Using the Right Technology for the Business

Digital technology creates opportunities, but it also introduces new and sometimes vexing challenges. By now, it’s fairly apparent that the pace of business is accelerating and IT systems are struggling to keep up. What’s more, the accumulation of solutions introduces new problems.

An October 2016 study conducted by workflow software vendor TrackVia, IT Can’t Keep Pace with the Speed of Business, demonstrates just how challenging this environment is for IT departments. It found that 3 out of 4 employees need quick service delivery by IT to meet work requirements. However, the IT backlog has increased by 29 percent over the last 18 months.

Moreover, 88 percent of large companies are facing critical shortages of IT talent while demand for mobile apps is accelerating at a five times greater rate than IT can supply.

While agile development and quick delivery is on the enterprise radar—it’s no secret that a growing number of organizations are adopting frameworks that speed processes—the entire situation is further complicated by the need to maintain a vast array of legacy applications. In fact, another study conducted by security firm Prevoty found that half of IT professionals say they can only update an application once in a one-to-six-month period.

Overall, 80 percent of security professionals’ time is spent dealing with existing applications. Obviously, this framework leaves little remaining time for other duties and tasks.

How should CIOs and other business and IT leaders approach this problem?

First, it’s critical to review systems and software comprehensively and determine whether the right solutions are in place. Although a one-size-fits-all approach may seem tempting up front—and it may actually save time and money as well—it may usher in bigger long-term problems. As the TrackVia report points out: a great deal of time and energy is typically lost in making the business conform to the software rather than ensuring the software fits the business.

But there are other areas to examine as well. The report notes that organizations must consider how BYOD policies impact the user of internal applications and data, whether the organization has the right talent in place for the right projects, and whether the organization is balancing security with development speed.

In the end, perhaps only thing is clear: digital technology isn’t about to slow down anytime soon. The need for enterprise IT speed will only become more acute in the months and years ahead.

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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