March 2016: Business Tech Bytes

The right tools to manage IT disruption

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

Is information technology management in your enterprise increasingly about coordinating a concoction of disparate systems? Do you have varying departments making purchasing and usage decisions independently? Has the consumerization of IT, with all the tools and solutions in the palm of your employee’s hand, invaded your enterprise?

I’m sure most of your employees are using some cloud or personal software to abet them with their job.

In the 2015 Harvey Nash and KPMG CIO survey, “Into an Age of Disruption,” a full range of information technology topics, from recruitment and business strategy to overall IT priorities were explored. Nine out of 10 survey respondents believe that digital disruption will impact their organizations within the next decade, and 61 percent said they think they’ll capitalize on this disruption better than their present and future competitors.

“The speed of technology is what’s driving IT today,” said Bob Miano, president and CEO of Harvey Nash USAPAC. “Disruption is the norm now, so it’s about how fast companies can innovate. Pressure to produce at an accelerated pace is felt across all vertical markets, and has direct ties to the talent war.”

So the quandary, how do you deliver stable consistent IT performance that will drive revenue while still containing or even cutting costs? To be successful in managing your IT solutions more effectively, Janco Associate’s CIO Concern Management Toolkit recommends three focus areas of consideration: people, infrastructure and technology.

People — Security rises directly to the top. From cyber attacks to phishing emails, your employees are your biggest security concern. It goes hand in hand with cloud computing, how many new applications are being used each and every day on your network that is not under complete control of your IT organization? If you think you know, look again. No matter your business, technology applications are constantly evolving and changing in this digital age.

Infrastructure — Gone are the days of everyone accessing the IBM mainframe in a single location with IT approved standardized hardware and software. As new technologies are being implemented, traditional functions are being eliminated, making way for even further automation. This automation brings with it mountains of data which needs to be analyzed quickly and efficiently so that the decision making process within your enterprise can be improved. Records management, version control, retention and destruction are just a few of the traditional areas that still need to be under internal management and control.

Technology — BYOD, mobile applications, cloud storage. These represent non vented IT platforms that your employees are using in order to improve theirs and your bottom line. Your employees will use whatever applications are in the palm of their hands to get these results. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, just to name a few, are the wave of the future and need to be managed more efficiently in most every enterprise today. This management needs to span from advertising to productivity losses. Does your business have a Facebook page? Check out Facebook Business Manager; that will assist with advertising. As for time spent on Facebook and other social media sites during work time? I’m soliciting your comments, suggestions, policies and procedures for an upcoming column.

To be sure, clouds, mobility, social media and BYOD has redistributed power within most very aspect of most every business. In the light of the every growing list of cyber-attacks, now more than ever there is a need to focus on designing an enterprise security and privacy strategic roadmap. These policies and procedures need to be based on governance models such as PCI, HIPAA or SOX depending on the nature of your business. Your end goal is for your people, infrastructure and technology to evolve beyond the point of being a motley and disjointed collection of software solutions, tools, and technologies. You need to attain the mindset and approach that will harness the full power that digital technology has to offer. It will be a challenging balancing act, but many IT teams and technology leaders have the innate aptitude to propel an organization through this complex “age of disruption.”

Jill Van Hoesen is chief information officer for Johnson Newspapers and a 25-year IT veteran. Contact her at jvanhoesen@wdt.net. Her column appears monthly in NNY Business.