Cybersecurity training is vital to building a world-class tech team

Why giving IT professionals career development opportunities within a healthcare organization makes good business sense.

Being a technology leader of a healthcare institution can be overwhelming. You’re constantly balancing the need to:

  • Move fast to stay agile and keep up with new competitors.
  • Adopt new technologies and maintain legacy systems that never seems to die.
  • Keep it all integrated and working together.
  • Prevent millions of hackers around the globe from shutting it all down.

To achieve these and other ambitious goals requires a world-class team. And one of the pillars of great leadership is building, inspiring and retaining that world-class team.

Adding rungs to career ladder
In my experience leading technology teams in several different settings, I have found that most staff members crave the next big challenge. In fact, one of the most common themes I hear from staff is that they want a career ladder with more rungs – without necessarily being pushed into management. They are looking for more responsibility, more autonomy and the opportunity to develop and refine new skills.


So here we have two separate issues – staff craving development opportunities at the same time as organizations face exponentially increasing cyber complexity.

When put together, these two issues can actually help solve each other. IT teams must take on more responsibility with a new set of skills, and that, in turn, can help strengthen a health system’s cybersecurity posture. Investing in making the IT team cyber-ready helps protect the organization while creating career growth opportunities for the IT team.

Skeptics may contend that the IT team is already overburdened and argue that adding cybersecurity to their list of tasks would seed resentment and burnout. But workforce surveys indicate that the opposite is true.

One survey revealed that half of the respondents would leave an organization that fails to provide professional development training. This is especially true for the younger generation and those who work in software and IT roles.

Investing in developing staff members’ cybersecurity skills can help reduce an organization’s risks. A Cisco survey found that those with a rigorous cybersecurity training program were less likely to suffer a data breach.

Solving problems
Leadership often comes down to problem-solving, and the best leaders solve problems in the most efficient way.

Giving IT professionals career development opportunities in the cybersecurity arena makes good business sense because it addresses the problem of risk management. An investment in staff training is good for the health of the employee-employer relationship. And ultimately, it’s good for the patients because it helps ensure their data is secure and their privacy is protected.

David Lehr is the chief strategy officer at Meritus Health and former CIO at Luminis Health. He is also a commissioner on Maryland’s Community Health Resources Commission, appointed by Governor Larry Hogan.

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