The Biggest Challenges Facing IT Pros in 2016

In the world of IT, it's exhausting trying to keep systems running smoothly. There are new issues popping up before the old ones are fully resolved. Here are some of the key areas where IT pros will continue to see challenges through 2016.

It's apparent that cyber attacks are becoming both more frequent and more sophisticated. From the Ashley Madison breach to the Tewksbury, MA police department ransomware, it's clear hackers are not just lone wolves anymore, but part of larger organizations. IT focus needs to be on protecting data. Customers expect that credit card numbers, passwords, and personal info will be secure, or they won't do business. A planned approach for securing data not just in storage, but especially in transit, remains a priority.

Given the well-publicized battle between Apple and the US government, privacy will be an increasingly important issue. The EU is designing its own data protection regulations. There could be serious consequences for trading and archiving customer data. The public understands that digital data can persist forever and be sent all over the world to become an ongoing target of hackers, fraudsters, and robo-callers. The demand for data privacy measures is something every company will have to deal with.

The key to marketing success is standing out in a digital world, and that means IT involvement. Internet giants like Google and Facebook are providing their own online analytic tools that may be confusing to the technically-challenged. A social media page is invaluable today, and mobile devices, customized apps, and responsive web pages are expanding as a market. All these technical channels mean a growing role for IT consultants and specialists who can bring these vital skills to company promotion.

Keeping up-to-date
Fitness bands and smart watches are becoming almost as ubiquitous as smart phones. Pressure is put on IT pros to provide solutions that address and leverage technologies that change faster than they can be implemented. New expansion and migration projects will keep coming up, so it's essential that your team include individuals qualified in project management who can bring staff together and get the most from them when it counts. Consider hiring individuals with an online master’s in project management to make this happen.

Every IT department is likely to find more on its plate, especially in smaller companies where funds are limited and small teams are nonetheless tasked with maintaining and securing networks, help desk, software, hardware, and development. The sensible solution is not to attempt everything, but establish priorities and call in help when needed.

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