What Keeps IT Pros Awake At Night? - InformationWeek

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What Keeps IT Pros Awake At Night?

From shadow IT to new and advanced security threats, IT leaders contend with many complex challenges.

As technology touches every aspect of modern business, IT departments have incredible opportunities to transform their organizations. But they also face unprecedented challenges, including the need to protect corporate data and meet customer demands faster.

IT executives recognize the difficulties they face. Recent research from Gartner shows that 89% of CIOs see new and higher levels of risk. And 69% believe risk management practices are falling behind.

Three members of the Interop London advisory board share insights about their current IT opportunities and challenges:

David Stanley, Head of IS Operations, thetrainline.com

David Stanley - Interop London

Staying one step ahead of customer needs is no easy feat, while security and compliance are a priority for this market-leading online provider of rail tickets:

"The consumer market has changed a lot in recent years. Technology users have come to expect new features to be issued regularly and quickly and many legacy IT systems simply aren’t geared up for this."

"To help us tackle the issue, we recently introduced product-aligned teams. This has given us greater working agility when it comes to managing and evolving journey searches and ticketing separately from payment services, for instance. We can make changes in distinct areas that benefit customers in days not weeks."

"As part of the rail industry and as an e-commerce company, we have to be on top of fraud and security. Last year our security operation was elevated by hiring a new security director to complement already market-leading security and fraud functions. They are now working with those product-aligned teams to build upon our existing control base."

"For us the challenge is two-fold. One is ensuring we protect our customers and give them the best possible security, and the second is meeting rail industry regulations. For example, tickets are easily transferable and can be viewed like legal tender, so the rail industry is hot on compliance."

"This means we have to ratify certain changes and get them approved by an industry body. Security and compliance for us isn’t about spotting and fixing a problem – it’s about doing everything we can to ensure we don’t have one in the first place."

Hiten Vadukul, Enterprise Architect, Virgin Active

Hiten Vadukul

As health and fitness technology evolves at a frantic pace, so does addressing new security considerations:

"I think every business should be taking security seriously. People are producing more data from more devices than ever before. Keeping this secure is not optional – unless you want to risk brand reputation. This is why businesses continuously need to adapt and improve when it comes to keeping sensitive data secure."

"It’s equally important to create security awareness amongst employees and embed this into business processes."

David Self, Head of PMO, UBM

David Self - Interop London

Shadow IT (when managers and employees use or invest in applications without involving the IT department) and security are two major tests:

"As a data-driven enterprise, we would lose competitive advantage if we lost data. We have many brands, some of which would be much more likely to attract malicious hacks than others, but for all of them there is a risk. This is why we ensure security is a major part of any new process or developments right from the start."

"Shadow IT is also a big challenge for us. Finding out after the fact that someone in the business has spent money on an IT solution can cause real problems. They might buy something that’s cheap but doesn’t stand-up as an enterprise solution. They might also fail to get the proper contractual protection or not consider security."

"Today, it’s easier than ever for users to get IT applications running quickly and easily and circumvent best practice by using services like Dropbox to store data, for example. The only way to counteract this challenge is to educate the business about the risks and ensure any new IT initiatives and applications work well for the business."

Interop London logo (small) Sound familiar? Discover answers to these challenges and more by attending Interop London this June. Find out more here.

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