Technology is a constant process of evolution. It tends to progress faster when the context demands it, such as the evolution of cloud technology to address rising concerns about cheap storage as data volumes continuously increased. In the wake of the pandemic and current spate of cyberattacks, it is only likely that no matter what industry your business is currently active in – it will witness a rapid progression of technology changes as the context changes. As progress picks up pace, it is also likely that the timeframe your business has on hand to implement game-changing enterprise innovations will only become more constricted. Needless to say, IT challenges will only become more difficult as time passes. This is why having the right IT strategy consulting in Vancouver is critical in helping your business adapt to technology trends and become future-proof.
Why is IT strategy consulting important now more than ever?
With technological edge rapidly becoming a key defining element of business success, no company can afford to not pay adequate attention to IT strategy consulting and IT strategy components. However, IT strategy projects have a high rate of failure/ improper implementation despite the best conceived plans.
Moreover, as your business grows, the IT strategy that may have seemed like the perfect solution a month back may no longer work as well. Your Effective IT strategy in Vancouver needs to be flexible enough to both address new business challenges and accommodate technical evolutions wherever it leads to significantly better business outcomes.
6 IT strategy challenges (and potential solutions):
Managing Data Protection
With data management and compliance regimes implementing tighter controls globally, companies have a growing need to adhere to multiple sets of regulations and maintain meticulous data management internally. Penalties for non-compliance can be heavy and also result in incalculable reputation loss. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was only a start in the US and many other states are expected to come up with their own versions of data management policies shortly. To adapt to the new regime, companies need to quickly rewrite existing policies and modulate the data flow as directed by the policies – both of which present their own set of unique challenges.
Solution – The most surefire way of guaranteeing compliance globally is for companies to emulate the data safety standards prescribed by the most restrictive regulations. IT strategy consulting in Vancouver can help in this regard. You should also take care to implement the following:
Communicate your commitment to transparency by updating current digital policies and notifications to clearly communicate your updated policies and how it affects your users.
Monitor your data flows closely at every stage of data accumulation, analysis, storage, deployment and access. This can help you implement tighter controls over data accessibility and also assess data management and security policies of vendors.
Digital Transformation Success
Unlike the popular conception of Digital Transformation as a self-contained process, most CIOs understand it to be iterative and continuously evolving. This is borne out by the fact that most companies never seem to complete digital transformation, but continue to carry over the process for years. Many organizations also struggle with the correct deployment of digital transformation strategies. New figures by McKinsey reveal that the average digital transformation project has a 45% chance of actually delivering less profit than estimated.
Solution – Best practices guidelines on digital transformation should ideally include determining your business and digital transformation priorities. Your digital transformation should lead to quantifiable business outcomes. Digital transformation needs to be led by people with formidable digital and analytics skills, so if you are serious about digital transformation in the long term, you should start by investing in the right talent early on.
While implementing agile practices, and your digital strategies are likely to change with evolving demands, you need to make sure that the digital strategies and processes are actually working to empower your people and not becoming a hindrance. This requires consistent clear communication and considerable investment in training, cultural evolution, and upskilling.
Finding effective ways to bridge the (IT) Skills Gap
The talent crunch in IT is real. KPMG says that (IT) skills shortage is at a peak since 2008, which could act as a dampener to the industry’s growth. Many businesses are trying to address the gap by hiring contractual workers (especially in the wake of the pandemic). However, this strategy also comes with its own set of challenges, that include personal data security and protection of intellectual property among others.
Solution – You can address the skills shortage by combining strategies, such as: Learn to go beyond degrees and university pools. This talent pool is minor compared to the talent available among self-taught programmers, rising talent in hackathons, and coding boot camps. However, recruiting and assessing their skill sets may mean equipping your HR department with new tools other than the clichéd resume.
Attracting talent is the easy part. Retaining existing talent is a critical challenge and must be met through continuous learning opportunities and stimulating projects that increase job satisfaction. Provide in-house upskilling training to develop talent in your current pool of workers.
Aligning Culture With Strategy
Digital transformation is as much a cultural process as it is technical. This makes it imperative for a business to have its culture aligned with IT strategy in organizations. This is borne out by the fact that 46% of CIOs say culture remains the biggest barrier to change.
Encourage your CIOs to team up with HR to make technology decisions – in a way that remains engaging for the end users in your organization. You could also try to encourage employee ownership in driving cultural change and help champion their ideas.
Preparing for Emerging Technologies
Emerging technologies are always a hit or a miss. It’s always difficult to know for sure what to invest in and what to discard. Each technology comes with niche equipment, training and specialist skill requirements, and present considerable costs. Enterprise IT strategy in Vancouver can consult you on emerging technologies.
Ideally, you should keep an eye out for guaranteed technologies based on how relevant they can be to your specific industry and business. In a five-year range, this list should include the internet of things (IoT), robotic process automation, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, blockchain, and quantum computing. For more information, please refer Technology and strategy consulting in Vancouver.
Unanticipated Security Threats
A recent report by Forrester states that “mainstream AI-powered hacking is just a matter of time”. It’s only a matter of time before AI-based, sophisticated malware goes mainstream. And with the sheer impact of ransomware and supply chain attacks that we have already seen this year, AI-based attacks can only further incapacitate system defenses and exploit hidden vulnerabilities.
Secure known vulnerabilities and ramp up your defenses with AI. Getting a head start in AI-based defense systems will be critical for companies to ward off newer modes of attack.
CIO - Your company’s torchbearer of transformation success
Building a 100% foolproof IT plan aligned with your business strategy is challenging. There are broad challenges you should pay attention to as well as retain a degree of flexibility to accommodate changes. However, you need a driver for your IT strategy approach who knows the route and has nerves of steel. The key to unlocking your company’s digital transformation lies in engaging the right CIO for the job. They can help with everything from defining what is IT strategy to how to create an IT strategy and how to develop an IT strategy! ActiveCo is one of the best IT strategy consulting firms in Vancouver that can help you get the best strategic advice on CIOs.