How to better integrate IT security and IT strategy

Organizations see a future in which IT security is deeply woven into their overall IT strategy. Here’s how they plan to get there.

Information security has become such an integral part of IT that at a growing number of organizations, the two are virtually indistinguishable — from an organizational standpoint.

Many companies are attempting to more tightly integrate IT security strategy with IT strategy. That can mean blending departments, changing leadership structures, and embedding security earlier in the development pipeline, among other tactics.

About two thirds of organizations say their IT security strategy and IT strategy are tightly integrated, with IT security being a key component of IT roadmaps and projects, according to CIO’s 2019 State of the CIO survey.

But looking ahead, the two become even more indistinguishable, with 83 percent of organizations expecting to tightly integrate IT security strategy into their overall IT strategy within the next three years.

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What is NoOps? The quest for fully automated IT operations

Automation has IT leaders eyeing the possibility of environments with no hands-on operations work. But this evolution of DevOps may be more pipedream than practical reality.

Automation has become a widely used tool for streamlining IT operations, and Mindtree is one such organization removing manual processes from its infrastructure as it moves toward delivering a more fully automated environment.

The consulting and managed service provider’s strategy follows an ambitious goal prevalent in many tech organizations: To get away from the conventional work of IT operations and let machines handle it instead.

Such an environment, where there’s virtually no hands-on operations work, could deliver a faster, more frictionless development and deployment experience — meaning better turnaround times for business requests for new functions and services, says Rene Head, global vice president of infrastructure at Mindtree.

“It’s not just about IT delivery excellence; it’s a win for the business as well,” Head says.

That’s the promise of NoOps, an emerging IT trend that is pushing some organizations beyond the automation provided by DevOps to an infrastructure environment that requires no operations work.

What is NoOps?

NoOps is the idea that the software environment can be so completely automated that there’s no need for an operations team to manage it. NoOps, for “no operations,” is a concept that pushes forward a trend that has been on the march for a decade or more.

To be clear, NoOps is not the same as outsourcing your IT operations. It’s not about moving to SaaS or the cloud and expecting those vendors to run operations — although both managed service providers, such as Mindtree, and cloud companies are indeed on the NoOps journey themselves to gain more speed and agility in their own infrastructure.

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The future of IT leadership: 5 new roles CIOs must master

If you think technology leaders’ jobs have changed a lot over the past few years, just wait. Here are five new roles all CIOs must take on in the years ahead.

It’s more than an understatement to say the role of technology leaders has changed over the past few years.

The widespread adoption of cloud computing and process automation has reduced the demands for IT departments to keep the lights on. Large-scale capital expenditures on infrastructure are being replaced by increased operating expenses on services. Meanwhile, the pressure to take an active leadership role in the business’s digital transformation is greater than ever.

“If you looked at CIOs ten years ago, they spent an inordinate amount of time in the lower parts of the stack and in the data center,” says Archana Rao, CIO for Atlassian, makers of collaboration tools like Trello and Jira. “The emergence of cloud and business process automation have shifted us away from old-school operational CIOs and into business enablers.”

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6 soft skills IT needs to succeed in the digital era

When it comes to transformation, tech expertise goes only so far. IT leaders must look for and develop traits not traditionally required for technologists in order to succeed in the years ahead.

As their companies seize on automation, AI and other leading-edge technologies to remake themselves into digital organizations, they’re finding they don’t have the skills they need.

Consider some numbers released by Gartner this fall: The IT research firm found that 70 percent of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their existing jobs while 80 percent lack the skills they need now and for future career success.

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7 IT salary and hiring trends for 2019

The IT industry continues to face a talent shortage, but businesses are getting creative to fill the necessary skills gaps for successful digital transformation.

When it comes to IT, change is a constant. Thanks to a wide range of maturing technologies and the threat of digital disruption, the pace of change in IT has accelerated — even in just the past year. But one facet of IT remains the same: that IT organizations continue to struggle to find enough talent to meet demand.

That talent gap puts pressure on IT hiring practices and on organizations’ ability to offer competitive salaries in a tight talent market. But emerging trends from the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide suggest that organizations are adapting and finding ways to fill skills gaps, even if they can’t lure the top tech talent available.

Robert Half surveyed 2,600 IT hiring decision makers in North America to find trends in IT hiring and to uncover what businesses value when finding new candidates to hire. Whether you’re looking for new talent or embarking on new IT initiatives, here are seven trends impacting IT salaries and hiring this year.

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The 8 biggest IT management mistakes

Sure, nobody’s perfect. But for those in charge of enterprise technology, the fallout from a strategic gaffe, bad hire, or weak spine can be disastrous. Here’s how to avoid (or recover from) big-time IT leadership mistakes.

Everybody makes mistakes. Most are harmless, some are embarrassing but forgivable, and some can take your career — or your company — down with them.

Some of the most common IT gaffes include becoming trapped in a relationship with a vendor you can’t shake loose, hiring or promoting the wrong people, and hiding problems from top management until it’s too late to recover.

When you’re in charge of enterprise technology, the risks are much higher and the fallout from mistakes can be much worse. So we’ve ranked them by order of severity: Level 1 (an embarrassing story you’d tell over a beer, but maybe not right away); Level 2 (one you can recover from, but don’t expect to be on the fast track for promotion); and Level 3 (you’re fired).

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7 ways IT leaders derail their careers

Falling off track is easy when you make a mistake that can turn a career superstar into a bit player.

The moment typically arrives without warning. An IT career that showed every sign of success — steady promotions, salary increases, a better office — suddenly slams to a halt. You’re fired, demoted or involuntarily plateaued. What happened?

It’s impossible to rebuild a broken career without first understanding how it was derailed. The “Success Express” frequently slips off the rails due to a mistake, oversight, offense or miscalculation made in total innocence or ignorance. Often, the victim doesn’t even realize that he or she has made a career-crippling move.

1. Not looking beyond IT

2. Failing to acquire critical non-IT skills

3. Neglecting business relationships

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The 10 most in-demand technology certifications for data and IT pros

In the world of IT and data management, certifications are important benchmarks that many organizations value when looking to hire people to fill various roles. And at a time when enterprises are especially hungry for certain skills, documentation that’s mapped to a specific skill set based on standardized testing is useful to employers as well as professionals.

The most in-demand data management certifications today reflect where many organizations are placing their emphasis as they look to leverage information resources.

Among the most popular certifications, according to technology staffing and consulting firm Robert Half Technology, are:

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform Infrastructure
  • Java
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • DevOps
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • .NET
  • Agile and Scrum
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate/Cisco Certified Network Professional
  • VMware
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional

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What an IT career will look like in 5 years

Emerging technologies and shifting workplace demands are reshaping the IT career horizon. Here are the changes experts see unfolding for IT roles and how IT work gets done.

If you sketched out how IT roles will change in the coming years, you’d likely envision tech roles maturing around emerging and high-value technologies, such as AI, data science, and the cloud, as well as a continuing focus on security across industries and business divisions.

These topics frequently came up in our discussions with tech leaders about the near future of IT roles. But so too did surprising insights — including potential new positions that don’t exist today.

Along with in-demand roles we discussed how work will get done and how a mix of full-time and gig workers will help deliver results. We also considered how these changes might suggest a road map for making career adjustments or corrections that can help you thrive in the years ahead.

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Top Five Reasons Tech Pros Should Earn Professional Certificates

eWEEK DATA POINTS: New IT jobs will require adeptness in relatively new fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. Better get prequalified.

It’s no secret that tech automation is poised to upend many traditional careers. The good news is that if you have the right technical background, your skills are in greater demand than ever. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Consumer Technology Association, 92% of employers reported that they’ll “need more employees with technical skills.”

Many of these jobs will require adeptness in relatively new fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science.

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