With the challenges of cyber threats and new technology adoption — or even just the sheer volume of day-to-day data created at work — the reality is that it is getting more and more difficult for IT teams to remain innovative. This ongoing battle to tame complexity and enable modern business will not halt in 2016, but will become even more challenging for IT teams because of the exponential growth of data that needs to be accessible and protected. As we welcome the New Year, IT teams should look to identify the issues that will prohibit them from innovating and keeping their organizations on the leading edge.
But what will be at the top of the list for IT resolutions in 2016?
A recent report by Ipswitch, which polled 2,685 IT professionals, uncovered the biggest issues that will hold IT teams back from performing their jobs to the best of their ability in 2016 and beyond. Based on the data found, IT teams should expect the following resolutions to be at the top of their lists in the New Year.
2016 Top IT Resolutions
Click through for findings from a recent report by Ipswitch that outlines the top issues that will derail IT team innovation in the New Year, and learn what resolutions should be top of mind in 2016.
Security and Privacy
Ipswitch’s report found that security was the number one challenge for 25 percent of IT professionals, and thereby ensuring security and privacy will be the top priority for IT teams in 2016. Breaches, malware, vulnerabilities and zero-day attacks were the biggest concern for more than half (55 percent) of the respondents in this category. In addition, Ipswitch’s holiday report, which polled 378 IT professionals in the U.S., found that increasing the level of network security was the top resolution that resonated most for IT professionals in 2016 at 51 percent.
In the New Year, IT teams’ main focus will be making sure adversaries working to create vulnerabilities within a network and steal sensitive data are stopped. While accepting some level of risk is part of doing business, being able to manage risk by recognizing and shoring up points of vulnerability is the difference between using security as a competitive advantage and being the next victim of a catastrophic data loss.
24/7 Performance and Availability
Since most companies rely on network applications, and an interruption in performance means a stop to business, the availability of IT infrastructure is incredibly important and was the second-leading concern for IT teams, as indicated by 19 percent of all respondents.
To add to the complexity and pressures for IT teams, the workforce has become increasingly more diverse and demanding in terms of remote access and 24/7 availability. IT teams can expect to place a greater focus on monitoring and visibility of IT infrastructure as 50 percent of respondents saw it as the largest concern in this category.
New Technology Updates and Tools
The ability to select, manage and deploy new technology was also a leading concern for many IT teams surveyed and will be a focus for them in 2016. In this category, 67 percent of respondents believed making necessary updates and deploying new tools within their organization was top of mind.
Determining which areas of a company’s IT infrastructure to update and when can be one of the most important strategic decisions an organization can make to ensure business continuity.
Resources and Budget
Since IT teams are constantly charged with doing more with less, ensuring they have the proper resources and budget will be a priority for the New Year. Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents in this category said that time and internal resource capabilities hindered their ability to do their jobs effectively, followed by the 38 percent that said limited budgets were to blame.
To manage the growing complexity while maintaining the same or smaller headcount and budget, organizations need simple and powerful IT tools that save time, resources and are budget friendly.
Internal Communication and Customer Satisfaction
Business-related issues, such as internal communications and customer satisfaction, were noted by many IT teams as a roadblock to more effective IT operations. In Ipswitch’s holiday report, 21 percent of IT professionals said improving internal communication and customer satisfaction is a resolution that most resonates with them.
Every organization has its own business goals and agendas that rely heavily upon IT for support, and identifying what is most important and focusing on one task at a time is critical for IT teams’ success.
While storage costs have been dropping rapidly, this is far outpaced by the increase in data being stored as well as secondary costs such as power and facility management.
Therefore, data management and storage was on the mind of 6 percent of all IT professionals as an issue for 2016. In the New Year, IT teams can expect to draw attention to managing and controlling data storage and the costs associated.
With the influx of wearables, tablets and smartphones in the workplace, as well as increased demands from employees wanting to use devices at their leisure, ensuring that device management policies are in place will be a priority for IT teams in the New Year.
Ipswitch’s holiday survey found that smartphones would be the most pervasive must-have gadget in the workplace in 2016 at 33 percent, followed by wearable technology at 31 percent.
Automation of Tasks
Finally, the ability to automate many of the time-consuming but critical IT tasks within an organization garnered attention from 4 percent of all respondents.
Automating tasks that are required to enable daily operations as well as regulatory and policy compliance will be necessary for IT teams in the New Year with the challenge of limited resources and time constraints.