The ability to use artificial intelligence effectively is also a large concern for IT decision makers.
IT leaders face a range of challenges, but data security ranks as the no. 1 concern, according to a Tuesday survey from Adobe.
Among the 1,000 US IT decision makers polled, 47% put data security at the top of their list of priorities. Respondents pointed to such challenges as making sure that data is secure, that customers can act upon it, and that it can easily flow through the myriad systems that organizations have in place.
While organizations are focusing on data security, other data management issues remain. Grappling with the huge avalanche of data available in their organizations naturally seems like a top challenge. But another aspect of data management scored higher as a challenge among the IT leaders polled.
SEE: EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy (Tech Pro Research)
"Surprisingly, having too much data is one of the least-cited challenges; actually using the data effectively is a much more important issue," Ronell Hugh, head of product strategy and marketing for Adobe Experience Platform, said in a press release.
A full 63% of those surveyed said they've been successful at integrating different data sources, 59% said they've been able to clean their data to reduce inaccuracies, and 59% said they're able to use the data effectively to personalize it for their customers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning were next on the list. Almost 90% of those polled said they envision an increase in the use of AI and machine learning in their future. But 40% cited the ability to implement AI as a top concern. The survey revealed a disconnect in AI between IT teams and the business side at many organizations, with only around half of the IT leaders surveyed expressing positive feedback about the effectiveness of their current AI and machine learning solutions.
Improving the customer experience
AI and machine learning were cited by 41% of those polled as providing the most value in improving the customer experience. Other technologies seen as improving CX were the Internet of Things (IoT), voice, immersive technologies including virtual and augmented realities, and chatbot technology.
Among many organizations, IT teams and the business side seem to be working together as true partners. Some 53% of the IT leaders surveyed said they collaborate with their customers on both the vision and implementation of technology. Of the rest, 27% said the business side envisions technology solutions and works with IT to implement them, while 18% said that IT decides on the right technologies with input from the business side.
Overall, 95% of the IT leaders expressed optimism about their ability to positively affect their customers, and 69% said they believe they have the right tools and systems to create personalized experiences for their customers.
"IT decision makers have a firm seat at the table," Hugh said in the release. "They feel that they are a strategic partner to other lines of the business, and most often they feel their department is organized in a way that enables their teams to support improved customer experiences."
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- Online security 101: Tips for protecting your privacy from hackers and spies (ZDNet)
- The best password managers of 2018 (CNET)
- Cybersecurity and cyberwar: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)