A 'Future Proofing Your Business' event, organised by Integrity IT Solutions, part of Eco Group, provided valuable technological advice to businesses from across Scotland and Northern England.

The event saw industry experts discuss the future of tech within the corporate framework, sharing insights to aid the 20 companies in attendance in getting ahead of impending changes.

Adam Shaw, a representative of technology firm Giacom, talked about the advantages of businesses having Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections.

At present, 12.3 million premises in the UK are outfitted with FTTP connections, with plans to increase that number to 25 million by the end of 2026 and 30 million by the end of 2027.

Chris Jewitt, fellow Giacom representative, accentuated the importance of transitioning to all-Internet Protocol (all-IP) systems.

He said: “When you make the switch to digital, you will start getting access to a lot more data, more analytics, a lot more insight into your business performance.”

Kyle Torres of Sophos Highlighted aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

He urged businesses to formulate an 'Acceptable Use Policy' if they were contemplating the use of Generative AI.

Furthermore, he posed the question of whether businesses had security tools in place to keep track of the Generative AI traffic they receive.

Ryan Moffat of Integrity IT dispensed practical advice on Cyber Essentials for enhanced data security.

Gary Robertson, Eco’s Group Opportunity Strategist, used the platform to emphasise the increasing importance of gauging a company's carbon footprint and implementing carbon mitigation strategies.

Mr Robertson said: "One day an audit on the carbon reporting of your company will be considered as important as a financial audit - we don’t know when that will be, but that day will come - and your carbon audit will be just as crucial to the credibility and performance of your company as your financial audit is today.

“We will help businesses to benchmark where they are now, set targets for the future and then help them get there.”

Participants lauded the event for its far-reaching insights into the intersecting domains of technology and business.

Jill Lockwood, Support Services Manager for Cochran, said: "I found the event really interesting.

"We have already been considering what we need to do with our phone system. It’s a big project, and what we have heard raises a lot of questions for us as a business. But it helps us to plan to do it next year, so it has been really useful.”

Echoing the sentiments, Jamie Shovelin, Member Services Manager of Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce, said: “It has been really informative. It’s really good to know what technology changes are coming and what businesses and communities need to do to prepare for that.

“We are a rural region with an elderly population so it’s crucial to get the message across, especially about the 2025 switch-off, and be able to inform people. It's important we make sure all businesses in the region, including the agriculture sector, are aware of what’s ahead.”