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The Biggest IT Issues of 2018

Chief information officers (CIOs) have many large and significant concerns facing them in 2018. The online magazine CIO recently did a roundup of how the information technology world looks from the CIO’s chair, in terms of the issues that keep them up at night. Here are the most significant.

1. IOT Security

Security is an extremely large issue for CIOs, especially as interconnected systems — the Internet of Things, or IOT — become increasingly prevalent. A whopping 82 percent of companies feel challenged in both identifying network-connected devices and making them secure.

Fifty-four percent of CIOs feel anxious about looming IOT threats, which seems realistic given the rise in cybercrime and hacking known to the public. It’s likely future attempts to secure systems will use increasingly sophisticated methods, such as biometrics or focusing on unusual patterns, like a change in keyboard input speed or even spelling patterns. Indeed, one IT professional interviewed by CIO that humans and their passwords — which are often not sophisticated enough or updated enough to act as a deterrent to dedicated hackers — were one of the largest threats to secure IT systems.

2. Data Overload

It’s a wonderful thing to have a lot of data — and it’s a good thing for CIOs especially. But the increasing ability of systems to capture and analyze data doesn’t mean high level end-users are necessarily getting data they can use.

The C-suite and the board of directors need to access key performance indicators. Too much data often means they have data that may or may not be called out as KPIs, or may be ancillary. They also need a simple-to-read dashboard that is accessible.

3. Too Many IT Jobs For Too Few People

There are many openings for skilled IT people — 640,000 of them as of the third quarter of last year. But there are not enough people to fill those openings. This is a problem only like to grow as systems become increasingly complex and cyber security concerns continue to grow in number and complexity.

In fact, many CIOs feel new and evolving cybersecurity issues, such as ransomware and industrial spying, will be growing exponentially.

Outsourcing could be a solution. But outsourcing firms themselves may be facing a gap between the skills needed and the number of workers who have them. Outsourcing firms can also create problems with maintaining deliverable and product quality and may develop problems that can affect the companies for which they outsource.

4. Legacy System Upgrades

Roughly 25 percent of CIOs choose upgrades of legacy systems as their main headache. In some industries, antiquated systems still hold sway. In fact, they often have never been upgraded to date, because the data they hold is crucial enough to be mission-critical. As time goes on, though, their manufacturers may have gone out of business or ceased to support the system model being used.

The needed replacement of legacy systems is a stand-alone issue, but it is also very related to security issues. If systems aren’t supported by their manufacturers, organizations using those systems may no longer be able to receive security upgrades or patches. The systems are therefore even more vulnerable to cyberthreats than they would be if they were updated. To learn more, contact Nesco Resource today.

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