3 Big Information Technology Issues for 2015

Technology continues to advance each year and 2015 is no different. However, each advance brings along its own set of challenges that CIOs and IT leaders must address. These leaders must identify the technology issues that will drive business collaboration and spending for the next year. Recent graduates with a policy management information assurance degree must also be aware of these issues, which are likely to have a profound effect on their careers. The major technology issues for 2015 include data security, business collaboration, and mobility solutions.

Data Security

Additional regulations in data security will be implemented in 2015 as a result of the numerous data breaches that have occurred recently. Retail stores that fail to properly protect customers' data are especially vulnerable to legal risk. For example, personal information on up to 70 million of Target’s customers was compromised in 2013. This breach resulted in a 2014 ruling in which a U.S. District Judge allowed financial institutions to proceed against Target with a class action suit. This case is significant because financial institutions have previously been responsible for financial fraud due to compromised credit card information.

Two-factor authentication is one of the most significant defenses to these types of data breaches, which IT professional will be implementing more often in 2015. Single-factor authentication for credit cards means that only the credit card number is required to place a charge against that account. Two-factor authentication requires a second piece of information to use the credit card, usually the security code on the back of the card. This information is not typically part of the customer data for retailers, so a hacker who obtains a list of credit card numbers would still be unable to place charges with merchants who require two-factor authentication.

Credit card companies will also implement additional measures for protecting card holders in 2015. Major issuers like MasterCard, Visa, and Europay are currently advancing global standards for authenticating transactions. ApplePay has a higher level of security, although these transactions require an iPhone 6.

Business Collaboration

Collaboration between the leaders in an organization is also changing rapidly in 2015. A traditional corporate structure generally isolates the IT department, providing it with a high degree of independence. Technological advances are increasing IT professionals' roles within an organization, increasing the demands on their time. The greater integration of IT in the company also means that the IT department must work with other departments more closely.

This increased need for business collaboration between IT and management means that CIOs must accept greater leadership responsibility and work to break down the barriers that have traditionally existed between IT and other departments. Econsultancy reported that only 23% of CMOs believe the collaboration between CIOs and CMOs is adequate within their organization.

Other departments, such as marketing, will also benefit from greater collaboration with IT. A marketing department is responsible for critical business objectives such as driving brand awareness, generating leads, and making sales. However, IT has a better grasp of the channels and tools that are best able to accomplish these goals. A strategic alignment between IT and marketing can improve marketing effectiveness, which will ultimately increase retention.

This increase in leadership strategy and business collaboration doesn’t occur overnight. It’s frequently a long, difficult process, depending on the company’s current culture and structure. However, the eventual benefits are worth the time and attention that will be required of IT leaders.

Mobility Solutions

Mobile devices are becoming a common way for workers to access the Internet and communicate with other workers. Smartphones can easily replace traditional land-line office phones, and laptops may replace a desktop computer for many workers. Mobile devices are now a critical part of an organization’s workflow and business strategy rather than just a value added feature. Mobile devices allow professionals to do their jobs from any location, which increases efficiency and reduces costs.

A study from the IBM Institute for Business Value shows that organizations are increasingly interested in developing a mobile strategy for the purpose of engaging customers, employees, and partners. However, the implementation of a mobile strategy can be complex, especially when it applies to an entire enterprise. An effective mobile strategy requires much more than simply providing employees with smartphones and other mobile devices.

IT leaders must examine their company carefully to determine the priorities for mobilization and the benefits they expect to receive. This strategy will allow for the evaluation of potential solutions for a mobile workplace, which will typically include the development of mobile applications. These apps will need to meet current business needs quickly and adapt easily to future needs.

It’s also essential for all departments to buy into the mobile strategy after identifying the priorities and developing the action plan. This requirement generally involves ensuring that a mobile strategy will benefit all departments. Mobile devices are less effective when they’re confined to small areas within an organization. Leveraging the full potential of this technology requires a mobile strategy to be implemented across the entire enterprise.

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