What IT leadership looks like in the evolution of technology

What IT leadership looks like in the evolution of technology

Anthony Spiteri, Regional CTO, APJ, Veeam, says ‘best for business’ is still the basis for success in the face of what’s ‘new and shiny’.

Anthony Spiteri, Regional CTO, APJ, Veeam

As technology continues to evolve at pace, so does the challenge for IT leaders to keep up. Not only do leaders need to upskill and adapt as new innovations emerge, such as AI-based applications, but also as and when existing technologies converge.

Part of this process means leaders are often tempted to leverage new, shiny technologies for the sake of doing so; for fear of missing out. The flip side is that such innovations may have limited data protection capabilities given their infancy, which is a big risk to take in a world rife of cyberattacks. According to Veeam’s 2023 Data Protection Trends Report, an alarming 85% of organizations suffered at least one cyberattack in 2022.

The likelihood of technology solutions being compromised adds enormous pressure to leaders when making IT decisions, as it could make or break business operations. Fortunately, IT leaders can follow a set of fundamentals to keep up with new technologies and ascertain which are best for their businesses.

Thirst for adaptation

During my two decades in the tech industry, I’ve found that the key to keeping up in this industry is a constant thirst to learn and adapt.

The prerequisite to this is lifelong education – from the latest tech trends and new solutions, and how the former is dictating the latter. Following the rise of social media platforms and forums like YouTube and GitHub, it has never been easier than ever to access such information, not to mention the plethora of online courses now available.

However, nothing beats learning through trial and error. With so many applications readily available without cost, I believe it is more valuable to tinker and play with the technology. Having the curiosity to have hands-on experience with new applications is invaluable in informing the best decisions for the business.

If we are constantly learning, we also need to adapt. This involves critical thinking and analysis of the technologies of the past, present and future.

For example, now that the cloud is the basis of most workplace IT infrastructure today, it also adds complexity to how data is discovered and monitored. Cloud infrastructure and As-a-Service offerings require trusting others with your data while also understanding how data lives and integrates into the system. It is no surprise that this transition takes some control away from IT leaders and asks for a new level of trust.

Without adapting to the changes technology brings, leaders may find themselves stuck with less efficient tools and solutions, inhibiting themselves, their teams and the business from progressing. Existing and new technologies aren’t better nor worse compared to the other. Rather, it is a matter of weighing up the pros and cons, then having a game plan to manage and mitigate the associated risks.

A layered approach to new technologies

Emerging technologies may seem foreign and overwhelming, but they are simply a build on those that have come before them.

For example, when it comes to Veeam’s expertise in data storage, the fundamentals of computing, networks and storage are the same. Virtualization, automation and public cloud are all layered on the base to change how data is consumed. Sometimes these layers allow for more efficient and effective processes, and other times they may expose data and the business to unwanted risks. The decision that IT leaders need to make is what selection of layers to they want to add to their core base.

Learning about emerging technologies does not mean implementation

Striving to understand new technologies doesn’t mean having to implement them. New does not necessarily equal better.

The goal for any IT leader is to ensure they can keep the business running. This means having strong infrastructures and processes in place to minimize downtime. If that means operating with existing technology that is tried and tested, that may be the best decision. There are many enterprises that continue to run on existing technology, because they know that risks and challenges are involved with change.

Regardless of one’s experience in technology, education is vital to being a successful IT leader. Having the hunger to stay up to date with new innovations and the curiosity to explore them will go a long way in informing business decisions. It is through a comprehensive understanding of emerging technologies that leaders can realize that newer technologies can be helpful but may not always be the most appropriate. By ensuring that IT decisions are made based on what is best for the business rather than what is new and shiny, IT leaders will have greater success in navigating the fast-paced future of technology.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent CIO APAC

View Magazine Archive