The truth can be a hard pill to swallow. CIOs now function in a time where all the parts of IT that were once commonplace have now been upended. There are two approaches to these difficult changes: Ignore them in order to continue striving for unrealistic ideals, or accept the truth and plan the future of your business around that change. In an article for CIO magazine, Dan Tynan conveys six hard truths that IT must accept:
- Shadow IT is out in the open.
- You can’t do everything in the cloud.
- Your systems have (maybe) already been hacked.
- Your software is unpatched and insecure.
- You’ll never have enough bandwidth.
- IT must adapt to stay relevant.
Taking on the Truth
Shadow IT isn’t just about secret servers and external hard drives anymore. It’s about people in departments across the business purchasing their own software solutions without advance IT approval, and treating it like it (1) doesn’t exist or (2) is utterly wicked is the wrong approach. There needs to be a shift away from trying to control technology resources and instead using IT knowledge to facilitate decision-making for the business. In this way, IT stays involved and also maintains value.
Another inconvenient truth: The cloud isn’t the be-all, end-all solution for IT as originally touted. Tynan explains that there must be a strong logic behind what is pushed to the cloud, because trying to push all applications to the cloud as a best practice is a mistake:
“Merely moving a critical service to the cloud does not automatically make it more reliable or scalable,” [Steven A. Lowe, principal consultant for ThoughtWorks] says. “To truly take advantage of the cloud, software needs to be architected and implemented differently, using microservices instead of monoliths. … Companies will always find some app they can’t virtualize … Like an expense program that’s 25 years old and the company that built it has been gone for 15 years. You’ll probably never be fully rid of old proprietary apps your company uses every day.”
When dealing with your systems, it is important to plan for the worst possible scenario happening. There’s a good chance your system has been hacked already, and using that mentality and its accompanying urgency to your advantage can help protect you from future attacks. Identify some earnest and realistic first steps to improving security.
A slightly less severe truth has to do with bandwidth: It is going to keep being a challenge. Every time Internet speed increases, someone is going to build or suggest something that demands even more. Maybe just be happy that things are growing.
The takeaway from all this is that IT is still relevant just so long as it can adapt to the changing times. For instance, focusing on soft skills and emotional intelligence so that IT can comfortably work with the business is critical.
For further discussion, you can view the original article here: https://www.cio.com/article/3233244/it-strategy/6-hard-truths-it-must-learn-to-accept.html