The Top Six Technology Priorities for IT Leaders

During our latest webinar, Meeting the Demands of an On-Demand World, Bill Santos and Mike McCracken of HOSTING Advanced Solutions reviewed the driving technology priorities that IT leaders need to address while planning for 2015 and beyond. Missed it? You can view the complete on-demand webinar here. We’ve also included some highlights below.

The rate of change continues to increase

While automobiles and television took almost a century to adopt, the Internet and mobile devices achieved 70 – 80% adoption within a decade. Those IT leaders who see change coming and adapt to it quickly will achieve the most success. And as the rate of change increases, so do expectations within an organization.

  • IT leaders must support the overall business as it continues to evolve via mergers and acquisitions and globalization – both which require highly available, always-on environments.
  • They must continue to provide strategic direction to stakeholders, providing sound recommendations regarding big data and analytics, mobile platforms and cloud delivery models.
  • Pressure to reduce costs and do more with less will continue to increase as IT leaders struggle with smaller teams and shorter deadlines.
  • IT leaders need to improve security and ensure that there are no potential vulnerabilities to their organizations’ security infrastructure.

IT leaders must be business enablers

They must be strategic partners who can provide recommendations on how IT assets can be leveraged and deployed to achieve business goals.

  • Do more with less . . . faster. Evaluate “non-traditional” alternatives such as virtualization and cloud desktops.
  • Rethink what initiatives IT teams are focusing on. Get them out of the day-to-day operational task so that they spend their time on strategic priorities.
  • Become a service organization. Remember that you’re not the only choice. Stay relevant and top-of-mind with your stakeholders.
  • Realize that whoever owns the data, owns the business.

Focus on the top priorities

Minimize what you develop

When evaluating your application portfolio, ask the following questions:

  • Does it create competitive advantage?
  • Does someone provide it as a service?
  • Is there an open source option?

Prioritize your applications and recognize their individual value to the business. Only develop what you have to.

Change how you provide services

Internal teams are overwhelmed trying to meet strategic priorities while addressing daily tasks. Moving them “up the stack” to focus on larger projects with new technologies will maximize your resource while continuing to motivate them.

  • Evaluate cloud-based solutions at every opportunity. Not only can you shift operational responsibility and risk to an experienced cloud solution provider, you can also free up internal resources to focus on strategic priorities.
  • Consider cloud desktops. Cloud desktops are an ideal solution for companies with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, mobile workforces and high compliance and security requirements. In most cases, they are identical to a local desktop experience at a fraction of the total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Virtualize everything you can. The virtualization tax you pay is marginal compared to the flexibility you gain to replicate from one machine to another or one data center to another.
  • Be an advisor to the business. Understand your market and the technology that can help create competitive advantages for your business.
  • Reimagine business workflows. The widespread adoption of mobile platforms can lead to more efficient workflows such as the use of e-signatures. IT leaders can provide recommendations for mobile solutions that are easy to use, well thought out and solve a specific problem via a user-friendly interface.

Secure your entire environment

IT leaders must have a comprehensive security environment that goes beyond securing the perimeter. In the case of many high-profile cyber-attacks, an organization’s perimeter was often breached for several months without them knowing it. IT leaders must leverage new tools to address increasingly sophisticated hacks including those that encrypt data in flight and at rest, and network isolation tools that create “communities of interest” among specific computers, preventing other outside computers from “talking to them.”

Be a partner in compliance

Organizations operating under strict compliance regulations are facing increased scrutiny and a high chance of being audited. IT leaders can contribute to a successful audit by being prepared with a complete thorough “electronic book of evidence” that provides details regarding their organization’s IT infrastructure as well as relevant logging and tracking activities. There are many compliance tools available that allow IT leaders to track key activities and build a complete book of evidence.

Recognize the value of data

The amount of data used globally is expected to double every two years, reaching 44 zettabytes (44 trillion gigabytes) in 2020. IT leaders need to ensure that their data is easily accessible and always available. They must have a strategic location for their data that allows them to quickly move it as needed and not be “held hostage” by any one provider or application infrastructure.

Aligning your IT priorities to your organization’s business goals can be challenging. HOSTING can help. Contact us anytime to discuss your specific needs.

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