Technology and IT Expertise You Need to Digitally Compete and Win

Welcome to a new year dawning in the age of the pandemic, which promises to be filled with new technology demands your organization will need to master.  Whether it’s quickly developing new app experiences to delight customers or creating a more connected hybrid work model, fulfilling these digital demands is key to providing superior experiences for your customers and workforce. Are you ready?

Well, if you’re like many facing the “great resignation,” finding the right technical skills to digitally transform your organization may prove to be extremely challenging. In fact, resignations in the tech industry are one of the highest, with a 4.5 percent increase1. And 72 percent of those in tech/IT roles are thinking of quitting their job in the next 12 months2.

So, with this IT exodus, what is the right mix of technology and skills you’ll need to digitally transform your infrastructure while better differentiating your business from your competitors?


Optimize Speed and Operational Costs through Intelligent Automation

Recent events have created an influx of new digital technologies, multi-cloud adoption, and IoT devices resulting in infrastructure complexity and data management challenges.  With IT talent depleted, time has become a precious and costly commodity.

One of the biggest issues for IT leaders is the growing cost of managing end-to-end operations. The growth of data and devices is starting to outpace IT capabilities, making manual approaches nearly impossible. Up to 95 percent of network changes are performed manually, resulting in operational costs 2 to 3 times higher than the cost of the network3. IT decision-makers are faced with the delicate balancing act of allocating resources to address these operational challenges while innovating at the speed of change to delight customers.

Increasing IT automation is essential for businesses to keep pace in the digital world while optimizing operational costs. AI and machine learning-powered automation provide the intelligence organizations need to offset the growing loss of skilled IT workers. With automation, IT teams can leverage data from connected and distributed environments such as campus, branch, data center, and WAN to simplify complexity, streamline processes and optimize costs associated with configuration, testing, deploying, and operations. And with day-to-day tasks automated, organizations can free up IT talent to focus on innovations to grow the business.


Create Flawless Digital Experiences with End-to-End Observability

It’s been shown that at least 80 percent of customer interactions are digital4. As apps and other digital interactions continue their proliferation into our daily lives, a company’s very reputation can hang in the balance of its performance.  From internet, network, and cloud to the application, there are many dependencies along a successful digital journey, and organizations need to leverage deep analytics to predict and remediate issues to create flawless digital experiences.

Organizations need to move beyond monitoring and leverage end-to-end observability technology and skills to provide insights into each touchpoint that connects an application or digital experience to its user. But observability can be harder to fully realize than one thinks as it needs to look beyond a single layer, which provides only a siloed view.

Observability needs to understand the interaction and dependencies between multiple systems in distributed system architectures that span the digital experience. And it needs to bring data, teams, and business context together to identify the root causes of performance issues, prioritize fixes based on potential business impact, and deliver actions that will accelerate availability while minimizing costly downtime.



Secure Hybrid Work through Zero-Trust

IT organizations seem to be fighting to secure the network as varied remote or hybrid work models continue their upward climb. Last year alone, a ransomware attack was predicted to occur every 11 seconds, and 81 percent of breaches involved compromised credentials5.

A rock-solid security strategy is built on trust.  Trust in employing strong people, processes, and technology to enable IT teams to proactively detect threats and remediate them before valuable data and dollars are lost. The first step in securing hybrid work is establishing a zero-trust approach to balancing security with usability.  Zero-trust networking is different from the traditional model of assuming everything in corporate networks can be trusted.  It’s based on a security model that establishes trust through continuous authentication and monitoring of each network access attempt.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is critical for a zero-trust strategy. MFA verifies the individual’s identity using credentials to access company information by using a stronger form of validation before allowing access to corporate resources. If bad actors were to get credentials from spoofing a home network or personal device, the actors would fail to verify the identity, and the attack would stop before it began. MFA delivers better visibility across users, devices, containers, networks, and applications and greatly reduces an organization’s attack surface by granting the minimum access needed to perform a given task.


The Right Skills to Implement the Technology

But herein lies the double-edged sword – with new technologies comes the need for experienced and skilled workers to facilitate them. And with the number of tech resignations continuing to rise, organizations need the expertise to augment their IT teams. Fast.

Visit Cisco Business Critical Services to learn how you can accelerate outcomes with ongoing, expert guidance at every stage in the IT lifecycle to move your business forward.



1Harvard Business Review