No matter your company’s size or industry, today’s business landscape is throwing challenges and disruptions from every direction. In most cases, an information technology (IT) strategy plays a central role in meeting these issues head-on.
Economic uncertainty persists. Inflation remains stubborn. Labor and talent shortages haven’t been solved. Technical debt is growing. And increasing data regulation and security standards require new security and IT governance standards.
Organizations planning their IT budgets and strategic plans for 2024 need to address these trends and look for opportunities. Here are some of the most important initiatives to consider when developing an IT strategy and unlocking your company’s potential.
Data Privacy and Security
Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in 2018, data privacy laws have been increasing across the globe. Gartner predicts that, by 2024,75% of the global population will have its personal data protected under a local and/or national data privacy regulation.
The growth of data privacy regulations has also elevated consumer expectations about data protection and security. Along with legislative data regulations, businesses must meet evolving, industry-specific compliance standards while also investing in a technology strategy that implements modern security solutions to keep customer data safe.
Key Regulations and Laws Affecting Data Privacy
Along with existing data regulations such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), IT departments must also stay on top of new regulatory requirements that will go into effect in 2024, including:
- California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA): After final approval of these regulations in 2023, this legislation will be enforceable beginning in March 2024. The act brings a number of new privacy requirements that will be applicable to businesses who meet established criteria related to the company size and annual gross revenue.
- Additional state-specific privacy legislation: At least four state-level sets of privacy laws that were approved in 2023 are slated to go into effect in 2024, with additional legislation possible. These acts must be accounted for in enterprise information technology strategies going forward.
Strategies for Adapting to Changing IT Laws and Regulations
Enterprise IT departments must develop a comprehensive plan for meeting these varied privacy requirements and maintaining compliance across the organization. Solutions like Seagate Lyve can empower your data infrastructure with a flexible, cost-efficient, secure cloud storage solution offering high accessibility while helping to meet robust compliance requirements.
Meanwhile, Seagate hardware solutions such as Exos® CORVAULT™ offer state-of-the-art security features—including self-encrypting hard drives—to help you build an efficient, sustainable data center while making it easier to adapt to changing data regulation.
Multicloud environments bring together cloud architectures from multiple providers to create a more flexible, scalable architecture to support your business needs. Increased cloud features, controllable economies of scale, and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) are all achievable through a multicloud environment.
Challenges and Considerations for Implementing a Multicloud Storage Setup
Before you attempt to implement a multicloud infrastructure, your IT department should identify and account for the challenges you’ll likely face when creating this environment. Planning will help reduce your overall IT costs, streamline adoption, and accelerate time to value.
These challenges include:
- Integration and management of cloud environments. The right APIs, tools, and services are needed to seamlessly connect clouds from different cloud providers. The same is true for management tools applicable to your multicloud environment.
- Data governance controls. Determine how governance will be managed across different environments. Identify data security solutions that will eliminate gaps and other vulnerabilities in this architecture.
- Cost and resource optimization. A lower TCO for your multi-cloud environment is only possible when you have the right controls in place to allocate resources and spend efficiently.
- Issues around vendor lock-in. How easily can applications be moved from one cloud provider to the next? The more flexible these cloud environments are, the more value they’ll offer.
- Data performance and latency. How quickly can data be transferred between your cloud providers? How does geographic distribution of storage affect transfer speeds, latency, and availability?
Integration and Interoperability of Different Cloud Platforms
Successful multicloud strategies in 2024 will prioritize integration and interoperability when planning and executing the creation of these environments. For best results, prioritize the following:
- Select cloud services that use open APIs, as well as cloud-agnostic middleware.
- Invest in container-friendly storage that has a common orchestration layer operating across multiple cloud environments.
- Enable real-time data synchronization to ensure data consistency.
- Implement unified identity and access management (IAM) to ensure user authentication and authorization across your entire multi-cloud environment.
IT Governance and Leadership
As the demands placed on enterprise IT grow more expansive and complex, IT governance is required to make sure these investments and initiatives are meeting their individual goals while serving the larger objectives of the business.
A more structured approach to IT decision-making is often required.
Effective IT Governance Frameworks
A number of IT governance frameworks have been developed over the years to make governance processes more manageable and consistent. While some of these frameworks offer a comprehensive plan for executing IT governance, others cater to specific use cases.
Some of the most used IT governance frameworks are:
- Control Objective for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT): This comprehensive framework for enterprise IT governance was developed by ISACA to better align IT governance with organizational goals. Along with its strengths as a generalist governance framework, COBIT is particularly effective in improving process governance and ensuring compliance.
- ISO/IEC 27001: This international standard for information security management systems offers a systematic framework for a wide range of IT governance tasks, including risk assessment, managing sensitive information, and implementing security controls.
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework: Focused on risk-based approaches to improving cybersecurity, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework offers best practices and other guidance to improve an organization’s security governance efforts.
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL): Developed to improve the quality of IT service delivery for an organization, the ITIL framework equips organizations with guidelines and other practices to upgrade IT service delivery while aligning these efforts with the organization’s goals.
Role of IT Leaders in Shaping IT Strategies
IT governance frameworks are essential to organizing and optimizing a comprehensive technology strategy, but chief information officers and other IT leaders must incorporate their own expertise and strategic vision to implement a technology strategy that will contribute to the company’s long-term success.
These critical leadership contributions include:
- Aligning IT strategy and governance with business goals. IT leaders should develop a strategic plan that uses technology initiatives to drive business success.
- Coordinating IT budgeting and resource allocation. Spending and resource utilization should be optimized to serve both high-priority business goals and technology ROI.
- Implementing risk management strategies. Any IT strategy must be supported by methods to mitigate potential IT risk, including data breaches, technology failures, or other unforeseen cybersecurity threats.
- Managing vendor and partner relationships. Contract negotiations, technology acquisitions, and other relationships with third-party vendors are typically handled by IT leaders to acquire best-fit technologies, control costs, and optimize the ROI of your IT infrastructure.
Strategies for Aligning IT with Business Goals
IT leaders are responsible for maintaining alignment between the IT department and the larger organization. As the main point of contact between IT and the rest of the C-suite, this alignment can be achieved through the following:
- Regular communication with other business leaders. Whether it’s upper management discussions, collaborations with cross-functional teams, or IT department communications that are relayed to other departments and stakeholders, ongoing conversation will help ensure alignment and synchronicity between IT and the rest of the business.
- Deep understanding of the company’s business priorities. The more IT leaders understand specific business circumstances and needs, the more effectively they will be able to develop an IT strategy that serves those needs.
- Documentation of IT objectives. Put your IT objectives into writing, including how they align with business goals, and share this documentation with both IT employees and C-suite leaders to improve buy-in from all parties.
Emerging Technologies: AI, Blockchain, and Internet of Things
As information technology leaders develop strategic plans for 2024 and beyond, emerging technologies will be the engine driving IT innovation and unlocking new capabilities and efficiencies.
However, with so many emerging technologies at their disposal, these organizations must take a strategic approach to choosing the best investments.
Potential Impact of Emerging Technologies on IT Strategies
Businesses focused on long-term growth and sustainable IT practices should be aggressive and open-minded in identifying emerging technologies that are aligned with the company’s goals. IT leaders should also consider the many ways emerging technologies can make a strong impact on business:
- Creating competitive advantages through IT innovation: Emerging technologies can lead to faster, more efficient ways of working that increase production without sacrificing quality. Businesses that don’t prioritize these investments will inevitably find themselves at a competitive disadvantage against industry competition.
- Enhancing access to data-driven insights: Artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies help your business leverage data for deeper, more powerful insights. This ability to extract information from internal data is particularly valuable to IT departments looking to optimize their infrastructure.
- Advancing strategies for cybersecurity and risk management: Machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain all play roles in improving security surveillance and responding to unusual activity. Enhanced risk management uses automated trigger actions and notifications to accelerate response times and mitigate risk.
- Being more responsive to the customer experience: Artificial intelligence, for example, is improving the utility of customer-facing chatbots, facilitating better communication and engagement with customers. Increased data feedback from Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is contributing to faster diagnostic troubleshooting for both customers and businesses.
Strategies for Adopting and Integrating New Technologies
To maximize the value of your emerging technology investments, approach these investments through a strategic evaluation that incorporates the following steps:
- Connect prospective technology with business benefit. What needs or priorities will the emerging technology address for the business? How high of a priority is this solution? How will it deliver value for the business, and how quickly?
- Gather feedback from key stakeholders. Present prospective technology investments to other executive leaders, as well as other valued members of the IT department. Consider the financial and regulatory implications of the technology. Present the identified benefits of the investment alongside its potential weaknesses or risks.
- Evaluate prospective vendors. Even in a field of emerging technology, your business likely has multiple vendors to choose from. Compare these prospects based on their cost, range of features offered, support, and other key factors.
Seagate Helps Align Your Data Storage with Your Future Goals
As your business plans its upcoming technology investments, make sure your enterprise storage infrastructure is set up to provide a solid foundation for the new innovations and growth. From Lyve Cloud to scalable storage optimized for enterprise data analytics, Seagate provides trusted solutions. Our experts can offer information technology strategy consulting that helps identify the storage solutions aligned with your IT needs and business goals.
Connect with a Seagate team member today to learn more about our emerging storage technologies and how they can support continued innovation for your organization.