How CIOs can manage uncertainty and change

How CIOs can manage uncertainty and change

The life of the CIO has been made infinitely more complicated by the pandemic and its impact on remote working, according to Max Faun, head of Europe consulting at Okta.

On the one hand, it has accelerated the shift to cloud and SaaS applications, and on the other hand, it has required increased trust from employees and employers, as they are no longer in the same building.

At the same time, it has reignited the consumerization debate – people working from home don’t want to be stuck using clunky apps and devices.

CIOs would like to be able to deploy new cloud applications without having to worry about the backend, but in reality this is complicated by technical debt, procurement cycles and existing contracts, which means that a “big bang” approach is only possible for very small or very new organizations.

In his presentation to Computer science At the Deskflix Cloud Automation event last week, Faun advised IT managers to figure out what they have in their IT estate and then “chopped” it down into small tasks.

“Do what can be done quickly, then over time migrate and decommission the rest,” he advised.

For example, replacing a legacy application with a SaaS application can be a relatively quick task, moving a legacy application to the cloud can take longer, and applications that require reengineering will take longer.

Because the domain will be in a state of flux as these changes unfold, it’s important not to allow individual rooms to become siloed, which will make systems both inefficient and insecure, he said. he declares.

“A critical part is managing this growing and proliferating number of cloud applications that serve business needs, whether IT, corporate, or shadow-owned, through the use of ‘an identity and access management solution.

Faun continued, “Most IT and security professionals understand that identity and access management solutions are an essential component and central pillar to managing a digital future while maintaining adequate productivity and security. , even improved.

Another key activity is to consolidate all directories. Having a directory to support on-premises applications and other directories for various cloud and hybrid applications is a recipe for administrative overhead and inefficiency.

“If you don’t consolidate your directories into a meta-directory with group and policy functions, you’ll still be stuck with an ever-growing IT staff performing the same actions multiple times on your individual admin consoles above. above every directory or forest. It has to be a directory,” Faun insisted.

Finally, organizations should move to a zero-trust approach, with multi-factor authentication (MFA) perhaps the most important element for security. However, this can go against the expectations of employees and partners, who don’t want to have to constantly enter one-time passwords, but modern contextual systems like Okta make this process adaptive, which means that Trusted people working from trusted devices in trusted places don’t have to jump through the same hoops.

“Smart MFA or Adaptive MFA can use [information about the user and their past behaviour] to decide when and if to challenge a user based on what’s going on by removing the need for unnecessary prompts,” Faun explained.

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