For those looking to pursue a master’s degree in applied IT, it’s always important to keep up with the latest challenges in IT management. Of course, with IT, those challenges change almost month to month, much less year to year.
However, certain trends that have been gathering steam in recent years seem ready to emerge in a big way in 2019. They include issues that those who keep up-to-date on IT have known about for years – including the Internet of Things, edge IT and shadow IT. But some seem poised to become much larger issues in the coming year.
This plays into the idea that managers need to practice better communication. More employees are “going it alone” with IT systems, thanks to cloud computing and software as a service. Research firm Gartner has reported that shadow IT makes up about 30% to 40% of the money spent on IT, all of it outside the actual IT department, according to CIO. That’s a significant percentage of IT systems being used without input or guidance from IT departments or explicit approval of the organization. That’s not good news for IT management, especially since it could lead to more security threats. Managers need to work harder on communicating with other departments and developing better sharing of information that flows through IT.
The movement in the Internet of Things means a decentralization of some functions outside of IT. The very concept of edge IT means that workers in other areas will need training on how to manage systems. An example would be managers in a warehouse who must now operate and oversee sensors used to track inventory.
With many workers aging – and with huge swaths of the workforce never getting proper training as end users – IT managers will in many cases be coordinating the training for new and existing employees. This is especially important for edge IT as more people within organizations will become end users who have never worked with IT applications before.
There also could be changes in the type of employees hired for IT. More employees may focus on specific areas such as edge IT. Machine learning will continue to take over routine job duties once handled by personnel.
Managing Vendor Relationships
Outside consultants and vendors are increasingly taking on more cloud computing and other IT functions. Consequently, the job of IT manager will expand further into managing relationships with these companies. That includes contract negotiations, cost analysis and other factors.
Until the day hackers and malicious software are eliminated, IT managers will have to concern themselves with IT systems and data security. So, in other words, this will be an issue forever. The constantly changing methods of attack require IT managers to stay on top of issues such as shadow IT and end users’ actions that can lead to security risks. It is often the employees themselves who unwittingly create security risks. IT managers need ways to routinely monitor these issues.
These are some of the top issues IT managers are likely to face in the coming year. It’s also important to understand that IT challenges constantly evolve because of the rapid pace of innovation in the field.
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