Information technology provides solutions to countless business problems. It allows us to work more efficiently, process massive quantities of data, and communicate more effectively across large organizations. But, as helpful as technology can be, anyone who interacts with it on a daily basis understands that IT poses as many challenges as it does opportunities.
IT challenges are often nuanced and specific to individual companies, but all IT leaders can expect to identify with at least one of the five challenges below.
1. Staying Current
Businesses need to remain agile to succeed, but many IT leaders are unprepared for the rapid change rate that accompanies technological advancement. The Tech environment is shifting to a mobile, remote workplace, with access to IT service from anywhere. This means a shift in IT needs for managing, monitoring, and supporting this new mobile workforce. If IT is not prepared, or enabled for success, workers will be affected, ultimately impacting productivity and the bottom line. IT must be enabled with the skills, technology, and infrastructure to succeed in this new agile workplace.
2. Spending Wisely
Coming to grips with the new normal is a big hurdle for IT to overcome. While new technology often runs more efficiently on a tighter budget, the initial spending shock of migration poses a challenge for many businesses. Refactoring IT can be disruptive to an enterprise, and even after new technology is deployed, additional funds most likely will be spent on training and ongoing support. Today’s tech landscape requires incremental, precise, surgical change that caters to a society searching for instant gratification.
3. Optimizing Customer Experience
Customer demands are a moving target that businesses have to hit. But now that customers are more tech-savvy than ever, their demands change as quickly (and as often) as technology itself. IT leaders must have the foresight to implement products and services that support the customers’ needs, versus forcing them to adapt to standard platforms.
When we expand the idea of “the customer” to include end-users, end-user service becomes yet another priority that business need to consider. As end-users consume internal services, businesses must learn to capture, analyze, and improve upon IT service levels in addition to satisfying their external customers’ needs.
4. Making Tactical Decisions
Most companies can testify that issues with technology can grind business to a halt. IT leaders must be proactive to effectively manage and support their infrastructure. However, many companies do not have access to the information needed to perform strategic and tactical analysis of their environment. The majority of IT environments rely upon reactive alerting, email-based notifications, or end-users notifying IT of an issue.
There are great platforms out there for ingesting and analyzing systems and infrastructure data in multiple formats. The goal is to develop, automate, analyze, and trend your company’s data, and then create events based on the potential impact of the analysis. Your IT Engineers need actionable information that allows for quick analysis of an event, prior to an incident occurring. The days of parsing through emails, traps, and log files are gone. Aggregate, analyze, and then assign. These platforms enable efficiency and potentially eliminate that call from your user.
5. Finding the Right Resources and Talent
The increasing prevalence of the mobile worker and information sharing has certainly made the IT landscape more challenging. Knowing which technology is right for your business can be difficult, and it’s possible to become so bogged down in the decision-making process that you lose track of your goals.
Once you have found the right technology, you need the right people to harness its full potential. Technical skills need to be matched with the appropriate soft skills. Time spent on maintenance shouldn’t outweigh the amount of time spent on innovation, and IT teams must find a way to focus on making the business better rather than simply making it work. When it comes to evaluating new IT business applications or services, customer satisfaction and end-user experience have now become critical factors to consider.
Each of these challenges is made even more complex when you consider how closely intertwined they are, and most businesses are likely to experience multiple challenges at the same time. In order to alleviate these issues, many businesses are turning to Managed Services Providers (MSPs) for help. But what, exactly, does an MSP do? Click here to learn more.