Challenges Facing the IT Leader in 2017
_e("Posted on", "op5"); ?> January 16, 2017 _e("by", "op5"); ?> Bryon Turcotte
OP5 continues to share knowledge-based articles with our family of IT professionals around the globe. Our experienced staff shares monthly insight through original articles in the OP5 blog. In the latest contribution from OP5’s Marketing Specialist Jim Greenway, read what challenges will be thrown into the lives of IT leaders in 2017.
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I recently reviewed several white papers and survey’s identifying the top challenges IT leaders will face in 2017.
One of the take-a-ways I discovered from reading this information was the IT department was moving away from being labeled as a “cost center” to a strategic business driver. As technology evolves and the business recognizes the importance of technology, the IT leader suddenly becomes an innovation driver. With this responsibility IT leaders will be challenged with the realization of IT no longer being a silo in support of their organization but a strategic partner just as it is with finance or product development. For the IT leader these technology changes present both opportunities and challenges. As technology plays an important role in the business, IT leaders have the opportunity to deliver more value. Successful leaders will be those that recognize and adapt to the new challenges.
What are these challenges? What areas must the IT leader be prepared to address in the coming year?
While the list could be very long I decided to keep it simple and list 5 of the most important challenges.
Challenge #1: Security
Last year we witnessed some of the largest data breaches ever. Security is the biggest challenge the IT leader will face. Companies are still suffering with hacker breaches. Prevention will be the new focus and will grow in importance in 2017. The other security challenge that seems to be overlooked is the Internet of Things (IoT). As more devices connect to the web, the IT leader has new security threats to monitor. Not only does this open up businesses to new attacks, it presents a relatively new challenge the IT leader must understand. IT leaders will need to investigate security weaknesses, what’s hiding inside the network and should utilize external security experts to take the strain off in-house IT teams.
Challenge #2: Digital Transformation
The world is going digital. From shopping to banking to communication. Many of our daily tasks that seemed to be labor-intensive are now digital. The problem is many IT leaders are not prepared for this reality. Gartner reports the number of IT leaders that have taken the “digital leader” role is increasing but that percentage is still under 40%. IT leaders must own this role if they hope to truly drive digital transformation efforts within their organizations. While digital transformation is essential, it won’t be easy for some companies. Why? It’s not just a change that you can implement in a single department. It involves changes at all levels of the business. This creates a problem for many companies, as various departments across the business don’t operate on the same page. Some use different processes. Others use different technology. This siloed approach creates problems when it comes to digital transformation. The skill gap is the biggest hurdle to digital transformation. This leads to my third challenge.
Challenge #3: The Talent War
What is the single largest barrier to success? Talent is now the single biggest issue standing in the way of IT leaders achieving their objectives. Because of the changing digital age IT leaders are having more trouble finding IT professionals with the skills they require. Companies are turning inward and finding new ways to build talent and prepare all levels of workers for the skills and competencies to remain relevant in the organization. There is a great deal of investment being made in empowering employees to challenge the status quo, lead at all levels, and promote the notion that it’s never too late to learn a new skill or change their job focus.
Challenge #4: Growing Data
IT leaders continue to struggle with data challenges. This is nothing new. IT leaders continue to work on how to better capitalize on their data. The ability to turn data into meaningful information becomes the challenge. How can you capitalize on your data? How can you take big data and transform it into something useful? Those IT leaders that solve this problem have a considerable advantage. The capability to combine internal data with real world data is critical and one of the largest technology investments IT departments are making.
Challenge #5: Scalable Monitoring
Today’s infrastructure is complicated. Multi-server, multi-site, data center and cloud solutions are the key objectives today with a host of third-party services included in the mix challenging the IT organization to new levels. Failure of any one of these could be responsible for taking down the crucial services and content needed throughout their company. IT leaders are faced with locating scalable monitoring that grows with the needs of their companies. Monitoring solutions must be designed to be flexible and scalable to handle large volumes of monitored devices and services, as well as being optimized to achieve low per-device overheads. The challenge is finding solutions that scale out to thousands of redundant, load balanced and distributed monitoring systems. To manage this IT leaders must have a complete view of all aspects of their infrastructure allowing IT professionals to move quickly and be proactive whenever problems arise.
These are just a few of the top challenges IT leaders will be facing in the coming new year. I am certain this list could be longer. Would you add anything to this list? If you would like to add anything to this list feel free to share in the comments.
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Marketing Specialist, OP5
OP5 provides monitoring solutions (OP5 Monitor) specifically designed to be a flexible and scalable solution, able to manage large volumes of monitored devices and checks. The performance and capacity of OP5 Monitor, together with an easy-to-use interface, provides you with a powerful solution today, and well into the future.