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Grow Your Business Technology

The 5 Big Challenges Facing IT Departments

managed IT services
Credit: wavebreakmedia | Shutterstock

Gone are the days when the IT department's main priority was to keep computer systems up and running.

A new study by consulting firm Protiviti found that nearly two-thirds of information technology professionals report there is a major IT transformation under way within their companies, driven largely by  efforts to deliver added value, enhance business performance and increase security.

The research revealed that the roles of chief information officers and business-minded technology leaders continue to adapt to a broader scope of responsibilities, and are shifting farther from supportive functions and more toward an integrated aspect of overall business strategy and operations.

"More so than in prior years, IT departments are not only altering their structures, they are transforming their fundamental mission," said Kurt Underwood, a managing director with Protiviti and global leader of the firm's IT consulting practice.

"The IT function's objective is evolving from simply responding to last year's technology requests to helping shape aspects of business strategy through execution with an integrated approach to operations that adds value and protects the enterprise," Underwood said.

The study discovered the top five areas that present the most pressing challenges for IT professionals:  

  • Enhancing and protecting business value: Aligning and integrating IT risk management and business continuity capabilities with broader, long-term business strategy.
  • Cybersecurity: Managing and strengthening security and privacy for the organization's systems and data is now a top priority across all industries.
  • Data classification: Effectively organizing, managing and securing growing amounts of data within the organization.
  • IT asset and data management: Improving data and information governance programs, driven by the growing use of mobile devices and applications and the continued integration of cloud computing into IT strategy and processes.
  • Mobile platforms and social media: Incorporating secure, integrated systems for mobile commerce, devices, etc., and addressing social media safeguards and strategy within the organization.

The research was based on surveys of 1,100 CIOs, IT vice presidents and IT directors. 

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.