8 technology (IT) challenges business leaders face
In today’s rapidly evolving world, staying relevant requires businesses to adapt accordingly—especially regarding digital opportunities. The most successful leaders remain current with technological advances and pivot their businesses frequently.
The benefits of digital improvements are numerous, including increased productivity, enhanced communication, improved accessibility, and more robust data security.
However, along with these advantages come significant technology challenges. Scaling networks, rising equipment costs, and cyber threats are just a few of the more formidable obstacles. How business leaders navigate these hurdles will determine whether they gain a competitive edge or struggle to reap the rewards of digital advancements.
This article delves into the top challenges business leaders encounter digitally and what to be aware of for achievement in an ever-changing landscape.
1. Scaling networks
Your business only grows if you position it to do so. One of the most significant factors in running a successful business is how proactive you are in accounting for increasing demands.
One way businesses are scaling their networks is through cloud adoption. The cloud has revolutionized businesses’ operations, providing increased flexibility and decreased cost.
However, this transition often requires companies to reevaluate their IT infrastructure and equipment needs. Outdated networks and devices may need to be adjusted to meet the evolving needs of the business.
Upgrading network infrastructure becomes crucial for seamless connectivity, adequate bandwidth, and thorough security. Advancing to modern networks is a worthwhile investment to keep your business thriving and prepare for what corporations hope for most—growth.
2. Employee turnover
New employees and departing employees pose a unique challenge for business leaders. Initiating strategies to manage the departure and onboarding of employees are imperative to safeguarding company data and retrieving costly devices.
Onboarding is the first impression of your company. That’s why adequately setting up new employees is a must. Providing them with up-to-date equipment, comprehensive training on digital citizenship, and effective communication will integrate new hires into their roles so they can quickly function independently.
When an employee leaves, having strict return procedures will ensure you get equipment back safely. Establish expectations immediately to minimize loss and have the resources for new employees to begin.
Equally important is safeguarding company data on departures. Revoke system credentials and conduct data backups prior if possible. Doing so will help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and potential breaches.
3. Rising equipment costs
As technological capabilities increase, so does the price. No matter which sector your specialty lies in, every business needs some technology to compete in today’s world. In fact, studies predict IT spending will increase by 2.4 percent in 2023 compared to 2022.
Devices aren’t the only expense either. Machines often need to be fixed as soon as possible when they break down. Equipment replacement has become more expensive and will significantly impact a company’s budget without proper knowledge and savings.
Inflation plays a crucial role in driving up equipment costs. Raw materials, labor, and transportation have all had price increases, contributing to the overall raised price tag. Since Covid-19, there have been issues with limited availability of resources. Demand has stayed the same, making supply and demand dynamics negatively impact costs further.
4. Supply chain challenges
Many sectors are still affected by the global pandemic—the supply chain being one of them. Notably, the ongoing chip shortage poses an enormous ripple effect on computer and networking availability. Limited access directly raises the costs of devices and networks, posing a financial threat to all businesses.
China and Taiwan are the leading chip-producing regions. When the pandemic hit, factories shut down, beginning the global chip shortage. With remote work growing and consumer habits changing to accommodate an online society, demand has become disproportionate to the market.
Studies predict the global semiconductor industry will fall 3.6 percent in 2023. What once started as an automotive industry issue quickly spread to electronics. As semiconductor applications grow alongside demands, expect continued computer shortages and raised prices. Insufficient technology can have a devastating toll on business growth this year.
5. Talent shortage
Another hurdle business leaders must overcome is the shortage of qualified IT professionals. According to Statista, 86.6 percent of organizations are experiencing a shortfall of skilled IT security employees. That is up 2.5 percent from 2022 and only .4 percent away from the year with the highest reported deficiency.
The shortage stems from various factors, including the rapid pace of technological advancements and the growing reliance on digital infrastructure. As a result, businesses face difficulty finding individuals with the expertise and experience to solve complex IT challenges.
6. Cybersecurity threats
The increase in cybersecurity threats is why having a solid IT team is so important. The three most common types of cybercrime include phishing, ransomware, and malware. Start combating cybercrime using email precautions. The most widespread cyber attack in the United States is contracted primarily through online mail. Known as phishing, hackers gain access to private information, passwords, and data via corrupt email messages.
Ransomware ranked number 2 and is another considerable peril. It is often contracted by downloading scams or opening unknown attachments. Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to your computer until the victim pays a sum. It’s a massive deterrent to productivity, and recovery is often impossible.
With 8 in 10 U.S. board directors believing their organization is at risk of a material cyber attack in 2023, this is an ongoing threat we have to be mindful of. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated and targeting employees. Minimize risk through proper, frequent awareness training.
7. IT compliance
Running any business requires extensive knowledge of regulations and standards. Aligning with industry best practices will protect sensitive data, maintain system security, and mitigate risks.
The landscape of compliance is multifaceted. There are broad regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as well as industry-specific standards, such as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and the Safeguards rule.
Interpreting these complex regulations is challenging, and a complete understanding is necessary to reduce legal and financial risks. It is crucial to implement necessary controls and ensure ongoing compliance. Many succeed by partnering with a compliance expert to help navigate this territory and ensure everything is accounted for.
8. Hybrid work environments
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a significant rise in hybrid work environments. By 2022, 91 million Americans were given the opportunity to work remotely and it extended beyond traditional white-collar roles. Studies show 22 percent of protective service employees, a typical blue-collar position, now work in a hybrid space.
As businesses adapt to this emerging digital workspace, IT challenges like providing company-supplied equipment to accommodate remote and in-person work occur. Switching to a hybrid environment will mean supplying employees with multiple devices or advanced equipment for seamless transportation between locations.
Another cost that businesses are facing is shipping remote devices to employees. Due to the high value of these equipment investments, many companies opt for shipping insurance, adding another financial burden. Businesses must manage these costs carefully while ensuring employees have the tools to thrive in a hybrid work environment.
Now you understand the immense benefits and risks of the digital age. From supply chain challenges to IT compliance, business leaders must navigate a complex and ever-changing environment to stay afloat.
Understanding and educating staff on these IT challenges will significantly raise your chance of success. But, navigating this landscape requires intentional learning daily, something many business leaders don’t have time for.
That’s why third-party support is just what your business needs. Worry about your vision, not your technology challenges.