New virus, same challenges?


Exploring the challenges facing tech teams and companies in 2020.


Whilst technology has always been seen as the solution to so many of the world’s problems, those who work in the sector know that building and designing products is fraught with its own difficulties. Some of these have been exacerbated with the coronavirus crisis that we’ve faced in the past few months.

We looked back at some of the challenges that CTOs and CIOs felt would be facing tech teams and companies in 2020, when asked back at the end of 2019. Many of them ring true today, here’s a run down of the top 5.


1. Cyber-security continues to be a concern.


The growth in remote-working has been a positive bi-roduct of the coronavirus crisis. Companies have been able to call on freelancers and contractors to plug any skills gaps they have had and accelerate delivery of key projects. However, with teams working across the globe and in co-working spaces, the importance of being tighter than ever on personal and sensitive data has been highlighted.

Perhaps more damning than any statistics about cyber security is the indifference that many data-breaches are now met with. It’s no longer a surprise when large organisations admit to breaches into the millions of bits of data. However, stats are always interesting to look at, here’s an article highlighting 35, some of which that may surprise you.

It’s clear that cyber-security will continue to be top of the priority list for tech teams for the forseeable, including an even bigger focus on breaches through third party apps and Saas products that may offer greater vulnerabilities.


2. Getting the right talent.


Christine Telyan, CEO at UENI, highlighted this problem in an article; “on one hand, the growth of the gig economy presents a huge opportunity by widening the pool of talent a company can access. On the other hand, having a team — especially a tech team — dedicatedly working on a single business goal without being distracted by other projects has its advantages.”

Getting the right talent, focussed on the right projects, has always been a challenge and we’ll only see this increase in the coming months. The very best talent will want to continue flexible working patterns and organisations that have to make up on lost development time will invest more heavily in resource.

Working with the right recruitment partners and ensuring access to the full spectrum of talent quickly will be vital for all growing tech teams.


3. Adoption of cloud technology.


What used to be exclusively for large enterprises has now become a part of computing for SME’s too. According to Forbes, an incredible 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by the end of 2020. Even if a small business itself doesn’t have cloud infrastructure, they will invariably be interfacing with SaaS products that do.

In the future, banks, investors and the like will be looking for businesses that can demonstrate resilience in adversity, and being able to work anywhere, anytime should another pandemic hit is crucial. Cloud computing will be at the heart of that, so expect storage and bandwidth needs to increase exponentially over the next few months as companies put more emphasis into making it work effectively.


4. Measuring ROI of new technology.


Businesses that have invested heavily in advanced technologies, including automation, AI, machine learning and the like will start to re-evaluate these departments. Innovation and R&D budgets in line with latest trends were very important pre-COVID-19, but now may be under more scrutiny. They will need to show the value of their tech to the business sooner than they may have had to before under tighter financial restraints.


5. Bridging the skills gap.


According to market leading research firm Forrester, 75% of businesses have a digital strategy, yet only 16% claim to have the skills to deliver it. Another study finds that a whopping 93% of businesses indicate they’re facing a skills shortage.

It’s no surprise with the breath of technologies now prevalent in the market and the complexities of many that fewer people, especially at senior levels, have the technical skills that many companies need, and the problem is getting harder for many organisations. This article highlights some great strategies that you may find useful.

What challenges do you think you and your tech teams will face in the coming months? Do any of the ones we’ve highlighted here affect you? We’d love to hear from you and your team.


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