IT needs to dedicate time to educate, for example, the marketing team on how to create new campaigns and strategies by making better use of technology. For instance, integrating a piece of communication with an online survey or a landing page. Essentially, IT must be the change agents that drive innovation in businesses today, especially because technology is changing so rapidly.
What about enhancing customers’ satisfaction? Is there room for improvement here? There absolutely is…
The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) only recently took the synergies of regional scale and partnered with the Barbados and Trinidad Stock Exchanges to create a single IT infrastructure that is provided and managed from the C&W Business datacenter in Curacao, all on a monthly subscription cost model that is scalable on demand. With this platform, they can now integrate brokers and agents to carry out all trading activities daily in real-time across all three stock exchanges. Mrs. Street-Forrest, General Manager at JSE, will tell you that her staff is now twice as efficient and more focused on providing value added services to make the exchange more effective and efficient.
So one solution is Hybrid IT- the combination of virtual, physical and cloud servers.
But, one major problem today that businesses face doing their own IT is the elephant in the room called ‘Security’. The problem with this common challenge is that most clouds today are more secure than having data in-house. In order to protect data, you need at least, the combination of following three components:
- Technology – you must have the proper technology. You will need various layers of data protection, you must have technology that is up to date and can protect your data from the most recent security threats. You must update your technology on a frequent basis. My question is: how many organizations can actually afford to keep all their software and hardware up to date? Plus, invest in multiple layers of security, including Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) technology, as an example?
- Process – Most organization do not have their IT processes entirely documented. It is a burdensome initiative to create, write, and maintain processes plus police your employees to follow these processes. IT service providers need to comply with strict standards, which removes the burden from Companies.
- People – We’ve seen skills shortage in markets particularly in security. It is not easy or cheap to find good, trained security professionals sitting idly by. Also, check your employee background and even when you do, you may still end up with the best technology and processes but still no security. I urge you to remember, most security breaches come from internal sources, not external whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Finally, Hybrid IT truly is the future of IT combining what you have today with cloud, which also makes it affordable from a capital expenditure perspective.
The bottom line is, in today’s global business environment, IT professionals really must make time to work directly with their internal business partners to modernize processes, create innovative business models, find different ways to slice and dice products, and generate sustainable competitive advantages that deliver and grow ROI.
In the end, we’re back to the beginning. There is no business without technology and IT is probably at the heart of future growth and expansion.