What Should be on Your IT Manager’s Mind?

What Should be on Your IT Manager’s Mind?

Many associations and not-for-profit organizations don’t have someone solely dedicated as an IT manager or chief information officer.  The responsibility is often bundled with other duties or shared amongst various members of the management team.  As a result, these organizations often face challenges dealing with risk relevant to IT operations, information protection and investment in IT.   With this in mind, we offer the following suggestions to address risk associated with two common IT challenges.

Cyber Security

Cyber crime is a growing problem with a number of cyber attacks being reported recently.   The Government of Nunavut was paralyzed by a ransomware attack, an Ontario brewery suffered a loss of over 2 million dollars in an email bank scam, and the City of Ottawa was impacted by email fraud.

Cyber security is a broad topic, but what is one important thing your IT manager can do to reduce the risk of being impacted by a cyber security incident that is often overlooked?  The answer is training and awareness.  Provide training and ongoing reminders to your team to be aware of suspicious emails and how to identify them.  Train and remind members of your team to always verify requests received for changes to your bank account or requests for large dollar transfers.  You might find one of my previous posts, How can the Story of an 18th Century Fortress Help put Cyber Security into Context, to be helpful.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a term that we have heard on more than one occasion in 2019, but often is not well understood.  We like the definition that digital transformation is the integration of digital technology across an organization, resulting in a change in how the organization operates and provides value.

Recent analysis from McKinsey revealed that most digital transformations do not yield the results that leaders expect. According to the research, the average digital transformation stands a 45% chance of delivering less return than expected.

So, what can be done to avoid the risk of a sub-optimal return from investment in an IT-related change initiative?  Consider shifting the focus from broad scale digital transformation change to smaller scale projects with clearly identifiable business benefits.  McKinsey’s research found that focusing on a few clear themes that are tied directly to measurable business outcomes is conducive to achieving better results, reducing the risk that investments made in digital change will produce less return than desired.

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Francis Liska
CEO OTUS Group | OTUS Group
Francis is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Internal Control Auditor and a Certified Management Consultant. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Cape Breton University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Information Technology. He has also completed graduate studies in decision analysis at Carleton University.

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