By now, most people would agree that information technology has taken over as the industry of the era. All aspects of IT – implementation, security, troubleshooting and so on – have become areas of significant investment and progress for many companies. But along with that, frustration occurs. The more reliant a company is on IT, the more problematic any setbacks in the network become. Additionally, security has grown to be a paramount issue and experts are necessary to cope with these various aspects.

That means small businesses should prioritize IT as a necessary function within their operation – though doing so presents some challenges in and of itself. The companies that leverage IT to suit their needs will come out on top when all is said and done.

IT security experts are growing scarce
There has been a cyber security skills shortage for a few years now, but as IT security shortcomings continue to make headlines, this gap is becoming more pronounced. According to Network World, ESG will soon publish its IT Spending Intentions report that will likely highlight the lack of quality IT staff.

In the report, half of respondents indicated they would hire any number of IT employees in 2015. However, 28 percent said their organization had a problematic lack of information security skill, 23 percent said there was a shortage of IT architecture or planning abilities and 22 percent believed their organization to be short on mobile device management staff.

These numbers suggest that IT experts will be in high demand in 2015. Given the competition, some companies may be left without the skills they desire. But there are other ways these organizations can build a capable IT team. 

Thinking outside the IT box
Between a skills shortage and a growing amount of cyber threats, the Internet can be a scary place. But there is no reason for companies to fear if they embrace other methods.

One is to involve a third-party company to handle IT security needs, reported The Wall Street Journal. Companies like Recorded Future provide data on topics that arise most frequently on the Internet. Now, RF's biggest niche is in cybersecurity, where it is helping businesses to be proactive when it comes to potential threats.

"We are increasingly looking outside our enterprise and attempting to be more predictive about threats," one financial firm's cybersecurity director told The Wall Street Journal. "Cybersecurity is about predicting and understanding human behavior, and much of that is previewed on IRC channels, social media postings, and so on."

These platforms can be the answer organizations are looking for, especially with a dwindling amount of available IT professionals. The other possibility is for companies to take training into their own hands and set up employees with IT education seminars or classes. This technique might not be as effective as having a dedicated team or third-party company, but it could help build good IT practice across the board. Employees use mobile devices and Internet connections in nearly every aspect of their jobs, so equipping them with IT training can only be a good thing.

As companies navigate the expanding world of IT, problems will inevitably occur. The ability to handle the difficulties and leverage a strong platform is a valuable characteristic for any modern business.

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in information technology equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.