Focus on Cloud Services, Encryption

Malware sophistication is increasing as adversaries begin to weaponize cloud services and evade detection through encryption, which is being used as a tool to conceal command-and-control activity. That’s according to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR). It also found that while encryption is meant to enhance security, the expanded volume of encrypted web traffic (50% as of October 2017) – both legitimate and malicious – has created more challenges for defenders trying to identify and monitor potential threats. Cisco threat researchers observed more than a threefold increase in encrypted network communication used by inspected malware samples over a 12-month period.

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Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Report – Comment from Insight

Cisco released its 11th Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR). Erik Westhovens, Enterprise Architect at Insight, believes that its findings reveal the importance of both detection technology and employee education to organisations looking to combat the ever-evolving cyber-security threat: "What’s clear from Cisco’s latest research is that the cyber-security environment is moving at an unprecedented speed, with malignant actors and defenders engaged in an arms race that would make Cold War strategists blush. The past few months has seen the focus shift once again, from ransomware to malware, resulting in new requirements for defending against cyber-attacks."

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Uk Native Councils Below Large Cyber Assault Strain

Native authorities face a median of 19.5 million cyber assaults a 12 months, in response to an investigation by privateness marketing campaign organisation Massive Brother Watch. This equates to 37 cyber assaults or tried breaches each minute on organisations which might be accumulating rising troves of delicate and private details about residents. The report reveals an “overwhelming failure” by councils to report losses and breaches of information, in addition to shortcomings in employees coaching up to now 5 years.

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Cisco Annual Cyber Security Report

"What’s clear from Cisco’s latest research is that the cyber-security environment is moving at an unprecedented speed, with malignant actors and defenders engaged in an arms race that would make Cold War strategists blush. The past few months has seen the focus shift once again, from ransomware to malware, resulting in new requirements for defending against cyber-attacks. "Whereas ransomware is designed to make its presence felt by its victims, malware often works in far more insidious ways, such as hijacking computing power to fuel bitcoin mining. And because this puts a premium on rapid detection and analysis to uncover these shadowy threats, it is therefore reassuring to see that time to detection (TDD) has been trending downwards. "However, the inventiveness of cyber-attackers means that the threat is always evolving. AI and machine learning are key to detecting novel methods quickly and finding ways to contain and neutralise them, and this is reflected in security leaders' increasing reliance on these technologies. Scale is vital for effectiveness - security providers such as Microsoft, who can draw on a large customer base and massive data sets on user behaviour, not only have a higher chance of picking up on a threat but have more data to feed into their algorithms. This help with developing more accurate assessments of what constitutes a potentially threatening pattern of, for example, web traffic, and more sophisticated mechanisms for combating threats. "While technology has a huge role to play, people should remain the first line of any cyber defence strategy. Consider the modern flexible employee – accessing company information on the move and working with sensitive data every day, regardless of job function. Because malware frequently takes advantage of employee's ignorance, organisations need to focus their security strategy both on detection technology and on educating their workforce on how to avoid becoming an 'easy route in.'"

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Bad Actors Increase Focus on Cloud Services, Encryption

Malware sophistication is increasing as adversaries begin to weaponize cloud services and evade detection through encryption, which is being used as a tool to conceal command-and-control activity. That’s according to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR). It also found that while encryption is meant to enhance security, the expanded volume of encrypted web traffic (50% as of October 2017) – both legitimate and malicious – has created more challenges for defenders trying to identify and monitor potential threats. Cisco threat researchers observed more than a threefold increase in encrypted network communication used by inspected malware samples over a 12-month period.

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A quarter of United Kingdom councils 'have been hacked'

This is all happening whilst those same councils are accumulating growing troves of sensitive and personal information about citizens - the big issue for Big Brother Watch who claim the report uncovers an overwhelming failure of councils to report losses and breaches of data, as well as shortcomings in staff training. "An attack on a local government might not seem like a Hollywood-esque script that would make the front pages, but when you consider that over 25% of all local governments have had their systems breached in the last five years, you begin to see some of the pressures and challenges local authorities face".

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A Quarter of United Kingdom Councils ‘Have Been Hacked’

This is all happening whilst those same councils are accumulating growing troves of sensitive and personal information about citizens - the big issue for Big Brother Watch who claim the report uncovers an overwhelming failure of councils to report losses and breaches of data, as well as shortcomings in staff training. "An attack on a local government might not seem like a Hollywood-esque script that would make the front pages, but when you consider that over 25% of all local governments have had their systems breached in the last five years, you begin to see some of the pressures and challenges local authorities face". It found that despite human error being the main factor in a successful hack, 75% of local authorities said their staff don't undergo compulsory cyber security training. Commenting on the news, Anthony Chadd, senior director, EMEA, Neustar, said, "In today's political and economic climate, local governments are under increasing pressure to deliver first-class services against the backdrop of reduced funding, increasing demands and - now - the growing threat of a crippling cyber-attack". Over a quarter of United Kingdom local authorities have suffered a security breach in the past five years, with the vast majority not providing mandatory cybersecurity awareness training, according to Big Brother Watch. The privacy group said it was "shocked" that council staff often lacked cyber training. "Local authorities need to take urgent action and make sure they fulfil their responsibilities to protect citizens", she added. Some 25 councils said that there had been a data breach or loss as a result of such incidents, with the councils of Merton and Westminster each saying this had happened three times. The privacy campaigners behind the research said they were concerned by their findings given the rapid accumulation of personal data by councils across the country. Tonbridge and Malling Council reported the most - a total of 62 incidents over the five years. Raj Samani, chief scientist and fellow at McAfee, criticised the councils for failing to inform citizens of breaches. "It will be important that local authorities receive appropriate support moving forward". "Unless made aware, potential victims - the citizens that they're serving - are unable to protect themselves, whether by changing passwords or more closely monitoring for instances of fraud", he said. "Managing the growing and evolving against a background backdrop of squeezed budgets, local authorities are having to make hard choices about where their investments should be made". These regional administrations are a relatively unsuspecting target for most employees and councillors and that is exactly why they represent a huge risk. Commenting on the low levels of security training for staff, Erik Westhovens, architect and evangelist, digital workspace at Insight UK, said the key to effective cyber security is to understand that vulnerabilities do not exclusively originate with technology, but with people. Professor Richard Benham of Corsham Institute said, "With the GDPR deadline just months away, Councils must ensure all staff are properly prepared to manage data and protect the organisation from cyber-attacks". A "cyber attack" is defined by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre as "a malicious attempt to damage, disrupt or gain unauthorised access to computer systems, networks or devices, via cyber means".

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3 Ways Organisations Can Avoid the Pitfalls Associated with Digital Transformation

Digital transformation. Generating over 57 million results on Google, individuals and organisations alike are all well accustomed with the term. And with good reason. From the Government’s plans to overhaul NHS digital systems to the merging of the online and brick-and-mortar world of retail, digital transformation projects are being rolled out everywhere. And with IDC reporting that, worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies are set to reach a staggering $1.3 trillion in 2018, a 17% increase on what was spent last year, the uptick of these technologies will only grow.

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Councils ‘Unprepared’ for Cyber-Attacks, Report Says

“The key to effective cyber security is to understand that vulnerabilities don't solely originate with technology, but with people. And this is true for both private and public sector. These new findings from Big Brother Watch come at a very opportune time: revealing that three-quarters of councils did not provide mandatory cyber-security training draws attention to the problem, which bring us one step closer to better cybersecurity countrywide. “As employees are on the frontline of the cyber security war, more often than not, a breach in security can be down to the behaviour of one individual. Therefore every single person across an organisation is responsible for its security and integrity. However, this expectation can only be met if businesses give them the appropriate training and tools to do so. To encourage proactivity, organisations should establish workshops to discuss how they manage and secure their data, what their environment consists of and how they thinking about cyber security within their practice area. “There is an understandable urgency to solve this problem, and organisations need to look beyond the IT department to establish good cyber-security awareness and practises. Training employees must be paired with investment in new technologies such as analytics or artificial intelligence. It is only by pairing such tools with strong, all-encompassing training programmes, that organisations can best safeguard themselves and their customers from the many threats of today.”

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UK Local Councils Under Huge Cyber Attack Pressure

Local authorities face an average of 19.5 million cyber attacks a year, according to an investigation by privacy campaign organisation Big Brother Watch. This equates to 37 cyber attacks or attempted breaches every minute on organisations that are accumulating growing troves of sensitive and personal information about citizens. The report reveals an “overwhelming failure” by councils to report losses and breaches of data, as well as shortcomings in staff training in the past five years.

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Is Your Organisation Ready for Ai?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is nothing new. AI is spell checking your documents, virus scanning your PC, and sorting your Facebook feed to bring the pictures from your best friend Dave’s birthday to the top. The benefits of AI have been well documented. In healthcare for example, the algorithms involved in AI can help spot the nascent signs of life threatening illnesses or – according to Accenture – create savings of $150 billion annually.

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How Chatbots Can Help Your Organisation Beat the Competition

The days when Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the go-to chitchat subject amongst Sci-Fi films aficionados only are far behind us. What we’re seeing today is AI becoming the centrepoint of the future of tech narrative. Last year alone, Gartner registered a 500% increase in the number of calls it received from its clients inquiring about AI, while tech giants – the likes of Microsoft and Google – are claiming in unison: AI is here and it’s here to stay.

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Global Cloud Index Projects Cloud Traffic to Represent 85% of Total Data Centre Traffic by 2021 06/02/2018 by IOT Now

Cisco released the seventh annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021). The updated report focuses on data centre virtualisation and cloud computing, which have become fundamental elements in transforming how many business and consumer network services are delivered.

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Cisco Global Cloud Index

“The latest Global Cloud Index released by Cisco today shows the exponential growth of cloud and data centre storage, and subsequently its increasing importance for consumers and businesses alike. “Because huge investments are being made into these technologies, businesses must ensure they are utilising the capabilities to their full potential. Our own research of senior business leaders showed that 9-in-10 expect a shift in customer behaviour over the next five years, with almost half (47%) agreeing that the greatest changes will be always-on, high-speed access to cloud-based services and a willingness to engage with digital channels or assets. “With Cisco revealing data centre workloads and compute instances will more than double between 2016 to 2021,looking at how organisations can best use datacentres in the near future, a hybrid approach will prove key. “Whilst organisations are realising the investments of their own data centre(s) they are also looking to embrace the capabilities and versatility of the cloud. For instance, business leaders might look to store their organisations’ most critical applications on-premise. Although improvements in data centre governance and data control in recent years means consumer information is better protected than ever before, having sensitive data stored in-house brings business leaders a ‘peace of mind’. At the same time, to reduce storage costs and run processes more efficiently, organisations will also host less vulnerable data in cloud storage technology. “The industry will definitely continue to see an increase in cloud usage, but also with the interconnected use of on premise data centres. A combination of the two will prove indispensable for the growth of any agile organisation.”

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Automation: Between Opportunity and Threat

The automation of millions of jobs is endangering the future hopes and ambitions of people, according to Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank chief. He raised these concerns during a speech in New York to the World Bank group at the end of last year. However, he is not alone in his opinion.

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Automation: Between Opportunity and Threat

The automation of millions of jobs is endangering the future hopes and ambitions of people, according to Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank chief. He raised these concerns during a speech in New York to the World Bank group at the end of last year. However, he is not alone in his opinion.

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Cisco cybersecurity study - the gap between attitudes & execution

by Global Security Mag

Cisco released its Privacy Maturity Benchmark Study, highlighting the effect of poor cyber security on sales and other key business metrics. James Longworth, Head of Solution Architecture at Insight, commented on how this study reveals a gap between organisational attitudes to cybersecurity and actual execution.

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GDPR London Survey

A quarter (24pc) of London businesses are not aware of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – with only a few months before it becomes law on May 25, a new survey has found.

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Business Data Privacy Study

Data privacy concerns are causing sales cycle delays for up to 65 percent of businesses worldwide, according to the Cisco 2018 Privacy Maturity Benchmark Study. It suggests that privacy maturity is connected to lower losses from cyber events: most, 74 percent of ‘privacy-immature’ organisations experienced losses of more than $500,000 last year caused by data breaches, compared with only 39 percent of ‘privacy-mature’ organisations, according to the firm.

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Privacy-Immature Businesses Facing Sales Delays and Financial Loss, Finds Cisco Study

Cisco's 2018 Privacy Maturity Benchmark Study has revealed how privacy-immature businesses across the world are facing significant sales delays and are also suffering major financial losses associated with data breaches.

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Extreme Weather Seen as Top 2018 Global Risk: WEF

The charismatic strongman politics of US President Donald Trump and other national leaders threatens the world's ability to cope with climate change and increases the risk of geopolitical conflict, according to an annual survey of global leaders published by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday.

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Good Privacy Is Good for Business, so Pay Attention

Data privacy concerns are causing significant sales cycle delays for up to 65 percent of businesses worldwide, according to findings in the new Cisco 2018 Privacy Maturity Benchmark Study. James Longworth comments.

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20 Years on from Its UK Launch, What Can Businesses Learn from Amazon?

by Alex Guillen

Fun fact: typing the words ‘relentless.com’ won’t lead you to the homepage of a popular energy drink, but instead will redirect to the Amazon home page. This curiosity stems from Amazon’s early history, when Jeff Bezos purchased the URL Relentless.com and briefly considered baptising his new project as Relentless. The sinister connotations eventually dissuaded him – but considering the imperial ambitions of the company, perhaps it would have been appropriate. Regardless of what industry you belong to and what markets you play in, Amazon is inescapable. 2018 marks the web giant’s 20th anniversary of its UK launch. Two decades on, what can be learnt from its success? Books and bridgeheads 1998 was the year that Amazon made its first steps to becoming the ‘everything store’, expanding its services beyond books. But why did Bezos start with books in the first place? Ultimately, selling books amplified all the advantages of Amazon’s ecommerce model. From a consumer perspective, the book category has a far larger selection of different items than any other type of product. This heightened one of Amazon’s core strengths versus traditional bricks-and- mortar retailers – the ability to provide a vast selection at the click of a button. From an operational perspective, books are easy to store and easy to ship – they aren’t perishable, they stack easily, and they have a near-universal system of weights and measurements. This favoured reliable and convenient shipping and delivery. Books therefore provided the bridgehead through which Amazon built its brand, founded on endless choice, seamless delivery, and lower-than-thou prices. Any business looking to launch a new product/service or expand into a new market can take away a valuable lesson – look for a point of entry which amplifies your USPs and which favours your capabilities. Building a bridgehead in favourable territory provides a strong base for expansion. Clouds and creativity In business as in life, what can appear in retrospect to be obvious can be anything but at the time. When Amazon launched its web services platform – AWS - back in 2002, no one could have predicted that it would become as a leading force in a pioneering and fast-growing IT services market. Depending on who you ask, AWS was either an opportunistic punt, or a part of a masterful strategy of domination. Either way, in the early 2000s it was by no means obvious for Amazon to offer what was essentially internal IT infrastructure to the general market. Starting life specifically as an IT solution designed to enable Amazon to keep up its frenetic pace of growth, AWS is now its most profitable business. The lesson? Not all success comes from where you expect it to. Think creatively about adjacent opportunities, about unexpected areas where you can deploy your existing strengths. Life doesn’t move in straight lines. Data is a prime example of this. Whether analysing customer shopping habits or building job profiles in the recruitment process, it is helping organisations glean unexpected yet fascinating insights which help identify new opportunities. In our own research we found that almost three-quarters (73%) of business leaders say insights gained from data have been critical to their organisation’s growth. It’s therefore alarming to note that over half (55%) say that they are only just beginning to understand the value their data holds. In light of this, what unexpected opportunities could be discovered with a thorough and creative exploration of your data? Relentless.com "If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering." Amazon’s notorious ruthlessness stems from one premise – they win by making things easier and cheaper for the customer. It is this philosophy that led to the disruption of the publishing industry, to 1- Click ordering, to the development of Alexa, and to the acquisition of Whole Foods. As the Bezos quote above illustrates, keeping focused on the customer prevents a business from becoming myopic and inhibited by industry norms. It opens the door to unforeseen opportunities and innovation. And with a large majority (9-in-10) of senior business leaders expecting a shift in customer behaviours in the next five years, this is clearly a vital time to keep a sharp eye out for new and better ways to help existing customers and find new ones. Amazon is now involved in a huge variety of markets, from groceries to music and video streaming. With the recent launch of the Echo Spot in the UK it’s looking to accelerate its incursion into the home, aiming to (once again) reshape the way we shop by putting voice – via Alexa – at the heart of everything. Throughout this expansiveness, the relentless focus on customers, the creativity in seeking unexpected growth areas, and the use of favourable territory to create a bridgehead have all remained fundamental to the Amazon’s continued success. Where could these approaches take your business?

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A Quarter of London Businesses Are Unprepared for New Data Laws, Says Industry Poll

by Lal Hussain

Coverage achieved in Global Security Mag, Professional Security Mag “No matter the organisation, if you handle personal or financial data, everyone has an obligation to remain responsible when it comes to protecting their customers, both in terms of quality of service and the security of digital assets. After all, GDPR is not new, it gives existing legislation and gives it real teeth. If recent fines have anything to go by, no-one should want to risk being caught out. “Consumer trust is increasingly being tested in light of revelations such as the Equifax breach last year; or even this month’s Aadhar Indian public database and OnePlus security breaches. Because breaches are becoming more frequent, we hope that this will bring much needed transparency. Our own multi-sector research also revealed something worrying – less than two-fifths of senior business leaders hope to achieve improved security when implementing IT solutions. What’s more, despite half of business leaders pointing to data privacy as one of the top things customers value, it is clear the majority of businesses still aren’t aware of how seriously customers take data protection. “In the same way you don’t need to see police officers on every corner to be reassured that they are there, you understand the basic social contract which assures you security without it being thrust to the forefront at every occasion. In the same way, brands which can establish a level of trust that their customer’s data is secure, and that any breach will be treated appropriately, will be a cut above the rest.”

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Cyber-attacks enters top three global risks – WEF

James Longworth, Head of Solution Architecture at Insight UK, responded to the news: “The new WEF’s Global Risks Report 2018 confirmed once again that the threat of cyber-attacks is the modern times’ sword of Damocles – always on the back of everyone’s minds. The numerous attacks from last year proved that the nature of cyber threats is constantly evolving and no organisation, be it big or small, can afford to be complacent."

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2018 Survival Guide: The New Year’s Resolutions Your Organisation Should Be Making

Alex Guillen, GTM Manager at Insight UK, has several resolutions that organisations should look to be making in 2018 in order to address customer expectations.

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Cyber-attacks enters top three global risks – WEF

James Longworth, Head of Solution Architecture at Insight UK, responded to the news: "This is the time businesses need to stop hiding behind optimism bias, and instead start improving their cyber risk management and invest in resilience efforts.”

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Global risks report

James Longworth, Head of Solution Architecture at Insight UK, said: “With the added context of the cost of suffering cyber-attacks set to rise, it was surprising to see in our recent survey of UK business leaders that only 38pc said improving cyber security is a priority for their IT investment."

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Cyber-attacks one of the biggest threats to the world in 2018 says WEF

James Longworth, head of solution architecture at Insight UK, has responded to the report saying: “Ultimately, we are rapidly moving towards an age dominated by connectivity and smart devices – with the Internet of Things swiftly becoming as widespread as radio or TV – giving cyber criminals an exponentially increasing amount of devices to target."

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One in Four London Businesses Are Not Aware of New Data Regulations – Insight Uk Comment 18/01/2018 by Digital Strategy Consulting

A London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) poll has revealed that one in four London businesses are not aware of new data regulations (i.e. GDPR) that are due to come into law in a few months. Lal Hussain, IT Director of Applications, Insight UK comments

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What Is the Impact and Likelihood of Global Risks?

The annual survey of some 1,000 experts and decision-makers from around the world showed that 93 percent expect a worsening of political or economic confrontations between major powers, while almost 80 percent believe that risks of state-on-state military conflict will be higher in 2018 than in 2017. Economic issues are said to be less of a pressing concern than environmental factors, although this doesn't mean that there's any room for complacency.

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CBR Request for Comment on Fog Computing

by Lal Hussain

“Fog computing brings the ability to drive greater value from the continued growth of IoT. The term was coined because fog is a cloud which occurs close to the ground, and this is the paradigm used by fog computing. By pushing cloud like capability such as storage, networking and compute close to the source of IoT data you can provide low-latency, geographically aware services tailored to you your target customers. “Consider, a mobile phone is an IoT device. Using fog computing, you can provide traditionally heavy- weight, latency sensitive services such as gaming, video streaming, augmented reality and real-time diagnostic analytics into a context of local geography. Examples of this could be wide scale environmental monitoring, enable more intelligent robotics in industrial automation, personalised medical devices interacting with localised nodes for diagnosis on the fly, or delivery of high quality streaming to trains or cars via a set of distributed fog nodes on motorways and the rail network. “The key benefit is the ability process and respond to IoT data to the source of that information. This brings the ability truly tailor an experience to a customer’s requirement, in near real-time. In a world where personalisation is the future of client entanglement, fog computing brings a pathway to success for those businesses capable of harnessing the opportunity. “Fog computing is not a replacement for cloud, it enhances the capabilities of cloud, delivering computing capability close to where it is needed for relevant latency-sensitive services, while providing a conduit of meaningful client intelligence to more robust big data platforms hosted in the cloud.”

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Falling Footfall and Squeezed Margins Knocked Retailers in Run-Up to Christmas

by Gill Holloway

“The latest figures from the BRC and retail analysts Springboard confirm one thing: December was a tougher month than normal for our British retailers. As we continue to navigate through unchartered waters, with UK businesses operating in an incredibly competitive – and often volatile environment – this comes as no surprise. To ensure they’re not getting left behind, retailers should be using this as the perfect excuse to reinvent themselves. How? By embracing digital technology. “In an increasingly digitalised world there are more opportunities to take advantage of the technologies that we, as consumers, have come to depend on in recent years. In fact, it was our latest research of senior business leaders which found 9-in-10 (86%) agree that digital has enabled the evolution of the organisation and creation of new services. “But in any attempt to keep people physically on the high street with new technologies, retailers need to consider the impact that introducing digital experiences in-store will have on its business. The overriding desire to touch and feel products before purchase cannot – as yet – be addressed properly by the online experience. Indeed, neither can the instant gratification of taking purchases home in a bag on the day. However, the way in which we achieve this is changing. “Whilst marrying the world of online with brick-and-mortar has its perks, it is also clear there is still a lot of work to do. As digital transformation is a journey it’s important to remember that retailers are not going to get there overnight. And with the retail industry continuing to evolve, brands should invest in IT solutions that will help them better manage existing consumer demands and transform for future business goals.”

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WEF Global Risks Report 2018

by James Longworth

Coverage achieved Digital Strategy Consulting, SC Magazine, Parlons Chasse, Digital Munition, Maring Report, Net Imperative “The new WEF’s Global Risks Report 2018 confirmed once again that the threat of cyber-attacks is the modern times’ sword of Damocles – always on the back of everyone’s minds. The numerous WEF Global Risks report 2018 15/01/2018 by James Longworth attacks from last year proved that the nature of cyber threats is constantly evolving and no organisation, be it big or small, can afford to be complacent. “With the added context of the cost of suffering cyber-attacks set to rise, it was surprising to see in our recent survey of UK business leaders that only 38% said improving cyber security is a priority for their IT investment. “Ultimately, we are rapidly moving towards an age dominated by connectivity and smart devices – with the Internet of Things swiftly becoming as widespread as radio or TV – giving cyber criminals an exponentially increasing amount of devices to target. This is the time businesses stop hiding behind optimism bias, and instead start improving their cyber risk management and invest in resilience efforts.”

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UK Productivity Rose Most in Six Years in Third Quarter

by Alex Guillen

“Because of the financial and economic implications that productivity can have on the country, it’s vital organisations continue do their part to look at how they can boost productivity within. And as the backbone of any company, this must start with employees. “From cloud to AI to big data, having the right technology in place is key to unlocking human potential. Indeed, the rise of emerging technologies in the workplace, such as artificial intelligence and machine earning, is continually being used as a positive force, making way for employees to spend more time to focus on more high level and impactful work. “Take our latest research, which revealed that eight-in-10 business leaders believe face-to-face time with customers is critical, as a prime example of this. By using technology to remove what can often be mundane and repetitive tasks, organisations can help drive efficiencies and free up employees’ time so they can focus on delivering better experiences to customers. “Recognising the positives that arise when bringing technology and employees together will be fundamental in boosting employee productivity. In short – if employees are productive, organisations perform better, and if organisations perform better, then the economy benefits.”

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Drop in Retail Footfall over December

“The latest figures from the BRC and retail analysts Springboard confirm one thing: December was a tougher month than normal for our British retailers. As we continue to navigate through unchartered waters, with UK businesses operating in an incredibly competitive – and often volatile environment – this comes as no surprise. To ensure they’re not getting left behind, retailers should be using this as the perfect excuse to reinvent themselves. How? By embracing digital technology."

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Channel Pro Request for Comment on Why so Many Digital Transformation Projects Fail (IDC Report)

by Lal Hussain

What sort of obstacles do organizations generally encounter when undergoing digital transformation projects? (e.g. is it cultural, financial or something else?) List as many as you like! Do you have any advice for companies to avoid the pitfalls associated with digital transformation? “When it comes to digital transformation projects, the challenge today in the market today is getting beyond the hype. Too many “digital” projects are deemed to be a gimmick rather than generating a genuine business benefit. It’s quite simple to distil it down to these common areas: “People & Culture, Process, Technology “Digital transformation requires processes to be effective, streamlined, and ‘outcome’ focussed. This can be a challenge in its own right as it’s common for processes to evolve organically over-time, meaning they can become less efficient. An ineffective or inefficient process, once digitised, will simply amplify inefficiency and allow you to fail faster. “Then, people are the most complex and critical part of any Digital transformation. Because people personify the culture, failure to fully engage in a program of Change Management will result in unnecessary resistance, not to mention, avoidable drag on timelines and a high potential of failure. To counteract this, you need to bring the whole organisation with you, not just those directly involved in the Digital transformation project. The other part of the people puzzle relates to experiences. Repeatability breeds success. Engaging in Digital transformation without learning from the journeys of others means you re-invent the wheel and learn things the hard way...unnecessarily. Take advantage of networks, engage partners or hire talent so you can benefit from their experience and upskill the existing team. “Finally, there is technology. Those businesses with large legacy infrastructures are facing an ongoing hurdle: overhauling these older IT systems quickly enough to keep up with evolving demands. In fact, with our latest research of senior business leaders finding only half of respondents describing their organisation as ‘digital-first’, clearly this is a problem for a huge number of organisations. Despite the ubiquity of devices and the vast opportunity to collect specific insight into customer behaviours and preferences, too many organisations are slow to put a strategic plan in place for the capture, analysis and actioning of this data. “Using the Internet of Things (IoT) as an example, businesses still struggle to align the capture of data from IoT devices with various business functions. Despite the fact that understanding the data held for existing customer interactions will enable organisations to unlock the subtle differentiators which will help them earn client loyalty and attract new customers, the message isn’t getting to the teams that will action it. What’s more, there are also cultural challenges to be overcome. Looking broadly at the approach to data, the shift to being precise and secure in all aspects of data collection is uncomfortable for many. That said, businesses can’t afford to ignore the value data can hold if they’re to remain competitive, so it’s important they establish strategies and processes for it now. “What’s clear is that those who approach digital transformation projects with focus and purpose at every turn will see far greater returns on their investments, not to mention, enabling them to be properly equipped to remain digitally competitive.”

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2018 Survival Guide: The New Year’s Resolutions Your Organisation Should Be Making

by Lee Nolan

A new year marks a fresh start for most. From security, to upskilling, to investing in the right tools and solutions to maximise business impact – organisations should be focusing on various business and technology areas in the year ahead to ensure they remain competitive. Our latest research of senior business leaders, The New Rules for a Tech-Empowered Customer Experience, showed that organisations are struggling to address customer expectations, with 9 in 10 facing challenges when delivering good customer service. Whilst 89% believe their company is ready to meet the demands of the digital customer today, only 50% would describe their business as “digital-first”. What was encouraging to see is that business leaders appreciate the importance of adapting to changing customer needs and expectations. But it’s clear that in 2018, businesses must shift their focus towards the following resolutions: 1. Take a security-first approach We live in a world where cyberattacks are constantly evolving and organisations are continuously at risk. This in unlikely to change in 2018. With the added context that the cost of suffering cyberattacks is on the rise – and with GDPR coming into force early next year – it becomes unforgivable for businesses to fail to address this. That’s why a security-first approach should be a top business priority for organisations of any size and from every industry. Many believe that cybersecurity is a standalone aspect of their business, when in fact, it must be integrated in all departments; for instance applied across a variety of tools, policies and training. Most importantly, a security-first approach must start at the top. By making it a strategic imperative for the board, business leaders ensure their organisations is future-proof. After all, ‘new year, new me’ doesn’t apply to cybercriminals. 2. Upskill with the help of tech Having the right technology in place is key to unlocking human potential. Take cloud services as a prime example of this. Giving employees the freedom to work from where they do their very best work each day with cloud-based productivity tools, organisations need to look at ways they can help employees with working remotely. Technology has very much been the instigator behind the era of disruption we’re living in, and in the new year, organisations must learn to make the best of these solutions if they’re looking to thrive and boost performance. Those businesses who fail to adopt a more forward-thinking approach using technology are likely to continue to suffer productivity challenges. 3. Invest in the right tools and solutions Emerging technologies such as AI are becoming increasingly fundamental to an organisations’ business strategy. After all, in an increasingly digitalised world, it’s no secret that customers have evolved in their sophistication from five years ago. Pleasing the customer has never been harder, organisations of all sizes are under immense pressure to deliver unique, valuable customer experiences and customer services. Our own research found that AI was cited as the most beneficial tool for customer services by over a third of respondents. Not only this, the findings also revealed that one of the biggest customer shifts expected will be the acceptance of chatbots or other AI-driven interactions. As such, any company which plans to be in tune with the wants and needs of their customers in the coming years would be wise to bear this in mind when planning any new tech investment. Final thoughts Of course these are not changes that will happen overnight. There is the ongoing hurdle for organisations with large legacy infrastructures: overhauling older IT systems quickly enough to keep up with evolving demands. Besides this, training staff and shifting the business focus to emphasise the importance of cyber security are a few other factors business leaders must think of in the new year. It is vital organisations work with trusted partners who can help them make the most of transformative technology to better serve their customers.

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Cisco Cybersecurity Study

by James Longworth

Coverage achieved in Help Net Security, Global Security Mag, Teiss, Professional Security Mag "The road to (business) hell is paved with good intentions, and this research has revealed that this is especially the case when it comes to cyber-security. Organisations who don't deploy effective data protection don't only often pay the price to a tune of over a third of a million pounds - they also suffer all the reputational consequences too. “It is in this context that so many suffer sales delays as customers agonise over their data privacy; the issue of data protection has become so prominent that it is now a major feature in many purchase decisions. In our own research, we found that the majority (54%) of business leaders feel that it's very important to their customers to know where their data is being stored. And yet there remains a gap between this commendable attitude and actual execution. This same proportion (54%) of respondents who highlighted the significance of giving customers' the peace of mind of knowing where their data is also admitted to finding it extremely challenging to store data securely. "The key to effective cyber security is to understand that vulnerabilities don't solely originate with technology, but with people. Consider the modern flexible employee – accessing company information on the move, carrying everything they need on mobile devices, and working with sensitive data every day, regardless of job function or department. Employees are on the frontline of the cyber security war, and organisations therefore need to look beyond the IT department to establish good cyber-security awareness and practise across the organisation.

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Harvard
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