Last week we described how companies and organisations are becoming increasingly mobile and how this drives new expectations from end users to have access to applications and services, anywhere and anytime. The increased flexibility is becoming something of a nightmare for the IT department with today’s IT managers facing bigger and more complex challenges than ever before.
Four challenges of today’s IT department
Increased organizational flexibility
Along with rapid changes in organizations and companies come increased demands for IT to keep up and continuously adapt IT solutions to new conditions. This entails both the rapid and smooth integration of new employees or organizations into the existing IT environment and the ability to cost-effectively add new functionality and new services in order to take advantage of new technologies and business opportunities.
The challenge is often not in identifying or developing new IT tools and applications, but rather in implementing these into the organization and into each individual employee’s workplace as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible.
Multiplier effect: user * terminals * applications
The fact that different types of employees work according to different processes and have different needs for IT support increases the complexity of the challenge. The combination of services, applications, information, and a myriad of different terminals such as laptops, desktops, workstations, smartphones and tablets, means that the number of combinations is multiplied almost indefinitely. Moreover, all of these different types of IT work environments can exist in the same organization, expected to be supported by a single IT department.
Provisioning, administering, troubleshooting and upgrading each individual employee’s local IT environment, operating system and different types of applications is resource-intensive. Securing an IT environment that meets all the unique needs of each individual could become the IT manager’s worst administrative and costly nightmare.
Security requirements for increased mobility
As the company’s employees become increasingly mobile, so do business applications and information. Increased accessibility brings increased vulnerability, partly due to the risk that hackers or organized crime could take advantage of the poor security procedures for mobile work, partly due to the risk of mobile phones, laptops or tablets being lost or stolen.
Impaired IT security means business-critical threats and direct costs for the organization. IT and security managers are facing the challenge of protecting classified information and business-critical applications from unauthorized access. The complexity lies in doing this without the security impeding the organization’s employees in their mobile work. Usability and security must go hand in hand.
Demands for cost control and efficiency
For most IT departments, a fourth all-encompassing challenge may be added to the above three: In most places, the unstable economic situation of recent years has led to an increased scrutiny of IT budgets. This means that changed conditions must often be dealt with within existing budget constraints.
Today’s IT departments are therefore forced to perform a balancing act to deliver more service and increased flexibility with improved security – for the same money as before.
Next week we will take a closer look at how many of today’s IT managers, in their search for competitive solutions to their IT challenges, choose to re-evaluate the IT environment from the bottom and up. If you want to read more about smart card-based security in virtual desktop environments already now you can also download our whitepaper Security and virtual desktop environments.
SecMaker is the Nordic region’s leading supplier of smart card-based security solutions to companies, public agencies and organizations. If you want to know more about smart card based IT-security you are welcome to contact us.