Enterprise technology can help improve workplace efficiency while enabling global offices to better collaborate with one another. However, if not introduced correctly into the organisation, it can just as easily lead to cost blowouts and stressed employees. Here are five key challenges of working with new enterprise technology and how to overcome them.
1. Cloud versus on-premises services
According to a Telesyte study, the uptake of public cloud services is expected to more than double by 2019. Despite this growth, many businesses are still opting to keep their data on-premises, where they believe it will be safer from cyberattacks. This concern has spawned an entire industry of cloud security specialists that offer additional security features aimed at boosting public cloud security to enterprise levels.
Companies reluctant to adopt the cloud risk becoming uncompetitive in areas such as mobility, collaboration and scalability. This has made hybrid cloud systems – which utilise both public and private cloud platforms – popular with security-conscious companies that still want to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing.
2. Balancing useability with complexity
Consumer technology is usually more user-friendly than enterprise technology because, quite simply, it needs to be useable by everyone – technophobes and your grandparents included. This is starting to change, however, as we see consumer-grade technologies like smartphones and tablets increasingly being utilised inside enterprise technology networks.
As a result, employees are now expecting the same level of swipeable, plug-and-play functionality they are accustomed to at home. We are living in the age of the end user, and when choosing their enterprise technologies, businesses must be able to balance user-friendliness with complex problem-solving.
3. Maintaining compatibility with older systems
Upgrading existing enterprise technology often requires lots of preparation and staff training to ensure the business isn’t unduly interrupted. To minimise the risks associated with a technology refresh, many companies will roll out new technology in phases across the organisation, instead of all at once.
During this time, employees, vendors and business partners who are still using older systems must be able to collaborate and share documents with those who have transitioned to newer technology. This may require having technical experts available 24/7 who can troubleshoot and keep the different systems running together seamlessly.
4. Keeping critical data and systems secure
Keeping up with the latest enterprise technology has significant benefits. It includes better productivity, enhanced collaboration and more data-crunching power. However, it might also expose the company’s data to attacks by hackers who target systems that haven’t yet been extensively tested in real-world situations. These breaches can be hugely expensive and bring serious repercussions, especially if customer data is exposed.
Some breaches are more avoidable. A recent study found that almost 30 per cent of data incidents were “miscellaneous errors”, such as sensitive information being sent to wrong recipients and insecure disposal of personal data. With so much data being shared on public networks, companies must weigh the benefits of using the most cutting-edge enterprise technology against the potential costs.
5. Introducing BYOD and CYOD to the enterprise
Allowing staff to bring or choose their own devices into work – smartphones, tablets, laptops and even wearables – has been shown to improve productivity while reducing IT costs. People now regularly check work emails on their phones, access documents and perform other tasks that used to be strictly for office computers.
This blurring of the lines between work and personal lives creates obvious security and compatibility challenges. Which devices and apps are allowed? How do you keep company and personal data separate? Is your personal device security up to scratch? A BYOD or CYOD policy needs to be clear on what’s acceptable and exactly how company data will be kept secure.
Enterprise technology has many benefits, from helping you understand your customers better to improving cross-departmental collaboration. It’s therefore worth putting the time and effort into making sure the technology is aligned with your company’s needs and those of its employees. Doing some investigating into the potential challenges early on can pay off in the long run should you run into any issues.