Using Data to Find Business AdvantagesLeaders of IT departments spend much of their time educating executives on the potential uses of data to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. One of the biggest challenges facing IT leaders is developing ways to do that better. Most companies now collect substantial amounts of data, so managing data warehouses and analytics systems is part of the job. But as noted by Forbes, most companies are experiencing a data overload. Increasingly, business leaders are turning to IT professionals and data engineers and scientists for recommendations on how these vast amounts of data can be used to gain an advantage on competitors.
Fostering InnovationTech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google have led the way in creating cultures of innovation. IT leaders in all industries want to follow suit. Proven methods to foster such a culture include:
- Supporting more collaboration between departments, getting people out of their “silos”
- Communicating organizational goals clearly to employees
- Involving employees more in process improvement and finding solutions to challenges
- Setting aside at least 15% of employees’ time for innovation
- Recognizing and rewarding innovation
Dealing with a Changing WorkforceWorkers today, especially those in the younger generation, approach work differently than those from the past. The workforce is also far more diverse than it has ever been. And that’s not just culturally. A Deloitte 2018 study of the workforce found most businesses are now a mix of full-time and part-time employees, freelancers, contractors and crowdsourced workers – many of them working in different settings, often connected remotely. Only 42% of organizations surveyed said their workplace is made up primarily of salaried employees. The challenge for leaders is to ensure that those in this new “workforce ecosystem” remain “productive, engaged and working together for the benefit of the company”, according to the report.
SecuritySecurity remains an ongoing issue for IT leaders. It involves not just having the latest cybersecurity technology to combat attacks, but also educating employees. For example, 92% of malware attacks still happen through email, according to a 2018 report from Verizon. Clearly, more education about opening attachments from unknown senders needs to be done. These are some of the issues that those who graduate with a master’s degree in applied IT can expect to face as they take on leadership positions in the workforce. The challenges are numerous, but so are the rewards. And no field offers a better chance to be on the cutting edge of the modern economy.
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