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4 Challenges CIOs and IT Professionals will face in 2017

by Matias Wolff 16, Feb, 2017

Hello 2017! Adiós 2016, a year that many wanted to leave behind. But now, a new period is starting, that will bring many opportunities, good moments in the office and also multiple challenges that you will have to be prepared for.

The world of IT, considering it is still in constant evolution, will also bring a new scenario this year, and CIOs will have to take drastic decisions to be able to keep the boat afloat.

Challenges TitanicThere won't be enough doors for the whole team

When you’re dealing with technology, networks, services and people, being prepared is key. This is why we’ve compiled a list of four challenges that are bound to be future problems, be it because of a vulnerability, or having to convince the higher ups that it is time to change some aspects.

Data Security

Along with new advances, new threats appear, even if new processes aren’t being implemented in your organization, new vulnerabilities for old software and hardware keep appearing with the potential of harming all your current work.

According to the Society of Information Management (SIM) in their study on 2017 trends, 36% of IT profesisonals consider computer security as their number one concern. This is a huge increase, considering that only four years prior this point was in ninth place.  

Risks in the shape of loss of information, personal data leaks, DDoSS attacks and even theft of sensitive information are still a priority, but during the last years the concept of Ransomware has grown, one that will become even more popular this 2017.

According to a study done by digital security firm ESET, this trend of stealing information and asking ransom for it will be the most common attack this year. If in this situation, ESET’s Spain director Josep Albors recommends to not pay the ransom and find help via official methods. 

Growth of the professional spectrum

Every year, the IT department becomes more and more important in the institution. From being an expense, it became one of the most important sales engines inside an organization, and because of this, IT professionals have seen how their roles keep changing and becoming more important.

From just keeping the networks and maybe websites, IT professionals have had to assume IT management roles and have become decision makers in their workplace. A change that is by no means small.

Because of this, rotation has become something very common, and it has become a CIOs challenge to find loyal personnel that can handle all the roles needed and fill the talent gap that has the skills to not only make themselves a name in the company, but also to adapt and master what is being used in the company.

The jump towards digital

If this wasn’t done during 2016, 2017 must be the year where all workflows and processes become digital. Having registries in a physical format don’t only contribute to a slower pace at work, but will also limit the opportunities that a fully digital environment offers.

Currently, most platforms or CRMs offer multiple services that hold various databases and projects that are held inside a company, and having ones that haven’t been digitalized won’t allow to fully optimize all the given tools, but also will stop the ones that are already in the cloud to directly interact with these databases.

Assuming the role of a digital leader is something that hasn’t catch on yet in the industry, but it is in the way to by. According to a report by Gartner, IT managers that have taken this challenge is growing, but it hasn’t gone over 40%, and this 2017 is the perfect moment to do so.

Adapting new technology

It might sound like a stuck record, but technology keeps advancing and evolving, and every year new products and services appear that will supposedly make life easier, but other are deemed obsolete or didn’t catch on.

Understanding the most recent consumer trends is a challenge that CIOs will have to handle carefully, and I don’t mean only to new releases, but also to be wary of what is actually useful and what is just a passing fad that won’t contribute to the organization in the future.

One of the cases was the fad for “wearables”. These gadgets such as Google Glass or the Apple Watch were, at their peak, considered the future of how people will communicate, but after a couple years this way of thought has faded away. When planning a new website, would you have in your tasks to make it “Apple Watch Ready”? Right now I don’t think you would, but imagine all the resources you would have spent if you had back in the day.

Having foresight is one of the most important challenges this year, because more and more of these products will appear, offering to be the future, and ending up just being no more than a toy or a commodity for a specific group.

Do you have another challenge that CIOs might find this 2017? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to add it to the list.

Keep your mobile devices and data safe

Matias Wolff
Matias Wolff

CMO at Prey. BA in Advertising with a major in Marketing from Universidad del Pacífico. Master in International Marketing at ESMA, Barcelona. 18 years’ experience in multinational companies. I am a volunteer at the Endeavor program, and teach Integrated Marketing Communications at the Masters in Innovation program, Universidad Católica de Chile.
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