The world of technology is constantly evolving. Its fluid nature means that new challenges regularly emerge for IT leaders, ranging from security threats to shortages in talent. In order to succeed, leaders must always be focused on how to keep up with and adapt to digital innovation.

Three significant areas that present challenges to today’s IT leaders are data privacy, security threats and addressing the skills gap. There are numerous methods that can be employed to ensure these issues do not affect business operations: 

Data Privacy

The challenge of maintaining good data privacy requires IT leaders to be vigilant and efficient. Data privacy regulations can change and develop over time. This means it is vital for IT leaders to be prepared for policies to be rewritten. They must ensure that their data privacy solutions are strict to remain fully compliant and avoid any penalties.

Good communication is key to avoiding unmonitored data. For example, EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements affect several departments in any organization around data protection and privacy and the processing of personal data. This means IT leaders must maintain good communication with colleagues in each relevant department.

IT leaders can tackle the challenge of ever-changing data privacy by employing frameworks that offer complete data visibility. They need to stay well informed about the latest developments in the data privacy ecosystem and how these may affect their business.

Security Threats

Security threats are a great concern to businesses and a constant challenge to IT leaders. Even the most influential companies in the world are vulnerable to security threats. Concentrating on more exotic attacks and making the mistake of ignoring more simple security measures will leave a business vulnerable. 

In order to combat the challenges associated with security threats, IT leaders must be proactive. They must ensure they monitor and resolve every cybersecurity threat in their company, no matter how small they may seem. 

Once measures have been put in place to protect their networks, IT leaders must make sure they are kept up to date. It is also important to educate staff in every department and at every level of seniority about how to recognize and avoid cyber threats.

Addressing the Digital Skills Gap

As technology systems evolve and become more complex, the number of professionals with the required level of knowledge is lessening. Forrester, the market research company, found in a recent survey that although 75% of businesses worldwide have a digital strategy in place, only 16% claim to have a workforce with the skills to deliver it. The main challenge for IT leaders is to address this issue without reducing productivity or fall behind their competitors.

In order to address this challenge, IT leaders should create and nurture an environment that encourages learning. They should encourage their staff to upskill and promote the benefits of extra training. IT leaders must also be flexible and adaptable to accommodate learning. This type of culture demonstrates that leaders care about their employees’ professional development, which will encourage retention. 

The challenges associated with data privacy, security breaches and the digital skills gap must always be key considerations for IT leaders. Vigilance and communication are key to ensuring that IT leaders keep their businesses one step ahead of their competitors. They must be driven to find innovative solutions that will combat the ever-changing challenges of the IT industry.

Read our blog about the five traits of a successful CIO. If you are an IT leader looking to expand your talent send us a vacancy.  If you are a candidate looking for an IT role register your CV to join our K2 Talent network and scale your technology capabilities.

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