What are the biggest challenges your IT service desk is facing today? More importantly, how is your help desk going to overcome those challenges? Here is a list of the things every IT manager should be mindful of, along with how savvy managers are going to navigate around those issues and come out way ahead. Ready?
1. Rapidly and Drastically Changing Technologies
The cloud, mobile technologies, big data, and other innovations are changing the way IT operates. In many cases, the changes are drastic and potentially overwhelming. IT mangers need to be sure that their personnel are trained regularly and thoroughly, and that they are ready for working with virtualization, cloud-based applications, and mobile development.
The concepts behind change management can be helpful in adapting. Additionally, tech know-how should no longer be limited to IT. Managers should either strategically position IT workers within other departments or opt to train workers from other departments in the policies, procedures, and operations of IT so that the entire organization is prepared for these remarkable changes.
2. BYOD, BYOA, and Shadow IT
Closely related are the issues of BYOD, BYOA, and the shadow IT that these situations introduce. IT managers and help desk workers need to know both the pros and cons of shadow IT. Many IT departments have found that allowing user-driven technologies can make things easier on the help desk.
No matter what your company policies are regarding ‘BYO’, IT has to be aware that users are bringing and using their own devices and apps, whether it’s okay with the company or not. IT managers need to learn to deal with these issues, which often requires being a go-between, helping upper management and workers understand the others’ point of view. Asset management is crucial, both for managing all of the network devices and lifecycles and for assessing what software and applications are at play on your systems.
3. Acquiring, Retaining, and Developing Tech Workers
Many of the programmers and systems administrators who wrote and managed your legacy systems are nearing retirement. Depending on what area of the world you’re in, you might not have qualified candidates lining up ready to take over those vacant spots. This is especially true if you use mainframes, which more than half of all companies still do.
IT managers must be proactive about finding replacement programmers, mainframe analysts, and other tech workers, and develop ways to keep them with the company over time. Otherwise, your help desk could wind up being the training ground where your competitors’ new hires get their entry-level experience.
4. Aligning IT and Business Needs and Goals
We touched on this earlier, but the point needs to be further expounded upon — business interests and technical interests are no longer separate. Today’s businesses are blending the two. Executives must be able to understand both the capabilities and the limitations of technology, while IT workers have to be able to understand the business’ needs, challenges, and goals, and be able to respond with the appropriate technology at the right time. In the age of cloud, mobile, and big data, the two must become one to remain competitive.
5. Increased Concerns Over Data and Network Security
A quick scan of the headlines on any given day will reveal just how serious the issue of security has become. Institutions formerly thought impenetrable — such as high-level government agencies, mega-giant tech companies like Google and Amazon, and global finance pillars like the NYSE and JP Morgan Chase — have been hacked. IT managers and their teams will all have to become security specialists. Security will have to dictate policies and procedures from the ground up for every department from finance to production to R&D.
The future is coming. Is your team ready?