What IT Needs To Accomplish Now?

Venkatesh Swaminathan

The IT world is always changing, meaning organizations have to change with it. If they don’t, they soon find themselves out of business or struggling to survive. Since 2014 is sure to bring just as many changes, IT organizations must start accomplishing certain things now so they can adapt more readily to what the new environment has in store.

1. Leverage BYOD: Although BYOD probably won’t be as hot a topic as in 2013, you can be sure people are going to bring their mobile devices to the office, and will probably use them for work even when they’re off the clock. IT organizations everywhere need to startacknowledging BYOD and taking advantage of all the benefits it offers. Get ahead of the issue by creating an enterprise hardware store or meeting with management to decide what you’ll allow onto the corporate network. Coming up with a game plan will be hard, but the rewards will be well worth the effort.

2. Look outside the cloud: Cloud solutions look tempting to users and enterprise IT alike because of their fairly low cost and the ease of collaboration between users. Unfortunately, with the proliferation of this kind of application, data leakage and compliance can be big problems. This year, IT organizations should focus on implementing more secure file sharing solutions, but ones that are easy to use. Security doesn’t mean anything if nobody understands the program, and simplicity is useless if there’s no protection.

3.Control apps, but make things accessible: Consumerization is a growing trend within IT, mainly because users are starting to use more apps every day. As time goes on, organizations that don’t embrace—or at least adapt to—an environment that includes third-party apps will struggle. Rather than fighting against this trend, IT organizations have to find out what users want.With this knowledge, you can then make it available via a corporate app store so it can be controlled and tracked.

4. Embrace collaboration plug-ins: As collaboration solutions proliferate, IT has to make sure that it isn’t left out of the loop. In the coming year you’re going to be asked to add new collaboration features, but you’re not going to want to replace your entire collaboration system. Instead, look for plug-ins and apps that work with your current system to add discrete features, like being able to add a social network feed to a corporate email home screen. This lets you give users what they want and decreases the time and money you invest in new collaboration trends.

5. Improve your storage capabilities: A scant five years ago, people would have never imagined needing so much storage space, let alone that storage could become a serious IT issue.Many organizations’ storage solutions can’t keep up with modern data growth. Storage shouldn’t be this much trouble.Your storage should be robust, but most importantly, storage tasks should be automated so they’re not even on your radar anymore. Make it one less thing to worry about.

Making changes isn’t easy, but it’s easier to make changes proactively than it is to play catch-up.None of these are small tasks, but even if you only get one thing done, you’ll be in a better place one year from now, and more prepared to improve your organization.

(The author is Country Head, The Attachmate Group India)