IT Teams Dealing with Great Expectations and Stress

IT pros ponder road to success as transformation efforts raise their profile and heighten security needs.

team teamwork group of people working together and collaborating in a shared office workspace by g

At some companies, it seems as though IT teams have transformed from company scapegoat to company G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). Amidst a momentous digital transformation, IT teams were essential in easing the massive business disruptions of 2020 and 2021 by enabling a massive shift to remote work and rapid upswing in digital commerce.

With anticipation that 2022 will be a more stable year than the previous two, it’s a good time to examine the role of IT and the expanding expectation of how teams can support and secure line-of-business (LOB) initiatives outside of traditional security perimeters. That was the topic eagerly debated by participants in an #IDGTechTalk Twitter chat sponsored by @ComcastBusiness November 18th.

“IT has always supported LOB initiatives, but today, IT is expected to support innovation + standards + security - and that can create conflicts when LOB wants autonomy #IDGTechTalk,” said moderator Isaac Sacolick (@nyike) in kicking off the session.

There was general agreement IT is stepping up for LOBs, or at least trying:

I’ve always been a big advocate of collaboration between IT and LOB leaders. You have to give them tools and empower them to create solutions, but this is only successful w/ guardrails put in place by IT. As a #nocode #lowcode platform, we practice what we preach #IDGTechTalk. 
Deb Gildersleeve (@DebGildersleeve)
Determine LoB objectives. See how IT can support those objectives. Always think about and remind about security as not only an IT thing but an organization-wide thing. Hence, culture change needs to happen. #IDGTechTalk 
Arsalan Khan (@ArsalanAKhan)

But there’s also sentiment that morale among IT staffers is suffering from prolonged stress as expectations have ramped up:

I am seeing much frustration due to a skills shortage paired with uncertainty re the new normal. IT is not being given a chance to express its needs.  #IDGTechTalk
Steven M Prentice (@StevenPrentice)
Orgs have to be empathetic right now. Everyone’s lives have changed as a result of the pandemic. Grind culture has shifted and many aren’t ‘living to work’. TRUE flexibility and empathy is needed from the top down.  #IDGTechTalk
Clare Brown (@ClareBrownIDG)
If you are a #CIO, I challenge you - #leadership is hard, THIS is a chance to lead. Show your people are more than listings on a spreadsheet. Help peers and board see the business value of employee retention through calculated #culture and people resilience.  #IDGTechTalk
Wayne Anderson (@DigitalSecArch)

Taking note of the growing cooperation between IT networking teams and security operations, participants weighed in on how to make sure those efforts succeed.

Network teams need a seat at the project team table starting with planning on day 1.
Will Kelly (@willkelly)
Beyond that, security is no longer a function off in a back room. Security best practices need to be brought into every level and really be considered by every role in #IT.  #IDGTechTalk
Deb Gildersleeve (@DebGildersleeve)

And TechTalkers weren’t bashful in offering advise – and caution – to IT leaders on how to succeed and optimize skills of their internal teams to meet new business demands.

Cross-training team members with an eye for the future that is aligned with LoBs short-term and long-term objectives.  #IDGTechTalk
Arsalan Khan (@ArsalanAKhan)
Beware of the 10x, rock star, ninja, superhero, fire fighter types and roles. Your optimal mix of scale-up (senior) and scale-out (lots of junior/regular) folks for any required skill set may vary.  #IDGTechTalk
Chris (@CPetersen_CS)

For more on how evolving enterprise objectives are impacting IT, read “As Enterprises Transform, So Does Edge Security.” 


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