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The biggest concerns IT managers are facing right now

IT managers are faced with a seemingly endless list of tasks on a daily basis, and are responsible for a whole manner of duties, including security, training and troubleshooting from the day to day. So it’s no surprise that the job isn’t without it’s stresses - not to mention the bigger issues at play within the tech industry as a whole, which have a knock-on effect from business to business.

Here, we take a look at the biggest issues facing IT managers at the moment, giving you the reassurance you might need to realise that you’re not alone in your concerns.

1) Security skills gaps

Ahh security. We’ve long-since discussed this ongoing issue, and it continues to blight organisations of all sizes to this day. And while threats are becoming ever more sophisticated, it’s probably not surprising that a skills gap within IT departments is just as damaging to an organisation as outsider attacks.

In fact, the widening gap in security knowledge leaves many departments severely under resourced in the face of increasingly intelligent cyber security risks. Employers are still stubbornly reluctant to invest in training for staff, despite the fact their failure to do so means the gap is likely only to widen further.

The increasingly complex makeup of business IT infrastructure means that protecting networks is more difficult than it once was, however, automation is becoming a viable method of reducing the pressures on IT managers, decreasing manual and regularly performed duties.

2) DevOps data breaches

Thanks to a number of significant breaches taking place in late 2016, some IT commentators have expressed concern that oversights in DevOps implementations could be a new avenue for breaches in 2017. For those of you that don’t remember, recruitment firm Michael Page exposed personal information of up to 780,000 clients after cyber criminals targeted data on a development server used by the company’s IT provider.

DevOps has since emerged as the “weak link” in a business’s security chain, and developers have been accused of introducing vulnerabilities into a network by overlooking company security standards.

In order to respond to this new challenge, businesses are tasked with applying security within the DevOps process, ensuring compliance with internal and external security rules without becoming an obstacle in the primary objective of the DevOps team.

3) Securing the IoT

October 2016 saw a number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks affect several popular websites and services, including PayPal and Spotify, leaving them inaccessible for almost 24 hours. This attack targeted Dyn, a DNS provider, which later determined that at least a portion of the attack traffic came from Internet of Things (IoT) devices infected with the Mirai botnet malware.

For this reason, IoT security has emerged as a top security concern for many businesses. According to Gartner, more than 40 per cent of organisations are currently using or are planning to adopt IoT as part of their operations, and there is likely to be an increasing shift to consumer-facing implementations.

IoT is only as secure as the network that it is operated from, therefore, it is up to businesses to recognise the threat it can bring if overlooked. Security processes need to be stepped up in order to fight off targeted attacks.

4) Managing multi-cloud deployments

4) Managing multi-cloud deployments
The increasing migration to the cloud has meant that businesses now have more freedom than ever before when it comes to bringing together dispersed teams, allowing them to collaborate effectively. However, in order to meet the demands of this model, data centres have to transform into a combination of on-premises, collated and multi-cloud environments.

IT managers and business owners need to address the growing need for a geographically distributed infrastructure to serve a widespread employee base. Therefore, it’s likely you will find yourself challenged not only to construct the right multi-cloud architecture, but also to shape and secure it on an ongoing basis.

5) A lack of resources

Unfortunately, some challenges are ongoing and have blighted IT departments for many years - and it seems like economic uncertainty and tightened purse strings mean that dwindling resources can often feel like the new normal.

IT departments will continue to feel pressured into getting more done with a smaller budget, and BYOD strategies, expanding cloud technologies and automation are likely to become the focal points, as these cost-effective solutions become the go-to for overburdened departments.

Ultimately, chief information officers need to focus more on the benefits that IT can bring to the business as a whole, veering away from total cost of ownership and fears over spending to a new model, in which technology is valued as an integral tool that brings value and progression for the business.