The role of a chief technology officer has evolved over the years. A CTO is responsible for developing a technology strategy, building and growing the technology team, and identifying, evaluating, and adopting new technologies. With a variety of emerging technologies, innovation and business challenges, the job of a chief technology officer has become harder than it once was.
As Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are tasked with more responsibility, they are also striving to keep their teams motivated while developing new technologies to help their companies move forward. This pandemic has also brought new challenges. This has forced chief technology officers to expand their roles. Are you interested in learning about challenges every CTO faces? You are at the right place.
In this article, you will learn about six challenges chief technology officers face and how to overcome them.
7 Challenges Chief Technology Officers Face and Their Solutions
Here are six biggest challenges chief technology officers encounter and how to overcome them.
- Talent Shortfall
The growing demand for IT professionals coupled with the acute talent shortfall in the cybersecurity industry have made life tough for chief technology officers. With more businesses going digital due to this pandemic, we might see that trend continue for the foreseeable future. Even if you somehow manage to find the right talent, retaining that talent in your organization is not easy.
Instead of solely focusing your attention on hiring the best IT professionals, you should look for other alternatives. One of them could be to hire individuals that specialize in specific domain, have the experience in managing your technology infrastructure or hire technology management companies. You can also train your existing resources to prepare them for taking up new IT roles and deal with emerging challenges. Additionally, you can target hackathons, coding bootcamps and other events where you can find the right talent.
- Phasing Out Legacy System
Most businesses have already jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon. If you are one of those who still have legacy systems lying around then you might have to phase them out and replace them with the best dedicated servers. Sadly, phasing out legacy systems and migrating to newer systems is not as easy as most people might think.
You need to evaluate the impact of the migration on the following:
- Suppliers and vendors
- Other stakeholders
Once you have addressed all the concerns, it is easier for you to phase out those legacy systems and adopt digital transformation. Set the right expectation early on and have clear goals because any confusions can create problems for your digital transformation journey later down the line. Create a separate team for digital transformation and provide them with all the resources and support they need to implement digital transformation.
- Data Privacy Issues In Remote Work Era
Remote work is nothing new and some companies even provide this facility to their employees even before this pandemic. The only thing this pandemic did is that it made it mainstream. Now, every business is adopting a work from home model. If you are an employee, you might love it but if you work in the cybersecurity industry, you might regret it as it brings more data privacy and cybersecurity challenges.
Since your remote employees are working from their desired location, this means that they no longer have the same security and privacy they enjoyed when they work from the office. This makes them more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. What’s even worse is that your cybersecurity team won’t have the same level of visibility as they did when you are working from home.
So, how can you protect your remote workers? Here is how.
- Educate your employees about potential cybersecurity threats and data protection requirements
- Ask them to follow best cybersecurity practices
- Provide them with company owned devices
- Use a VPN when connected to unsecured wireless network
- Enforce effective access control mechanisms
- Maintain a log of all activities and ask them to report suspicious behavior to concerned authorities
- Enterprise Environment Complexity
As businesses expand, their business models and processes become more complex. Same goes with their technology environments. This means that your IT team might have a tough time in managing your IT infrastructure because it is more complex than ever before. As the system complexity grows so does the difficulty level of finding errors, bugs and vulnerabilities.
As a CTO, you are responsible to keep complexity in check. To do so, you will have to understand why complexity occurs in the first place. The answer lies in lack of streamline processes and discipline. Once you are disciplined and have organized technology processes, you can easily keep the complexity under control. Look for unnecessary stuff which are adding to system complexity and get rid of it.
- Cloud Revolution
With a vast majority of businesses already migrating to cloud and others are planning to do the same, it has become an integral part of business. By 2022, the total user spending on public cloud services will exceed a whppping $397 billion. There is no denying that cloud offers tons of advantages but it also has its downsides. Security and privacy is its biggest drawback.
The Chief Technology Officer must create a strategy to ensure a smoother transition. In addition to this, you also need to create a well thought out plan for cloud rollout. Leverage the technical expertise to get over technical challenges cloud adoption brings to the table.
- ROI Driven Projects
Before the pandemic, the IT budgets of businesses were slowly but surely increasing each year. Sadly, this pandemic has not only put brakes on that but has put on reverse gear. With shrinking IT budgets and increased focus on ROI, chief technology officers have their work cut out.
Business leaders want tech leaders to deliver a positive ROI on projects so CTOs should create a strategy with that in mind. Take up projects which deliver business value and impact your business in a positive way. Grow your network of partners and do your preparation before starting a new project. Keep track of your progress and test your projections.
Which is the biggest challenge you have ever faced as a chief technology officer? How did you overcome it? Share it with us in the comments section below.
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