The job of America’s IT leaders has never been simple, but today it is more challenging and complex than ever. In trying to achieve digital maturity amidst fast-paced technological change and profoundly grave information-security threats, modern IT leaders have to make meaningful progress on several fronts at once—and are not without limitations, like disconnected legacy infrastructure and lean budgetary-driven staffing.
Highlighted below are three particularly thorny and problematic areas that IT leaders will need to take head-on over the next few years:
1. Disconnected Legacy Systems and Infrastructure
Although taking action may seem like an insurmountable task to many, businesses are considerably more likely to be adversely impacted by retaining their legacy infrastructure. Disconnected legacy infrastructure pose several challenges as they’re not up-to-date with the latest security measures, expensive to maintain, and are highly inefficient.
2. Comprising Innovation
The suffocation of time and resources associated with the typical churn of legacy maintenance tends to drain IT budgets and leaves fewer funds for innovation. Instead, IT departments spend most of their time keeping the lights on.
3. Inability to Complete Digital Initiatives
According to a survey, nearly 90% of IT decision makers think that integration challenges are hindering or slowing their internal digital transformation efforts. The inability to complete digital initiatives will likely have an adverse effect on future revenues.
Now, let’s see what IT leaders can do to alleviate these concerns:
1. Hiring More Talent
More than 50% of leaders are looking to bring new talent on board to keep up with their growing needs. It is essential to understand the drivers of digital transformation to know where to focus your time and resources. And talent can come in many forms: Some IT leaders are looking to address growth by outsourcing projects to independent contractors rather than scaling internally.
2. Enhancing Efficiency of Application Production and Deployment through DevOps
A thoughtfully crafted DevOps strategy should help integrate operations and development by reinforcing close collaboration and communication between the two.
Through the effective use of DevOps, developers can cut cost and time by automating many processes, including:
b. Patching, and
c. Configuration management
DevOps provides organizations a proven set of practices to enable them to deliver applications quicker and more efficiently while simultaneously reducing both cost and risk.
Of course, organizations cannot solely rely on DevOps principles to meet the increasing demands of customers. While the purpose of DevOps is to focus is on application production and deployment, many organizations are also attaching APIs to their artifacts to expedite delivery to market.
3. Reuse of Software Components
Software elements of any system or product take time to create. Reusing blocks of code that were developed for prior apps can save on development time for future projects, which increases overall delivery speed and capacity. Reusing code can have additional benefits as well:
a. Standards compliance is carried over and maintained
b. Reliability and dependability may improve in light of previous testing and use
An overwhelming majority (94%) of IT leaders state that their organizations are reusing software assets to some extent.
4. Making the Most of APIs
Leveraging APIs has long been a focus of IT leaders, as they represent the standard interfaces between both underlying hardware and software. Increasingly so, modern APIs provide a simplified interface for accessing valuable business data as well as increased functionality. In short, APIs hold the digital world together.
Organizations that own APIs enjoy a slew of business benefits, including an increase in productivity (53%) and innovation (40%). APIs and related implementations generate 25% of organizational revenues.
While using APIs is important in the current digital economy, maximizing the value of APIs usually requires organizations to combine an enterprise-wide API strategy and a network, ensuring better connectivity throughout the organization.
APIs provide many organizations with a common platform of functionality, which helps minimize rework and accelerate development. As a result, they facilitate a self-help model for your developers and help your business grow and innovate.
The Pain Points highlighted above can challenge businesses, but are not insurmountable. Although “keeping the lights on” is a necessity, it doesn’t have to be a central focus. A carefully crafted IT strategy can help businesses to both maximize revenue and improve client experience.