The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things for information technology (IT) teams. Their priorities have shifted to building strong foundations for remote workplaces and identifying technologies to drive businesses' digital transformation post pandemic.
These challenging times have made IT professionals learn some valuable lessons: How to build secure digital work environments? How to quickly shift to digital workspaces? How to prioritize digital initiatives?
Also, the technology landscape is dynamic and keeps advancing each year, so does businesses’ need to stay updated with the latest tech trends. This brings in additional challenges for IT professionals to tackle and win.
In this article, we discuss five such challenges in IT—including the ones discussed above—and how to tackle them. As an IT professional, IT business owner, or IT security leader, you can use this information to guide your IT team in successfully navigating these challenges.
Security threats are one of the biggest IT challenges to the digital transformation of your business. With remote employees accessing business data via the internet, the chances of cyberattacks have increased. According to GetApp’s 2021 Data Security survey, 48% of businesses say insufficient remote work security is one of the top three security vulnerabilities they are currently facing. (Read the survey methodology at the end of the article.)
To tackle this challenge, identify ways to protect critical business data and limit access to only authorized stakeholders. You can use cloud storage software, paired with multifactor authentication, for enhanced cybersecurity. Cloud storage allows secure storage and sharing of business data and resources, while multifactor authentication helps prevent unauthorized access by verifying user identity via multiple ways.
Related articles on strengthening your small business’s cybersecurity:
Both productivity and work efficiency are essential for business growth when working in a hybrid environment. While employees’ productivity and work quality may not directly get affected by remote or hybrid work environments, there are other related challenges such as inefficient use of resources that can disrupt the speed and accuracy of work.
To improve on these parameters, understand employees’ attitude toward the hybrid or remote work model and their ability to use technology resources such as collaboration tools. This will help you respond to your employees’ needs and improve their work experience, which in turn will enhance productivity and efficiency.
Also, you can leverage digital experience platforms to create, manage, and scale your digital business ecosystem and offer employees a seamless work experience. Once you’ve created a digital workplace, use project management software to monitor employee progress and productivity.
In a hybrid work environment, your business relies heavily on technology, from allocating work to delivering projects. The challenge here is that technology is advancing at a breakneck pace, and technology solutions quickly become obsolete. This leaves little room to drive optimum benefits from an adopted technology.
The challenge is further compounded by the recurring costs of updating existing technology tools, purchasing new tools, and training employees on the new features.
Before purchasing any new technology, ask these questions:
What are the features of your shortlisted software? Are they core to your business operations?
Does the software offer updates? If yes, then how often do you need to update the software?
Are there any additional costs associated with the software updates?
Also, look for free trials or demo sessions to give employees a better understanding of software usability before purchase.
Explore GetApp’s software inventory to find the right technology solutions for your digital workplace. You can compare software solutions based on price, features, subscription model, supported platforms, and more. You can also check user reviews and ratings for each listed software.
Cost overruns when purchasing software is another challenge IT professionals face today. They are frequently caught off guard by internal barriers to software investment. Major points of disagreement include budget overruns and failure to justify software cost in terms of expected benefits.
These two factors account for a majority (65%) of the challenges involved in software purchase decisions, according to Gartner’s 2021 Small Business Software Buying Trends Survey. (Read the survey methodology at the end of the article.)
To solve this challenge, analyze the usage of existing software tools and check if they are still catering to your business needs. You may have to cancel subscriptions for tools that are no longer useful. This analysis will help you save costs as well as reduce maintenance efforts.
You can also use budgeting software to accurately plan the budget for and spending on technology adoption across departments. Here are some budgeting tools you can try for free.
Finding and retaining IT talent is never easy, and with the workforce getting more global and diverse, it's only getting tougher. Also, the increasing adoption of hybrid and remote work environments is making IT hiring complex for HR teams.
Fifty-two percent of chief human resource officers (CHROs) identify shortage of talent as the top trend likely to impact their organizations, and only 19% feel they are currently prepared to handle the impact of talent shortage, according to Gartner (full content available to Gartner clients).
To hire the right IT talent, your HR team should understand why a candidate is seeking a job and offer future growth opportunities that are in line with the candidate’s goals. Follow the same for employees who are planning to quit. This approach will allow your HR team to better understand and cater to workers’ professional development needs—striking a balance between finding the right talent and retaining it for the long term.
For instance, if an employee is planning to take a break from work to pursue higher education, you can work out an arrangement that allows them to do so without quitting. The employee will be able to upskill and join you back after completing the course. You can also suggest options such as executive or online education.
Recognize and appreciate the work of your employees.
Promote an open and collaborative work culture.
Analyze employee engagement using surveys.
Conduct training and workshops to promote learning and development.
IT challenges are inevitable; however, learning to overcome them is what helps you stay relevant. If you think these IT challenges can impact your business operations, start preparing your IT team today to keep up and stay ahead of competitors.
Check out these additional GetApp resources on IT management:
If you are looking for any specific IT management software solution, head to GetApp’s business software catalog where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.
GetApp 2021 Data Security Survey: The survey was conducted to understand the security vulnerabilities businesses are facing, the data security measures they are adopting, the security tools they are using, and what they stand to gain from it. 973 respondents participated in the survey who were screened for full-time employment and 90 identified as their organization’s IT security manager.
Gartner 2021 Small Business Software Buying Trends Survey: The survey was conducted to understand the software buying behaviors of small and midsize business owners in the past 12 months. Respondents were screened for their involvement in software purchasing decisions, and those who were leader/member of a group or had significant influence qualified for the study. A total of 500 respondents participated in the survey from Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.
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