What are the five big challenges facing today’s IT decision makers?

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Digital Transformation is a phrase that’s hard to get away from. And if you’re not talking transformational projects it’s probably because you’re talking about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

But that’s it. We could summarise 2017 by these topics, and they go a long way to setting expectations for 2018. For such a wide reaching subject you might think that defining Digital Transformation would be straightforward. But it’s not easy. And that’s often where the challenges of these projects start.

I interpret Digital Transformation as the way organisations deal with the explosion in technological innovation over the last 10-20 years. At a minimum it’s about survival – adapting to the pace technology is moving at. At the other end it’s about opportunity, real opportunity. Organisations that embrace Digital Transformation can cut costs, increase productivity and improve both customer and employee satisfaction.

But there are challenges to getting transformational projects off the ground, especially for IT decision makers. These challenges are significant; they can be overcome, but it won’t be overnight. We’ve looked at five of them in more detail (taken from our Digital Dislocation report).

1) Out-of-date infrastructure

Our survey shows that legacy technology is one of the main reasons IT can’t deliver what their business wants. 56% said their PBXs are old and need replacing while 49% claim their Centrex needs updating.

2) Difficulty securing cash

It’s not surprising to see IT departments running on old technology. Because it’s a struggle to secure the money they need to invest. When we compare today’s survey results to 2013, we see a trend that shows cutting costs is a priority within most organisations. And that extends to communication systems. Despite some pressure easing from the boards, raising capital for investment is still a constant challenge.

3) Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and its growing popularity

Employees have access to fantastic technology at home. Whether it’s a tablet, 4K television, smart sensors (like Nest thermostats ) or even the latest smartphone, consumers are used to intuitive, modern and stylish technology. So it’s understandable if they get frustrated at the office when they’re working on outdated collaboration tools. Exasperated employees who want to bring their own device to work has increased by 31% in the last few years. This growing BYOD culture creates real problems for IT, and while it may seem a good solution for employees, it brings some unwelcomed risks for large organisations.

4) Data and the security concerns that come with it

Cybercrime against large organisations is on the rise, often resulting in high-profile brand damaging publicity. This makes IT nervous, they’re concerned about their organisations data and how they’re going to secure it. Employees using their own device at work is one thing, sharing commercially sensitive data through file-sharing websites is quite another.

People now regularly use social media for work purposes. 36% using Facebook, 26% using Twitter and nearly one in five using Dropbox or a similar application for file sharing and storage. It’s understandable that employees want to use these services, they’re simple to use and efficient. But IT must make sure the integrity of the corporate and customer data is maintained, as more often than not, it’s their neck that’s on the line.

5) The size and scale of digital transformation projects

Transformational projects are wide reaching. The role of IT is significant as it introduces new technology that allows other areas of the business to significantly change how they do their work. But each department needs to embrace this change, and effectively manage how they introduce it, to maximise the return on investment. It’s not a small task or ask. Without adequate planning and support from across the business, the adoption rates and perceived success of any transformational project can be firmly out of ITs control.

Want to read more of our research into the growing digital dislocation? Download your copy now.

Joseph Walsh


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