Gone are the days when the IT department's main priority was to keep computer systems up and running.
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A new study by consulting firm Protiviti found that nearly two-thirds of information technology professionals report there is a major IT transformation under way within their companies, driven largely by efforts to deliver added value, enhance business performance and increase security.
The research revealed that the roles of chief information officers and business-minded technology leaders continue to adapt to a broader scope of responsibilities, and are shifting farther from supportive functions and more toward an integrated aspect of overall business strategy and operations.
"More so than in prior years, IT departments are not only altering their structures, they are transforming their fundamental mission," said Kurt Underwood, a managing director with Protiviti and global leader of the firm's IT consulting practice.
"The IT function's objective is evolving from simply responding to last year's technology requests to helping shape aspects of business strategy through execution with an integrated approach to operations that adds value and protects the enterprise," Underwood said.
The study discovered the top five areas that present the most pressing challenges for IT professionals:
- Enhancing and protecting business value: Aligning and integrating IT risk management and business continuity capabilities with broader, long-term business strategy.
- Cybersecurity: Managing and strengthening security and privacy for the organization's systems and data is now a top priority across all industries.
- Data classification: Effectively organizing, managing and securing growing amounts of data within the organization.
- IT asset and data management: Improving data and information governance programs, driven by the growing use of mobile devices and applications and the continued integration of cloud computing into IT strategy and processes.
- Mobile platforms and social media: Incorporating secure, integrated systems for mobile commerce, devices, etc., and addressing social media safeguards and strategy within the organization.
The research was based on surveys of 1,100 CIOs, IT vice presidents and IT directors.
Originally published on Business News Daily.