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Digital transformation placing stress on IT pros: report

Study published by CompTIA says internal IT teams struggling with next-gen systems

Digital transformation placing stress on IT pros: report
The top change driven by cloud computing within the IT function is the management of storage

Job responsibilities for IT professionals are becoming more challenging and complicated as organisations become more digital, according to a recent research report published by CompTIA.

In its report, dubbed Building Digital Organisations, CompTIA said that internal IT teams are finding that the construction and support of business systems, such as data storage, mobile device and app support and security, have become much more complicated. The study was based on online surveys of 650 business and technology professionals based in the United States. 

The study said that complications are occurring at a time when employers say they're already faced with a huge skills gap among their IT workers. An earlier CompTIA study found that 84% of businesses in the Middle East reported some degree of IT skills gaps present. And 75% of businesses in the Middle East were concerned about challenges in finding enough IT workers with the right mix of skills.

The top three reported consequences of said IT skills gaps included decreased in staff productivity; threats to security - defending against malware and hacking; and poor customer service and customer engagement. The wide range of new technology options available to organisations, led by cloud computing and mobile technologies, is prompting IT professionals to re-evaluate their roles and re-prioritise responsibilities, the report asserted.

"Cloud computing and mobile devices have transformed both of these aspects, with cloud changing how systems are constructed and mobile devices driving new experiences and workflows," said Mark Plunkett, director of emerging markets at CompTIA. 

"New threats have emerged as a result of cloud and mobility, so understanding these threats is a top priority for the IT team even as traditional threats continue to be effective. It's no simple task."

The top change driven by cloud computing within the IT function is the management of storage. Systems and data are spread across multiple environments; and there are many cloud solutions, such as databases and analytics services, that allow companies to build robust plans beyond the simple storage of data, the report said. 

"Backup and disaster recovery is a good example of a process that has been re-imagined, especially for companies in the SMB segment that previously had little activity in this area," Plunkett noted.

Though many companies have found cloud to be cost-neutral, the expectation of lower costs still lingers. Among IT professionals surveyed by CompTIA, 61% said that controlling costs is the top challenge in the overall management of backend architecture. 

Other challenges with backend systems revolve around the complexity in managing multiple models, starting with selecting the correct model (cited by 47% of IT professionals). Complexity remains as the process moves on and models are integrated (43%), secured (43%) and monitored (42%).

Challenges on the front end follow a similar pattern, the report said. About half of the companies surveyed that have experienced difficulties with frontend systems cited cost control as an issue, as they need to support a growing number of devices. Companies also struggle with creating and managing new applications needed for mobile devices and ensuring that users are properly equipped to put their new devices to good use. 

"Many companies discover that the traditional desktop development experience does not perfectly translate to mobile app development," said Plunkett.

"Many more find that they're adding new development efforts were there were none in the past. IT teams feel greater pressure to deliver on workflow efficiency."


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