T leaders have to deal with many IT task management challenges on a daily basis. From determining the need to get tasks done for the whole IT department, to providing technology, to making their entire organization more productive, to deploying software system updates—they have a lot on their plate.
As if IT managers didn’t have enough of a workload already, 2020 put them front and center in the business world. Employees working remotely meant that IT managers had to step up to ensure old and new technology was keeping their organizations safe and connected. And with the further emergence of advanced hackers threatening businesses both large and small, IT managers were forced to step up defenses.
While IT leaders play an important role in daily service delivery, they are also relied on to implement strategic business practices to give businesses a competitive advantage with a proactive approach.
With this new landscape comes new challenges and responsibilities. Here are four IT task management challenges that IT managers need to overcome and their solutions in 2021:
Challenges Organizations Face
Streamlined communication between IT management and other departments is critical. Often, IT staff have their own jargon that may go over the heads of other department managers. From a non-IT staff perspective, they might just want some technical issue solved without having to know any of the technical details. However, to have long-term business success, both IT management and other departments need to have clear, collaborative, and timely communication.
Project lifespan changes
In the IT world, frequent changes in project lifespans are common practice. The number of tasks that need to be completed in a single sprint can change on a dime. This can be frustrating for everyone involved because there never seems to be a clear end date. From poor planning to bad execution to unexpected delays, it can be difficult to keep a project on track.
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Security and data management
According to a survey by VMware Carbon Black, 91% of global enterprises that have moved to remote working have reported an increase in cyberattacks. From mom and pop shops, to Fortune 500s and governments, nobody seems to be safe. That has put a lot of added pressure on IT managers to take every threat seriously, especially since 80% of those surveyed have reported more sophisticated attacks. With an already full workload, it can be difficult for IT specialists to keep up with the latest threats.
Difficult learning curve
The pace of innovation makes it difficult for team members to keep up with all the latest technological tools that allow them to complete their tasks. Combining that with the number of different programs and apps they need to switch back and forth between can lead to frustration and disengagement. This will eventually result in a decrease in productivity and dissatisfaction in the workplace.
How to Rectify These IT Task Management Challenges
Don’t wait until there’s a problem
Be proactive by scheduling regular touch-bases asking other departments how IT can help and prevent challenges through manager surveys. Remember that even with great tools, technology, and processes, you still need procedures that include the people in different departments. It can be easy for non-IT personnel to forget about information technologies until something goes wrong. With weekly communications or meetings as a reminder and the filling out of surveys, IT managers will have a more efficient and effective process for risk management.
Review the extent of the change
By taking time to review the extent of the change, IT managers will be able to implement the right changes more quickly, communicate more clearly about what comes next, and improve cost estimates for proposed changes. This goes for all types of changes: standard, normal, or emergency changes. So whether it be an IT infrastructure change, moving a project into production, or even a security breach, it’s always worth it to review the extent of the change (however, a breach will have to be reacted to much faster).
Hold regular staff training
Human error is typically the culprit of dangerous breaches that could cost millions. That’s why it’s always important to train and educate employees. Hackers are always coming up with new and clever ways to get into systems, which is why it is imperative to hold regular security training. Employees need to know the latest phishing attacks, malware tricks, spear-phishing hacks, etc. Plus, it’s also a good way to ensure everyone is up to date and aware of the latest policy changes. While this may seem like a lot of work for something that might not happen, all it takes is one breach to potentially lose millions of dollars, as well as the trust of your customers.
Implement innovative task software
With so many new tools and technology, it can be difficult and exhausting for staff members to learn all of them. By implementing task software that integrates different apps and uses one dashboard to automatically bring tasks together, employees will only need to learn one software. This will also prevent work from getting lost in the fray from switching between so many apps. And with task software that analyzes everyone’s work, gives reports on productivity, and tracks goal progress in real-time, IT teams can always be on the same page.
Busy IT professionals can use all the help they can get with so much changing in the IT landscape. The MetaSpark workforce productivity hub can provide some assistance by providing accurate, data-driven insights into productivity across individuals, departments, and the entire organization. With a platform like this, IT managers can be better equipped to overcome IT task management challenges.