< Back to Blog

Think Big: Tough times never last, but tough people do

July 23, 2024 by Alistair Enser

With the relaxation of nearly all Covid-related distancing and safety measures this week, could it be that after more than 675 days since the beginning of the pandemic, we can finally put the subject behind us and return to normality? I hope so – with any luck with this will be the last time I need to mention the c-word in my blog!

Before we move on, however, it would be wise to take a look around and ask: where were we, back in February 2020? I know it seems like a different time and place entirely – and there are suggestions that our concept of time itself has been affected by the pandemic – but it’s only been two years!

Yet it’s true to say that the world has changed dramatically in that time. Back in February 2020, could we have ever imagined that…

  • Digitisation would have been accelerated to such a degree and with such speed, as organisations and individuals were forced to turn online to stay operational? As I have written before, decades of digital progress were made in just months during the first stages of the pandemic.
  • The cloud would finally and unquestionably establish itself as the foundation on which our online activity – as businesses and consumers – is built? It’s pretty much behind every element of the increased digitisation seen over the last two years, from video conferencing to Security as a Service (SECaaS)
  • The security industry would finally recognise its dependence on those with IT and related skills, and treat the need to attract skilled people into the industry with the seriousness it demands?
  • The subject of risk would return to the boardroom as more than just an item at the end of the agenda, but a core concern for the board and senior management?
  • That the threat of cyber security would finally be appreciated by a wider range of organisations, small and large, as more of them suffer the disruptive effects of a cyber attack?
  • Already strained supply chains would become stretched to breaking point, and force firms to redesign their manufacturing and distribution strategies?

All of these changes represent significant disruptions to the way we do business, and have transformed our world since 2020. Yet they also represent opportunities for organisations willing to adapt and invest in their futures.

Before we bin our facemasks and consign the hand sanitiser to the bathroom cabinet, we would do well to learn the lessons of the last two years. And, as no less than Sir Tony Blair said this week, the UK is faced with three big challenges:

  •  Making a success of Brexit
  • Adapting to new technologies
  • Achieving net-zero

Putting aside any opinions around the man and his politics, it strikes me that this summary seems sensible and captures the changes that Covid only accelerated, and which I outlined above. They now present challenges that we must face.

In the face of such seemingly huge challenges, we might feel powerless. But they are not insurmountable: last week Britishvolt secured £100 million from the British Government to help build its Gigafactory in the North East.

This deal ticks each of Blair’s three boxes, by creating advanced technology that will address climate change here in the UK, and bringing up to 3,000 jobs to the area by 2028 in the process, to meet nearly 40% of the UK’s projected battery needs by 2030.

What lessons can the security industry draw from this? Simple. We must think big, invest in technology, and build the skills needed to get us ahead.

For while tough times lie immediately ahead, with the economy faltering and the effects of climate change only too visible, they won’t be for here for long if tough people rise to the occasion.