The Top Four Business Trends That IT Teams Must Address

In a world driven by digital disruption, several tech trends are shaping the business landscape of tomorrow. Business leaders have a choice: put into practice strategies that reap the benefits of these new innovations or get left behind. These are four of the most critical trends that business leaders need to consider.

The four business trends you can’t ignore

Adoption of cloud servicesCloud services have surged in popularity in recent years, so much so that 83% of enterprise networks are predicted to be in the cloud by 2020. Lines of business (LOBs) are demanding access to these services to gain a competitive edge in the dynamic digital economy, and business leaders need to support this trend. Failure to do so will only result in LOBs unilaterally subscribing to third-party services, causing more instances of shadow IT across the organization. In order to streamline operations—and keep employees happy—organizations need to start modernizing their software and move processes and platforms to the cloud.

The move towards a mobile workforceEmployees in the modern age want the freedom to work from anywhere, with 60% of in-office employees interested in increasing their time working remotely in 2018. Companies need to facilitate this to help attract and retain the talent they need, especially in industries where employers are forced to compete for top talent. However, providing your workforce with this freedom does raise a few security issues that need to be addressed. Traditional technologies, like VPNs, can be cumbersome to setup and complex to manage—which is why it is so important that organizations take an identity-driven approach to mobile management.

Increased outside partner collaborationSuccessful businesses are built on strong partnerships. Modern technologies are making it easier than ever for partners to share access to internal systems. Not only does this foster closer collaboration, it allows organizations to better share systems and information in real-time, a key factor needed for success in this information-driven economy.

Leveraging the API economyMicroservices and APIs provide flexibility and efficiency. As each component can be deployed and then redeployed independently, this architectural model simplifies maintenance and enhances agility. However, it does come with its fair share of challenges, and business leaders need to be aware of the security implications and complexities involved.

To take advantage of business trends, IT’s role needs to change

With technology taking the lead for organizations operating in the digital economy, IT’s role within the organization should shift from troubleshooting tech challenges and managing servers to thinking critically about the technologies that will transform operations. As businesses become more reliant on technology, IT needs to perform two critical roles: supporting the organization in implementing better solutions, and providing technical guidance to make sure all employees can take advantage of these changes. An isolated IT function is unable to fulfill this mandate.

To truly make the most of these business trends, IT must provide support in these three critical functions: transforming the business’ IT environment with cloud to ground app adoption; centralizing identity and access management; and reducing IT friction through automation.

Cloud to ground app adoptionOrganizations needs to offer its users seamless and secure access to any app from any device. This means quickly and cost effectively deploy new cloud apps. Often this is done through a cloud based Single Sign-On (SSO) solution. This also means strong access policies to take advantage of context and offer step up authentication. However, we all know that trying to do all these things on your own can be complex, time consuming, and expensive. This is especially true when you have legacy systems that don’t make cloud deployment or access to those apps easy.

Centralizing identity and access managementOrganizations need a single, consolidated view of all user profiles across any app or directory. But often times, users are spread across “islands of identity”: siloed user stores that don’t talk to each other. Examples might be AD domains, LDAP directories, HR systems, SaaS apps, or partner identity providers. This makes it challenging to apply security policies and manage proper access consistently to all users. Only with the proper tools can companies regain control and visibility into which data and services are being accessed by employees at any given time.

Reducing IT friction through automationReducing IT friction fosters innovation and improves agility. To achieve this, organizations need to automate. Manual processes increase the risk of a security breach as IT teams struggle to track of endless users, apps, and devices across the enterprise. Automating repetitive operational functions such as provisioning and deprovisioning user access gives IT teams the freedom to concentrate on adding business value and driving real change.

When IT teams are empowered to adopt cloud services, centralize identity and access management, and reduce overall friction, they can ensure that the latest business trends are serving their organization without introducing new security risks.

Let Okta guide your digital transformationOkta provides multiple solutions that organizations can leverage to take advantage of these business trends and undergo their own digital transformations. Deploying Okta products helps companies to improve employee and customer experiences while reducing the risk of security threats and breaches. With an integrated approach to cloud-based identity management, Okta can help companies foster their own cloud-based IT solution—allowing them to take advantage of the latest tech trends and stay ahead of the curve.

Learn more about how reducing IT friction can boost productivity and even help companies bring about social good.