Christine Horton

Freelance tech and business writer

United Kingdom

I write about all kinds of technology from a business perspective, specialising in the IT sales channel.

I currently contribute to Raconteur for The Times and The Sunday Times, Channel Futures, Nuzoo, UC Today and ERP Today among other titles. As well as all things channel, I cover areas such as cloud, networking, unified communications, customer experience, AI, cybersecurity, enterprise software and the C-Suite. I also edit Think Digital Partners, which focuses on cybersecurity, digital identity and data in the public sector.

In addition, I write and edit broader IT and cloud-focused news and features, as well as corporate work such as case studies, blogs, whitepapers, by-line articles and eBooks for a range of clients.

I also provide training for PR agencies on what the IT channel is, and why it's important to their clients.

Tes Magazine
How your school could benefit from the MIS shake-up

The recent controversy over contracts put school management information systems in the spotlight like never before - but now, thanks to the rise of multi-academy trusts and a sharper focus on tech within education, schools stand to benefit from systems that better suit their needs

ERP Today
Moving on: When it's time to adopt a dedicated ERP system - ERP Today

There often comes a point within a relationship when one party realises it's time to move on. They feel they have outgrown the relationship, or that their needs are no longer being satisfied. The same applies in business. The systems that may have served you well in the past will inevitably no longer be able to keep pace as the business matures.

Is the London Borough of Newham the Silicon Valley for data? - Raconteur

When you think about the centre of the universe for technology, you probably think of Silicon Valley. But where is the same HQ for data? The answer is that there isn't one - yet. But London is embracing the challenge with an ambitious goal to become the heart of the burgeoning data economy, globally.

Why CIOs are the new strategic business leaders - Raconteur

The role of the IT chief is changing fast. Recent research by indicates that, within three years, more than half of corporate tech chiefs will focus less on overseeing functional work and more on developing strategies for the whole business.

Silicon ceiling: why aren't more CIOs becoming CEOs? - Raconteur

The role of the CIO is evolving. Historically pigeonholed as 'tech bods', CIOs are making high-value contributions that are often inseparable from their companies' wider business strategies. It's natural to wonder what's next for them as their work becomes ever more pivotal: given their growing influence as strategic decision-makers, surely there's a strong case for more of today's CIOs to become tomorrow's CEOs?

Advertorial: Your data investment:are you failingto maximise ROI? - Raconteur

Many organisations claim to be data-driven but the truth is that most are failing to maximise their return on investment on data. Indeed, Gartner estimates that 97% of data sits unused by organisations. This is clearly at odds with the huge investments in data teams and processes that organisations are making to secure an advantage in an increasingly competitive landscape.

ERP Today
Taking control of your supply chain - ERP Today

Tackling Scope 3 emissions can seem like a daunting task - but it's a necessary aspect of any net zero plan Coming out of COP26, business leaders across all industries pledged to accelerate climate action throughout every aspect of their organisations. Customers, investors and regulators now expect clear, detailed plans for how organisations will achieve net zero.

Is the government's cloud-first approach failing? - Raconteur

Ever since its introduction in 2013, the government's so-called cloud-first policy has been at the heart of the public sector's digital transformation efforts. Put simply, the policy means that bodies seeking to update their technology should evaluate cloud-based systems before considering any other option.

How the CIO and CFO can work together effectively - Raconteur

Once lockdown is lifted and social-distancing restrictions ease, will business quickly get back to normal? Or will we see a profound and customer preferences? Here are six changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that marketing professionals should be aware of. Without question, lockdown has impacted the customer mindset.

CIOs and CISOs - a modern power struggle? - Raconteur

Corporate cyber chiefs are high in demand, but many still report into chief information officers (CIOs). With cyber threats on the rise, some security leaders want greater clout. Chief information security officers (CISOs) are earning more than ever as demand for qualified security leaders pushes up salaries.

CISO churn - why it's happening and how to stop it - Raconteur

Recent research has revealed that a staggering 24% of Fortune 500 chief information security officers (CISOs) last just one year in the role, with the average tenure being just 26 months. C-level positions necessarily involve higher levels of stress and responsibility than other roles, but why is it so much worse for security executives than for their peers in finance, HR or marketing?

The new era of hybrid work

COVID-19 has in many ways irrevocably changed the way we work. Almost overnight, organisations were forced to establish a new remote workforce. Kitchen tables became desks, and in-person meetings were replaced by video calls. Now, more than a year later, most organisations accept that remote working is here to stay in some form.

Why the mid-market is now fertile ground

The ERP industry can no longer overlook the potential of the mid-market. The mid-market could be forgiven if it suffers from middle child syndrome. Underserved and ignored by the industry for years, mid-market firms have historically been forced to compromise when it comes to sourcing ERP software.

Talking tough: banks boost security with voice ID - Raconteur

How safe is your voice as an identity marker? As biometric technology continues to make strides, opinion is split on whether voice tech is a blessing or a curse when it comes to fighting fraud. Biometrics are based on physical or behavioural measurements, like facial recognition or an individual's hand movements.

How cybersecure is the smart office? - Raconteur

In 2017, hackers stole several gigabytes of sensitive data from a Las Vegas casino. It was later discovered that their point of entry to the network was a newly installed fish tank, which had an internet connection enabling it to be monitored remotely.

Eight ways in which AI is transforming healthcare - Raconteur

AI has been at the forefront of the medical profession's efforts to fight Covid-19 and treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Enabling healthcare providers to make fast, accurate and data-driven decisions, the technology has been producing some extraordinary outcomes.

CX Today
COVID-19: Are Businesses Supporting Vulnerable Customers? - CX Today

But m ore importantly, corporations now need to go a step further to ensur e that vulnerable customers are protected , says Jonathan Wax, Vice President EMEA, NICE Nexidia . "During the pandemic, there was a huge spike in vulnerable customers," he says , pointing to r esearch by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCS) which shows that more consumers find themselves in vulnerable circumstances due to the pandemic .

Channel Mechanics
How Vendors Measure SaaS Partner Success | Channel Mechanics

28th Apr 2021 The past 12 months have seen an enormous uptake in cloud services, with more than ninety percent of UK businesses saying it played an important part in their response to COVID-19. Channel partners have adapted their business models accordingly - meaning big changes to how vendors engage, classify, incentivise and renumerate partners.

Channel Mechanics
Maintaining Successful Partner Relationships in a Virtual World

21st Apr 2021 The IT channel is a people business. The relationship between vendors, partners and customers is at the heart of this very successful business agreement. Face to face meetings, conferences, networking and social events have traditionally played a significant part in building and maintaining these relationships.

Channel Mechanics
Taking Away the Guesswork When it Comes to Measuring Partner Success

13th Apr 2021 To enable success, you must first be able to measure it. So when it comes to measuring partner success in the channel, what are the metrics? Measuring partner success comes after first establishing what that looks like to all parties.

Channel Mechanics
What Does Partner Success Look Like? | Channel Mechanics

8th Apr 2021 In the channel, the partnership between vendor, partner and customer is critical. However, everybody has a different idea of what constitutes a successful relationship. What does partner success look like? Each stakeholder will have their own idea of how they define a healthy and profitable partnership, based on their own specific parameters.

CX Today
Why Today's Compliance Complexities Demand New Approaches to Communication Technology - CX Today

At the same time, the pandemic and resulting work from home requirements has driven unprecedented adoption of new communication platforms . " Financial services organisations are embracing unified communications platforms like Microsoft Teams in record numbers, not just for voice, but also for video, chat, and screenshar ing," said Matt Caine, Sales Director, EMEA at NICE.

Getting more Black women into IT roles - Raconteur

Women, and in particular Black women, are hugely under-represented in the IT industry. Research from the British Computer Society (BCS) shows Black women account for just 0.7 per cent of IT roles, 2.5 times below the level of other professions. Black British Business Awards released a report with J.P.

The Word 2021: Forces for Change
Educate to Mitigate

The coronavirus crisis has expedited the digitalisation of many everyday working processes as organisations around the globe rapidly implement technological solutions to ensure business continuity, but is security being overlooked?

ERP Today
Going green with the Cloud - ERP Today

We're encouraged to choose more sustainable options every day - and this extends to the decisions organisations make when purchasing technology. For any number of reasons, sustainability is an increasingly important factor in the IT decision making process today.

ERP Today
Independent or Global SI - What makes a perfect match for transformation? - ERP Today

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation plans of many organisations, in some cases bringing about years of change in just a few months. Whether those companies turn to one of the global systems integrators (GSIs) or enlist an independent system integrator (SI) to help them, they rely on the expertise and support of those firms to help them navigate those changes.

Raconteur Future of Identity report in The Times
Unleashing the UK's digital identity economy - Raconteur

The UK faces urgent challenges if the benefits of a secure and efficient digital identity protocol are not to be squandered. Critics are calling on the government to ensure the right technology, processes and standards are in place to unleash a new, effective and prosperous era of digital identity.

Mixology Communications
The real security threat facing the cyber industry - Mixology Communications

As any organisation can confirm, the ability to recruit and retain qualified cybersecurity professionals is an ongoing struggle. Government figures last year confirm that a high percentage of UK businesses lack staff with the technical, incident response and governance skills needed to manage their cybersecurity.

Odgers Berndtson
Digital transformation: Bundesliga scores a late win

Andreas Heyden, who spearheads the Bundesliga's digital transformation, explains the sports industry's 'late mover advantage.' While there have been many instances where professional sport has blazed a trail, it has been a little slower to embrace digital transformation - until now.

Bouncing back from a crisis

As the holiday season approaches, it's a good time to reflect on the year gone by. The world has always been VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous).

Odgers Berndtson
Bonnier News: Bucking the trend in publishing

While publishing struggles during the coronavirus crisis, Sweden's Bonnier News' digital strategy is paying off for the company with remarkable results. As with many traditional industries today, print media is struggling to compete in a world that increasingly favours digital channels for news and information.

Odgers Berndtson
The university that leans into disruption

Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology, Professor John Pollaers OAM and Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester outline their bold vision for the future of higher education Like many other industries, the higher education sector is currently undergoing a period of huge disruption.

SME lenders breathing life into UK business

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the UK economy. There were 5.9 million SMEs in the UK at the start of 2020, accounting for 99.9 per cent of the business population. However, SMEs have also been some of the worst-hit companies during the coronavirus pandemic so, while they will play a crucial role in the country's economic recovery, SME lending will be vital.

Channel Pro
Simplify the channel, or our partners will be left behind

A few years ago, IDC predicted that by 2021 at least 30% of channel players will not exist in the format we know them today . This is down to an influx of non-traditional, and ' non-transactiona l', partners entering the ecosystem.

Revolutionising cybersecurity

This report offers practical steps for business to overhaul their cybersecurity and embed a zero trust approach.

Stacks v Suites: Why make customers choose? | ERP

When it comes to investing in enterprise software, organisations have many options allowing them to choose whatever technology or consumption method best suits their business requirements. Despite this, there remains a tendency within the industry to categorise software purchases into two opposing camps: suites and stacks.

Digital skills: how to narrow the gap

The pandemic turned millions of office-based businesses into virtual companies overnight, inevitably resulting in a greater reliance on technology. This means it is arguably more important than ever to invest in employee development and tech skills. Even pre-pandemic, government figures showed eight out of ten advertised openings required some level of digital skills.

Why the cloud is a greener choice

For many organisations, environmental sustainability has shifted from being a nice to have to a non-negotiable necessity. There are several reasons for this, not least the urgent debate over climate change that dominates the world stage. In many cases, organisations will be looking to comply with legislation; the UK, for example, has set a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

Managing the books and boosting productivity - Raconteur

SPONSORED BY AWS As former freelancers themselves, Ed Molyneux, Olly Headey and Roan Lavery decided there must be a better way to manage the books. In 2007, the trio founded FreeAgent, an online accounting platform for small and micro businesses.

Human pose estimation

Imagine being able to track a person's movement and do a real-time bio-mechanical analysis? Human pose has huge implications - but how are these set to play out

Cloud Cover: Delivering Data-Driven Success

Understanding the evolution and economics of automation attacks is of utmost importance when adjusting security postures to reflect the realities of a digital threat landscape.

The Future of Cyber Security

Companies must understand the application and potential of AI in cyber security if they are to stay ahead of a digital threat landscape in constant flux.

ERP Today
Software firms at forefront of COVID-19 efforts | ERP

Software vendors are leveraging their expertise to help customers, employees and the community overcome COVID-19 challenges By Christine Horton The way in which companies conduct themselves during the COVID-19 crisis has come under intense scrutiny. As we have already seen, companies that fail to support both their customers and staff during this period are likely ...

Is the channel missing the 'human touch'?

yurolaitsalbert - By A recently published vendor survey suggests the IT channel today is missing 'the human touch'. This may come as a surprise, given the importance of relationships to the channel, but the research by Kaspersky shows that nearly seven out of 10 resellers and distributors want better relationships with vendors.

Channel Pro
Is the channel struggling with customer experience?

Today we are inundated with choice as to where - and how - we consume products and services. This means we expect exceptional customer experience (CX) from suppliers; if we are left feeling frustrated by a purchasing experience, we won't think twice about taking our business elsewhere.

Channel Futures
5G: What's the Channel Opportunity?

5G is set to have a huge impact on the enterprise. With operators failing to deliver business-focused solutions, the channel can build new revenue streams by offering customers industry-specific expertise and solutions.

Channel Futures
Does the Channel Have a Diversity Problem?

It is important that the IT channel mirrors the community into which it sells. So why are so many companies failing when it comes to diversity?

Employee tracking: why workplace tech demands trust

Barclays was forced to abandon its pilot of a controversial employee-tracking system that monitored the time staff spent at their desks. The system, which the bank said was brought in to raise productivity, tracked the activity of employees in real time.

Futureproofing IoT

As IoT proliferates, promising huge business benefits, this report explores the steps businesses must take to ensure their IoT is properly secured, to enable maximum success

Food and Farming Technology
Contactless food delivery: Are robots the future? | Food and Farming Technology

Are these the droids you're looking for? Starship's robot fleet expands its delivery services as UK stays home With most of us confined to our homes to help contain COVID-19, the topic of food delivery services - and the current overwhelming demand for them - has taken centre stage.

Channel Pro
Is sustainability the next big channel play?

As consumers we are more aware of the everyday choices we make, and their potential effect on the environment. In business too, organisations are starting to change their behaviour to take issues like sustainability into account, with many investing in the idea of the 'circular economy' - one that looks to eliminate waste and re-use resources.

Channel Pro
Christine Horton

Christine Horton is a freelance journalist and the founding editor of Channel Pro. She has 18-plus years' experience in B2B publishing, for the most part specialising in telecoms and IT journalism. She has covered the IT channel in depth for more than a decade and launched the industry's first website-only resource, Channel Pro, in 2009.

Consultancies are key for implementing 5G in business

Despite the hype around 5G, many organisations are still in the dark as to the potential benefits the technology could deliver to their business. A 2019 study by global consulting firm Accenture suggests both business and technology executives underestimate the disruptive potential of 5G.

Is AI hype keeping businesses from its true benefits?

It's not unusual for new technologies to be accompanied by often intense levels of promotion, long before they even hit the market. There is perhaps no better current example of this than artificial intelligence (AI) hype. With widespread media coverage fuelling debate over its potential impact on society, AI has now expanded beyond the tech industry into the public arena.

7 crucial data privacy red flags business leaders need to know - Raconteur

The strict data privacy rules introduced by GDPR have cast a spotlight on the protection of sensitive consumer data and the financial and reputational damage that can occur if it is mishandled. It is therefore vital that your Chief Compliance Officer oversees the development and implementation of your data privacy strategy to ensure it is not vulnerable to falling foul of these data privacy regulations.

Tom's Hardware
Outsourced IT: Do You Need Your Own Staff?

Running a business is a full-time job, and small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) in particular can often find their in-house IT resources stretched to capacity. As a result, it's difficult to devote the necessary time and effort to deploying and managing the latest business technologies.

Tom's Hardware
Is BYOD Good or Bad for Your Business?

The way we work is changing. Employees want, or even expect, the freedom and ability to work from anywhere, anytime, on any device. That blurring of lines between home and work life means workers will often use their own devices - whether that's a laptop, tablet, or smartphone - to conduct business.

Tom's Hardware
How Secure Is Too Secure for Employees?

Imagine you're a sales person, and when you try to visit a client's website, you get a message saying that it's blocked because it's not on your company's whitelist. Or maybe you're a programmer, and when you go to install the latest version of the Eclipse development software you use to write code, your computer (and your IT department) won't allow it.

Simplifying IT infrastructure

IT teams can overcome complexity, maintain growth and enable remote working by embracing virtual solutions and simplifying their IT infrastructure.

Channel Pro
Is private equity investment in tech a danger to the channel?

The IT industry has seen a surge in private equity (PE) investment of late. Traditionally a source of funding for start-ups, larger vendors such as LogMeIn, McAfee, Sophos, Veeam and Veritas have all benefited from PE funding over the last year.

Agile failure can lead to success | Raconteur | The Times & The Sunday Times

Related Articles Small firms need to wake up to the benefits of wellbeing SMEs have the most to gain from a wellbeing strategy and the reduction in staff illness it can bring Read more > The challenge to privacy when even the milk carton is smart Smart packaging brings convenience and safety - but opens ...

Deloitte United Kingdom
Managing the successful convergence of information and operational technology

The convergence of IT and operational technology is no recent phenomenon. Industrial control systems have been connected to IT architecture, providing remote connectivity for real-time data and remote support for years. Yet with the fourth industrial revolution, IT and OT integration is changing the way we do business.

Deloitte United Kingdom
Securing your move to - and operating in - the cloud

Migrating to the cloud is not only imperative for many businesses to retain their competitive edge - it's also exciting. Cloud is opening up opportunities to work in faster and smarter ways than ever before and is enabling innovation to the benefit of businesses, consumers and society as a whole.

Agile commerce connecting customers with the products they want to buy - Raconteur

Inventory management is the cornerstone of ecommerce. It can be the difference between providing an exceptional user experience and one that leaves customers disappointed or frustrated, something retailers can't afford. For example, inventory management ensures advertised products are in stock; too often customers will click on a promotion to discover an item is only available in the wrong model, size or colour.

Multi-cloud computing: 5 ways it can help your business

As the name suggests, multi-cloud sees organisations using multiple and often-connected cloud services to increase scalability, reduce costs or become more agile in their application infrastructure. This approach has huge potential, as specific business needs can be met with targeted cloud solutions, although it does come with certain risks and complexity.

Channel Pro
Goodbye channel, hello partner ecosystems

The last couple of years have seen the IT channel landscape evolve dramatically. The prevalence of cloud has changed the way increasingly tech-savvy customers purchase and consume technology. It's estimated that 73% of business buyers find the web more convenient to make purchases, and that 17% of all B2B transactions will happen through eCommerce by 2023 - potentially bypassing the channel entirely.

Channel Pro
Why aren't there more women in the channel?

The lack of women in tech continues to be one of the biggest talking points within our industry. There has been much debate about the need for diversity and inclusion from all sides - and yet women in IT positions in the UK still only make up around 16% of the overall workforce.

Christine Horton

IT channel news, interviews and industry event coverage for Microscope