Top 10 IT Concerns Businesses Face in 2019
BY: EMILY SNELL ON TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019
Forward-thinking IT leaders improve the quality of services and build trust. While new problems will arise every year or even every week, the best IT leaders continually resolve the most troubling organization pain points. However, just as IT is evolving, so too are the problems that plague this vital part of an organization. Information hacks, finding talented team members, information overload, and managing both costs and revenues will continue to be challenged in 2019 and beyond.
By staying ahead of emerging developments, the best IT execs will come to expect, plan for, and overcome the biggest IT concerns before they interfere with delivery schedules or inflate budgets. To help your team stay ahead of common IT concerns, we’ve gathered ten of the biggest problems IT leaders expect to deal with this year.
1. New Security Threats
Now that the leading tech executives have embraced AI en masse for big data applications, cyber security and protecting an organization from security threats remains a big focus. Nearly weekly it is announced in the press that a large organization has been the victim of a data hack. Many of these attacks have released the personal data of millions of users.
Security has always been a threat to IT organizations, and many have built robust solutions that leverage the latest tech, AI, and automation to protect systems and notify executives when a breach occurs. In response to these added protections, however, hackers are getting more resourceful and using strong tools. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest weapon in the arsenal of hackers.
To mitigate this threat, more IT leaders will turn to AI-powered cyber security. As malicious actors improve their skills, more organizations may succumb to AI-attacks.
2. Data Protection
Thanks to the influence of the GDPR, more IT executives are deploying technology initiatives with privacy and security as a top priority. While GDPR was intended to project users in England, many IT departments have decided to bring that same level of protection to users in the U.S. and all users world-wide.
Leaders in IT are also leading the way for self-regulation when it comes to data protection. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has seen a boom in smart devices being in homes. These new devices have to be regulated in terms of data capturing, protecting, and usage. Industry executives who understand that their businesses will fair far better under effective self-regulation, rather than under legislative mandates are driving many of the conversations around individual data protection.
Organizations can no longer tolerate slow support responses, bureaucracy, and failing technology, and IT management grows increasingly laborious as time passes. With dwindling resources and increasing demands, IT leaders must successfully fulfill the essential needs of today's tech-hungry companies. To meet this demand, more IT leaders will deploy integrated remote monitoring management solutions for different employee locations, devices and needs. Many managed service providers and IT teams use tools like Atera to integrate the entire IT support ecosystem. This way anything from remote desktop monitoring to help desk support are easily accessible in one system.
Additionally, more and more organizations will be looking to IT teams not just as cost centers, but also as revenue centers. Savvy IT leaders will find ways to add value to the bottom line with their IT teams.
4. The Growing IT Skills Gap
A growing number of IT executives recognize that it’s time to broaden the search for IT talent. In a tight labor market, recruiters must now look beyond top graduates from the best schools. They may also need to look past the most common IT degrees like computer science and engineers and instead provide some on-site training.
The need for IT professionals will only increase as time goes on. To compete, companies may need to offer flexible schedules, training opportunities, clear personal-growth paths, and even remote availability. Already nearly a quarter of the nation’s skilled professionals perform remote work, and this trend will increase. Resultantly, businesses will likely expand their search parameters for capable information technology workers.
5. Cloud Security
While cloud services offer many benefits, they also present a conundrum. Workers use cloud services across a range of devices, and not all security strategies work from end to end in this new environment. Additionally, entire teams or companies may be working remotely, but they still need to be able to access the cloud from various devices. Worse, remote teams are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can leave cloud access vulnerable. Tools like Zscaler work as a checkpoint in the cloud for all traffic coming in and out of your network. This can extend to Android and iOS devices within your company.
As 2019 unfolds, more IT leaders will seek out cloud-friendly security solutions.
6. BYOD (Bring Your Device)
Historically, IT departments controlled the full range of company software and hardware assets. Now, employees favor their own devices, that are often just as powerful and functional as company equipment, but – unfortunately – not as secure. While it was once common to have a team all on the same device, in the same location, now IT team must support teams spread across the world. They need to manage the devices, as well as ensure the software is up to date and working appropriately. This year, a growing number of IT leaders will divert their attention from controlling devices to controlling data access and leveraging smart VPNs that ensure team members encrypt data passing over unsecured networks.
7. Outsourcing IT
The growing technology talent shortage has led many businesses to outsource IT responsibilities. Additionally, outsourcing IT can lead to additional innovation, increased security, as well as decreased costs. 69% of companies look at outsourcing IT as a way to decrease costs. However, outsourced IT also has its drawbacks. It provides the IT team less control over granular functions; it can also create new security risks. The best outsourcing relationships are formed around experience, trust, and clear expectations. As this becomes more common and more business leaders recognize that third parties represent their brand, vendors will come under increased scrutiny.
8. Device Compatibility
Data is everywhere, and that’s just where employees expect to have access to it. Today, consumers have grown accustomed to accessing information across a range of devices. This predilection will increase the popularity of open-source standards that support deployment across multiple platforms.
9. Energy Consumption
Businesses need technology, and technology uses power – a lot of it. Recent efforts have made businesses and the public more aware of energy consumption, carbon footprints, and the effects it can have on the environment. Resultantly, the relatively new corporate energy monitoring vertical, is snowballing as executives work to keep costs from spinning out of control. Controlling energy consumptions correctly can both decrease costs but also position the company as one that cares about environmental issues.
10. Maximizing IT Value
IT value is no longer a nicety; it’s a necessity. This year, executives will turn to outsourced IT services and automation in the never-ending quest to do more with fewer resources. In 2019, IT leaders will increasingly recognize the importance of extracting value, rather than deploying technology solely for the sake of innovation. IT efforts will continue to be more proactive and less reactive or maintenance. IT can be used to increase individual productivity, client satisfaction, and overall business profits.