The IT failings that might keep you in a job
When we polled CIOs and IT industry stalwarts about ‘what keeps IT managers awake at night’ for this issue’s cover feature, we half-expected the problems raised would be the usual suspects – the cloud, data breaches, BYOD, unstructured content, big data.
We were wrong on two counts, as the replies published on pages 6-10 show. First, there was the number of wacky responses we got – people, it seems, are worried about air conditioning, the kids and the ‘Batman call’. Second, there was the sheer volume of concerns raised, far more than we had space to print.
A lot of these replies are on mainstream subjects like ‘My director’s head is in the cloud’ and ‘Staff bringing their toys to work’ (BYOD), but the worries go on – will I still have a job in 2020, getting bypassed, projects failing, storage costs, data deluge, Facebook for the Enterprise, pressure for business agility, cyber criminals, disaster recovery.
It reinforces the range of responsibilities that CIOs and IT managers have to shoulder, as the importance of technology to organisations and the pace of IT change continues to rise.
There is a lot of debate currently about whether the IT manager’s role will survive, as for example cloud computing takes even more technology out of house and smart mobile devices enable more and more users to bypass the IT function.
It’s a legitimate concern, but one hope for IT’s survival is in the scale of concerns raised here. Technology is getting more, not less, important to business and an IT leader and department with the right service ethos, who can confront this range of business-critical problems, will make themselves invaluable.
Throughout this issue we publish articles on the solutions, not just the problems – you’ll find NTT on how to manage cloud computing (page 11); Arthur D Little on how to innovate in IT (page 12); Alfresco on how to deal with ‘content chaos’ (page 22); Alsbridge on managing outsourcing suppliers (page 24); Waterstons on how to create a high-performing IT department (page 26); and Datacastle on dealing with lost laptops (page 28).
Elsewhere, there are articles on the growing IT skills shortage, top 10 collaboration pitfalls, network performance and some significant upcoming wireless standards.
As always, we hope this mix gives you some insight and encouragement in performing a tough job in a rapidly evolving business environment.
The National Computing Centre Ltd
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GCHQ helps businesses deal with cyber attacks The UK Government's spy listening service, GCHQ, has launched a 'unique' scheme to help companies fight back against cyber attacks a potentially huge requirement as around 90% of UK organisations suffered a data breach last year. The new Cyber Incident Response (CIR) scheme will ... read more..
The answer is: a lot, judging by the responses we publish here from the great and good (well, mostly) of the IT industry. To compile this special report, we asked the IT industry, and CIOs themselves, the question: 'What keeps IT managers awake at night?'. We were hit with a huge ... read more..
Everyone knows the potential benefits of cloud services. So why is adopting cloud such a nightmare? NTT's Bob Welton reports on a survey that finds out. There continues to be a lot of hype around the benefits of cloud computing for business. Yet however much these benefits are discussed, 'real-world' cloud ... read more..
For IT managers, the pressure to innovate is one of the big causes of sleepless nights. Arthur D Little head of innovation, Rick Eagar, offers some practical tools. Business and academic media are awash with theories about what IT managers and CTOs should do to improve their innovation performance. What most ... read more..
Are skilled IT people increasingly unnecessary as cloud computing takes over? Or are companies leaving themselves fatally short of IT talent in an era when they are more dependent on technology? Paul Bavington of Budgeting Solutions offers a bleak answer. These are confusing times. On the one hand, we have the ... read more..
Collaboration tools can radically improve and accelerate corporate communication, but only if you get the basics right. Andrew Millard of Citrix explains how. Virtual collaboration has shot up the IT agenda in recent months, thanks to its potential to enable employees to communicate and work with each other, irrespective of time ... read more..
IT Adviser regular security columnist, Piers Wilson, advises on the best way to measure and manage your response to cyber security incidents. The scientist Lord Kelvin once said: If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. And it's true that organisations often suffer from a lack of effective metrics around ... read more..
Cloud and BYOD may be liberating users but they are inflicting data chaos on IT managers. The answer, says Alfresco's David Gildeh, is to recognise that not all content is created equal. The bring your own device (BYOD) trend continues to stir a strong debate, but there is one thing we ... read more..
Outsourcing is a vital option to IT managers faced with reduced budgets, but how do you deal with the risks involved and especially the fear of loss of control? Rick Simmonds of Alsbridge reports. 'What keeps you awake at night?' is an old sales question, but as the speed of ... read more..
Every IT manager dreams of heading a high-performing department. Waterstons MD Mike Waterston makes it real. Many IT departments find themselves disenfranchised and sidelined and often complain they are misunderstood and have no influence over their business colleagues. But these problems can be addressed with a change in culture and strategic ... read more..
In the long list of horrors haunting IT managers, lost laptops and other mobile devices loom large. Phil Evans of Datacastle tackles the biggest risk presented by consumerisation and BYOD. With the rising popularity of the mobile workforce and the bring your own device (BYOD) culture, laptops and other mobile devices ... read more..
Mervyn Kelly of Ciena shows how corporate network managers can make sure they have the right high-performing WAN in their corner. Enterprises and high-performance athletes are not as different as you might think. Both have one ultimate goal to be the best in their particular discipline or sector. To achieve this ... read more..
The BYOD phenomenon is being driven by new wireless standards. Ian Kilpatrick of Wick Hill Group explains the problems this brings for IT managers. Go into a meeting these days and the chances are you will see people using not just one but several wireless mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets ... read more..
US correspondent Gary Cornell resists all blandishments and digs into Microsoft's latest Surface tablet and Windows products. First off, in this review of Microsoft's latest product offerings, I have to begin by declaring that at the recent 'Build' conference Microsoft gave away Surface Pros and the new Asus W3 mini tablet ... read more..