Technology solutions are rapidly evolving, which leads to IT departments needing to change or adapt to a broader scope of responsibilities. The IT department is being integrated into the overarching business strategy for most companies. This can lead to challenges for IT professionals throughout all verticals and business sizes.  A recent study done by Protiviti, a global consulting firm, of over 1,000 CIOs, IT VPs, and IT Directors found that many professional faced similar challenges.

According to the study, these are the top five areas that represent the biggest challenges:

  • Enhancing and protecting business value: Aligning and integrating IT risk management and business continuity capabilities with broader, long-term business strategy.

  • Cybersecurity: Managing and strengthening security and privacy for the organization's systems and data is now a top priority across all industries.

  • Data classification: Effectively organizing, managing and securing growing amounts of data within the organization.

  • IT asset and data management: Improving data and information governance programs, driven by the growing use of mobile devices and applications and the continued integration of cloud computing into IT strategy and processes.

  • Mobile platforms and social media: Incorporating secure, integrated systems for mobile commerce, devices, etc., and addressing social media safeguards and strategy within the organization.

How to address some of these challenges? 

  1. Before adopting new technology, determine if it helps to address current challenges or meet future goals.

  2. Build new applications using an open architecture so they can run on any platform or with any database.

  3. Avoid proprietary architecture and use only open architecture and frameworks that communicate easily with other systems.

  4. Account for big data growth by using a new approach to capture, store, and analyze that data such as 100G Ethernet, parallel-processing, and SSDs.

  5. Use the Virtualization Management Standard (VMAN) set by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) to address the management lifecycle of a virtual environment.  The VMAN provides a standard for describing virtual machines and applications for deployment across various virtual platforms. Many of the operational aspects of a mixed vendor virtualized environment are now standardized.

  6. Rather than trying to control users’ mobile devices, switch to controlling data access. Secure your data on the servers, then provide access to that data via mobile web apps. Users can now access to the data without any of it being stored on their mobile device.

  7. Good communication between IT and other departments needs to be on-going so they can effectively supports the needs of the entire organization and hinder the need for shadow IT within each department.

  8. Applications need to be developed to adjust accordingly to the device of the end-user – Desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

  9. Remove non-essential activities within the IT department to enable IT to focus on improving service to the entire organization. Ask yourself – “Does this task/activity improve our organization’s core priorities?”

Long story short, it’s even more important for IT to become strategic with developing and implementing new technologies. Good communication and planning between departments is an important aspect of overcoming the challenges that come along with Big Data, BYOD, and virtualization.