5 New Year’s resolutions for IT professionals

1. Recognise the growing importance of CX (customer experience)

And recognise that it’s a different beast to UX (user experience) and UIs. If not already in motion, start the business conversations about how IT (and the associated customer experience) will either make or break your company.

And, as with the consumerisation bullet below, educate IT staff in how external customers and employees no longer see “just the technology.” Rather, instead they see, touch, and sense a cradle-to-grave service experience that just happens to have a technology component.

So it’s time to look up from the technology and beyond cubicle, or data center, walls to see how technology is being used or more accurately “consumed,” and how its consumers “feel” about it.

2. Understand how consumerisation is so much more than the “Consumerisation of IT”

That instead employees now have rising, consumer-world-driven expectations around corporate IT. The rise in the corporate use of personal devices, apps, and cloud services via BYOD and Shadow IT wasn’t a global “coincidence” – these is a push-back to corporate IT supply consistently failing to meet business and employee demand.

Whether it be related to the traditional IT delivery parameters of meeting functional and non-functional requirements, delivering to target, or coming in on budget, or less tangible variables based on the better experiences we receive with our personal-life purchases and service consumption. In 2016, corporate IT organisations need to better meet business expectations of IT services, but also for service, customer service, and support.

3. Love and nurture developer talent

As companies (and their products and services) continue to be differentiated by how their software “delights” customers, good corporate IT developers will become more valuable (and scarcer). The need for increased business understanding, better solutions, quicker app development, and a greater ability to handle change will also offer up a fork in the app dev road.

Should developers now be aligned to external-facing products and services? Or, one step further along, should developers move into individual business units and closer to the use-case scenarios for which they create code and services? Developers will in turn need to up their game, learning more about new development approaches and becoming fluent in multiple development languages.

4. Learn more about how corporate IT is advancing in exemplar organisations

From DevOps, through the use of opinionated platform-as-a-service (PaaS) frameworks, to the growing use of public and hybrid cloud. These five New Year resolutions could have all been devoted to the changing technology landscape, but that would have overlooked the importance of my first three points.

So while recognising the importance of customers, employees, and developer talent in particular, IT professionals also need to learn more about many of the IT and management buzzwords that were thrown about in 2015. Such as: DevOps and “continuous delivery”; microservices and containers; how to benefit from the already-baked PaaS capabilities; exploiting hybrid and composite cloud; and “software-defined-everything.”

5. Ensure that the IT management and security implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) have been considered

With a plan and suitable resources in place to protect business operations and its external reputation. It’s not just the commonly written about security issues and the potential for breach, with many IoT devices having insufficient security precautions.

It’s also the fact that many existing IoT devices are not in corporate IT’s line-of-sight or have even been corporately “forgotten.” Then there are potential issues related to: the ability of the corporate network to deal with a vast influx of IoT devices, from IP address management to increased traffic levels and the lack of relevant IT skills, including the need to increase the level of automated IT management with the IoT

As well as the ability to handle and benefit from the increased volumes of data (whether big data or not); and recognising that IoT might need a different approach to cloud.

Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies

Image source: Shutterstock/solarseven