Be afraid, be very afraid: what scares IT decision makers the most? What scares IT decision makers the most?

Technology is advancing at a significant pace, and change is often scary. A recent survey has revealed exactly what keeps IT decision makers up at night in this Halloween-themed special

What scares I.T. decision makers?

'From aging technology infrastructures to cyber security threats to the need to keep up with the latest innovations, it’s no wonder we received a lot of scary, uncertain opinions about what lies ahead. But, these findings also highlight the need for technology providers to better communicate the business outcomes they deliver making it a little less uncertain for everyone'

What really haunts information technology (I.T.) decision makers as they sit in front of their computer screens late at night? What new innovations will rise up to take over the underworld? What technologies do they envision meeting their swift demise?

These are the questions Finn Partners’ Technology Practice asked 511 U.S. IT decision makers to find out the terrifying (and not so terrifying) truth to the vast and unforgiving world of IT.

RIP to old tech

As technology continues to evolve and improve, the old technologies will fall by the wayside.

Many technologies have turned to dust over the last several decades and when asked what technologies will rest-in-peace within the next 2 years, the findings demonstrated the continuing surge in cloud computing and cloud-based services as a driver behind less offline storage.

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Faster connection speeds and the rise in mobile devices is rendering old technologies obsolete, similar to the the rise and fall of VHS and now even the DVD as content goes online.

30% of IT leaders felt that desktop computers will be gone within 2 years, while 28% felt the same about hard disk drives.

The findings also point to some unique differences by age and gender that could provide insight into how technology providers should market their solutions, according to the report.

Younger audiences are more interested in the progression of technology with 36% of those under the age of 35 stating desktops will soon be six feet under compared to only 26% of those 55 and over.

Terrifying challenges lie ahead

The challenges facing IT leaders are truly daunting, and when asked what keeps them up at night, they pointed to the following:
· Information or data breach – 31%
· Major service outages – 26%
· Ransomware threat – 22%
· Inside threats/rogue employees – 19%
· Zero-day virus – 18%
· DoS attack/hack – 18%

>See also: Why are governments and organisations so scared to open up their data?

Organisations face a constant terrifying battle against faceless assailants, and these findings further suggest an ongoing business need for enterprises to invest in cyber security solutions that address the external and internal threats that plague IT infrastructures.

Drag me to hell: the shackles on IT leaders

IT decision makers are often restrained by issues that are outside of their control.

For technology vendors, there is a need to provide price/performance options for the solutions they offer as well as build-in more training to ensure IT professionals are leveraging their solutions to their greatest advantage.

21% of survey respondents pointed to budget constraints as the greatest challenge hindering their job for the enterprise they represent.

Disaster recovery/high availability accounted for 16%, while 14% felt a lack of IT skills and development training are the greatest weights dragging them down.

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“The challenges that IT decision makers face each day are truly daunting,” stated Sabrina Horn, managing partner and technology practice lead at Finn Partners.

“From aging technology infrastructures to cyber security threats to the need to keep up with the latest innovations, it’s no wonder we received a lot of scary, uncertain opinions about what lies ahead. But, these findings also highlight the need for technology providers to better communicate the business outcomes they deliver making it a little less uncertain for everyone.”

Not all doom and gloom

The IT world isn’t totally frightening.
In fact, many technologies offer tremendous advantages for enterprises.
When Finn Partners asked IT leaders which new technologies would rise up to add the greatest value to their organisations, they responded as follows:
· Cloud services – 52%
· Big data – 23%
· Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – 23%
· 3D printing – 23%
· Virtual reality – 20%
· Advanced machine learning – 13%
· Mobile backend as a services (MBaaS) – 10%

“As I.T. decision makers continue to face challenges that keep them up at night, these findings help demonstrate the need for continual vigilance in finding ways to look for better IT solutions that protect enterprise from outside predators and ever-present zombies,” continued Horn.

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