When I first started out as a fresh-faced IT professional in the year ne-num-ne-ne-num, the biggest challenge businesses faced was keeping the network online.
Today’s IT challenges are much more complex.
The ability to overcome IT challenges in the modern paradigm is paramount to business continuity, productivity and profitability.
IT teams not only have to navigate a glut of IT technologies. They also have to ensure you business toes the line of various compliance regulations.
Let’s take a closer look at five of the IT challenges businesses face in 2023 and beyond.
Accessing Skilled IT Professionals
The responsibility placed squarely on the shoulders of humble IT guys these days is immense. Finding IT professionals with the right skills, knowledge and experience is part of the IT challenge.
The UK’s Quantifying the Data Skills Gap Report states that 49% of UK companies are struggling to find employees that possess proficient IT skills. As digital transformation advances across various sectors, there is a shortage of skilled IT professionals capable of implementing and managing digital initiatives.
The shortage of IT professionals with skills in cloud computing, data analytics, and cybersecurity, for example, can hinder innovation and research.
On top of these IT staples, emerging fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and quantum computing are already starting to influence the business landscape. It won’t be long before businesses need to adapt to these technologies too.
It goes without saying that modern technologies have the potential to revolutionise industries. And a lack of skilled IT professionals will impede progress and leave businesses behind.
The government has already taken steps to bridge the skills gap. The DCMS and the Office for AI launched a degree conversion course programme in data science and AI.
It’s also been reported that 80 per cent of technology start-ups are investing in skills to expand the knowledge of their workforce. There is hope for the future, but what can UK businesses do in the coming years?
Right now, UK businesses should be looking to leverage the expertise and specialist knowledge of managed IT services in London. IT support companies give you affordable access to experienced professionals who specialise in various areas of IT, such as network management, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and software development.
Moreover, outsourcing IT support services can be cost-effective compared to hiring and maintaining a full-time, in-house IT team, especially for smaller businesses or organisations with limited budgets. Micro Pro allows organisations to access top-notch IT expertise without the overhead costs associated with permanent employees.
IT Challenges for GDPR and Data Management
Evolving data privacy regulations, such as GDPR require businesses to prioritise data protection and adhere to strict compliance standards. To complicate matters further, the rising threat of cybercrime threatens business continuity.
Under the terms of GDPR, businesses are obligated to protect the data privacy of their customers. This includes identifying and cataloguing all personal data, mapping where data resides, who has access to it, and how it is processed.
With the growing concern of data theft, consumer trust plays a key part in the GDPR conundrum. According to a study by Bitfinder, 44% of UK consumers will think twice about doing business with a company that has suffered a data breach, whilst 41% will never return.
It’s no coincidence that the majority of businesses fail following a data breach due to a drop in cash flow. Data security challenges include securing data at rest and in transit, implementing encryption, and managing access controls.
Employing strong encryption protocols, access controls, and robust cybersecurity measures are technology solutions that come as standard. Many of these solutions are built into various software such as Microsoft 365.
However, IT professionals still need to conduct regular security assessments and penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities. This includes implementing data protection and compliance frameworks that ensure that customer data is handled securely. Firms also have to appoint a data protection officer.
However, one of the critical strategies we urge all our clients to undertake is cybersecurity awareness training. It is reported that around 88% of data breaches are due to human error.
Errors can be avoided if employees know how to identify phishing scams and other cyber attacks together with configuring cloud software properly. The highest number of data breaches occur due to a lack of awareness.
IT Challenges Caused By Multi-Vendor IT Environments
The proliferation and necessity for SaaS platforms, enterprise systems, a raft of multi-vendor software and hybrid cloud environments create a tough playing field for businesses.
Mixing products and services from different vendors can lead to performance bottlenecks and compatibility issues. Ensuring optimal performance across a multi-vendor environment can be challenging.
IT leaders are tasked with choosing the technologies that perform the function you need for operations to run smoothly and efficiently. However, managing multiple software applications can be complex and time-consuming.
Interoperability and integration is an ongoing battle. The first challenge is to identify the cloud technologies and services that best serve your business needs. The second challenge is to ensure the software is compatible and the third challenge is to maintain the stability, latency and availability of your IT network.
This can be highly problematic when you build a multi-vendor IT environment which might contain incompatible software. Anyone that has performed a software update on their smartphone or computer knows how quickly and easily something can wrong.
When you have multiple software companies performing updates on a regular basis, maintaining an IT network becomes a minefield.
The solution is to implement cloud management and orchestration tools to streamline cloud resource provisioning, monitoring, and management. These tools are able to identify potential problems before they occur and give IT professionals the opportunity to resolve the issue and avoid downtime.
Another challenging issue firms have with multi-vendor environments is determining which vendor is responsible for resolving issues when problems arise. Vendors may blame each other, leading to delays in problem resolution and finger-pointing.
Managing multiple vendors can obviously lead to a lack of centralised oversight and control. This can result in inefficient resource allocation, inconsistent policies, and difficulties in enforcing security and compliance standards.
To address the problems associated with multi-vendor IT environments, you will need to develop a clear vendor management strategy that includes effective vendor selection, contract negotiation, and ongoing vendor relationship management.
The easier option is to deal with an outsourced IT management company to build your stack. The responsibility for vendor management is, therefore, taken out of your hands. You only have one company to communicate with — which makes your life far easier.
IT Support for a Remote Workforce
Providing IT support for a remote workforce presents unique challenges. The distributed nature of employees and their varying technology setups create diverse and complex problems, together with connectivity issues that may be beyond your control — such as unreliable home internet connections and third-party VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).
Providing timely support to remote employees can be challenging, especially when employees are in different time zones or working non-standard hours. Offering extended IT support hours, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate remote employees’ schedules is not always achievable in-house.
Remote work environments can also be less secure, increasing the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. Ensuring remote employees adhere to IT policies and compliance requirements can also be more challenging when they work outside the traditional office environment.
Most issues that arise for remote workers can be resolved effectively with cloud-based software solutions. The cloud has reduced the need for on-premises installations and allows IT professionals to resolve problems from remote locations.
Virtual desktops are an excellent solution that remedies several IT challenges companies face when opting for remote working policies. VDs provide remote employees with a secure environment to work in and protect your business network from being compromised by threat actors.
Successfully supporting a remote workforce requires a proactive and adaptable approach. IT departments should prioritise clear communication, user education and awareness, remote-friendly tools, and robust security measures to address these challenges effectively. Regular feedback from remote employees can also help identify and resolve emerging IT support issues.
IT Challenges of Infrastructure Evolution
As business technologies continue to disrupt the landscape, IT professionals are tasked with consistently evolving IT infrastructures. This involves implementing new solutions and technologies which can lead to a disruption in operations.
The state of your existing IT infrastructure will determine how great or minimal the IT challenges you face are. For example, companies that are clinging to legacy systems are more likely to have a steeper hill to climb moving forward.
Some of the complexities faced by IT professionals can easily be navigated by developing a phased migration plan that includes comprehensive testing, data validation, and a gradual transition to new systems. Invest in middleware and integration tools to facilitate legacy system connectivity.
Cloud-based solutions facilitate scalability and performance and provide businesses with more storage options. You will still need to decide which data you store in the cloud and determine how you will manage hybrid cloud/on-premise storage.
Be mindful that the exponential growth of data and compliance requirements present challenges in terms of storage, backup, and data management. Firms need efficient ways to store, access, and protect data that fall in line with GDPR.
Implementing robust data management strategies is only half the problem solved. Evolving infrastructure can introduce security vulnerabilities if not properly managed. Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements is essential.
You also have to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes threat detection, access controls, encryption, and regular security assessments. Establish clear compliance policies and conduct audits to ensure adherence.
The adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud architectures adds complexity to infrastructure management, including interoperability, data integration, and cost control.
You will, therefore, need to develop a well-defined cloud strategy that includes governance, cost management, and security measures. Utilise cloud management and orchestration tools to streamline multi-cloud operations.
IT Support Professionals in London
Ensuring business continuity, rapid disaster recovery and compliance in an evolving IT landscape can be challenging. IT staff may require new skills and training to manage new infrastructure technologies effectively and securely.
Whilst you could invest in continuous training and development programs to ensure your in-house IT team has the relevant skills, this is a costly approach that is not guaranteed to reap any return on investment.
IT challenges that business face today requires significant capital investment which can strain budgets and disrupt operations. Taking advantage of IT support professionals in London can be a more cost-effective and convenient solution.
Micro Pro has provided exceptional IT support solutions to businesses in London and the southeast for almost 25 years. The reason behind our success is because we provide access to IT professionals with the latest skills, but also because of the dedicated service we offer,
Our IT professionals work closely with you and provide customised solutions that meet the precise needs of your business. Our experienced team are highly qualified and keeps up-to-date with the latest developments within the industry so that we can share our wealth of knowledge with you and install the best solutions for your company.
If your business is facing IT challenges contact our support professionals in London to discuss your concerns. We are confident we can find the right solutions for you.