Information technology evolves constantly. One of the first things that every IT professional learns is that change is the norm, not the exception. That also means challenges faced by IT managers and those who work in a DevOps environment evolve each year, especially for managers. While there are certain issues that will always be at the forefront – for example, security will always be a top priority – other challenges such as data privacy laws can quickly change the tech landscape. But what are the IT management and DevOps concerns for 2020?
Those earning a master’s in applied IT typically have their sights set on leadership positions. If they achieve that goal, they will certainly deal with at least some of the following issues.
This issue always makes the list of biggest concerns for IT management. But in 2019 and 2020, it might be the biggest concern. The number and sophistication of cyber attacks continues to evolve. With more information now stored on cloud services, the sending and receiving of information to and from the cloud needs special attention. Just a glance at the headlines shows how often government, businesses and individuals are hacked. IT leaders must have the latest safeguards in place.
The European Union set a new standard for internet privacy laws with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in 2018. Companies now must ensure they meet those standards for collecting and using data from consumers. An estimated 50% of companies are not yet compliant with the GDPR, and the GDPR-like California Consumer Privacy Act is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Closing the Skills Gap
There are about 17% more job openings in tech than there are qualified people to fill those jobs, according to information cited by TechRepublic. Closing that skills gaps is a focus for every IT manager. There are signs that the situation is improving. As pointed out by Forbes, media coverage of the shortage in tech workers has led more people to seek out the education and training needed to land those jobs. Employers also are expanding their search to include more diverse workers – meaning those who have received an education outside of the top few schools in the country.
Focus on the Consumer
Smart companies are pouring money into consumer analytics. They are funding more projects in areas such as customer journey analysis and customer needs analysis, according to a recent report from Gartner. Spending has increased 52% in this area, and shows no sign of slowing, as companies look to leverage technology innovation to improve the customer experience. This is an area where applied IT can have a strong impact on the bottom line.
Many companies have started projects in blockchain, but few are successfully implementing this technology into their operations. The ability to create secure ledgers for transactions is attractive in many areas, from supply chains to medical information systems. While it has not reached the point of becoming a business solution, IT managers will have to be on top of this technology as its potential evolves.
Focused as it is on the relationship between IT and development, DevOps faces a set of issues that remain more or less the same every year. For 2020, DevOps managers must tackle challenges in:
- Changing company culture
- Moving past legacy systems
- Finding the projects best suited to a DevOps approach
- Improving product testing
- Standardizing training for a DevOps environment
- Getting executive support for a DevOps approach
None of these issues are easily solved. But those with the skills learned in a graduate program in applied IT are well-suited to take on these challenges and lead teams that find solutions.
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