Digital transformation is transforming everything, from business models to workflows. But it’s also changing the expectations of an organization’s IT team. While still tasked with providing support for business software and users, the typeof support is evolving, especially for companies who are shifting to cloud computing environments that rely on vendors and MSPs to handle the lion’s share of maintenance. This leaves IT with a certain level of “freedom” to explore their techno-domain and drive more rapid transformation.
By and large, IT teams are getting more strategic—and if the C-Suite doesn’t include a CIO, IT leadership is being called upon to answer tougher questions, find more innovative solutions, and play a larger role in taking the company into the future. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what it takes to prepare your IT team for tomorrow.
Taking a Cue from Digitally Mature Organizations
There’s a great deal of research being done to determine best practices for digital transformation. Survey after survey aims to identify what the “most digitally mature” companies—and their IT leaders, specifically—are doing successfully. It’s clear that these companies are ahead of the later bloomers when it comes to developing and deploying digital strategies, setting long- and short-term goals, taking risks with respect to experimenting with new tech solutions, and, of course, ramping up their IT teams to forge ahead.
In fact, a Deloitte/MIT Sloan Management Review found that over 70% of survey respondents from digitally maturing companies (versus 28% of those from companies at early stages of digital development) say they’re increasingly organized around cross-functional teams. This is an important point, because IT leaders and teams are being called on to support other departments in their adoption of cutting-edge technology. Digital transformation is an enterprise-wide endeavor, and companies are no longer implementing solutions in silos: IT is taking ownership of the tech environment with a long-view so they can ensure systems and data are being integrated and centralized for maximum use by the company.
We can look at this evolution as IT and business competencies coming together under a single umbrella. Technology is truly driving business forward: data is informing decisions, and decision-makers can’t separate their work from the technology that powers them. That’s why IT leaders are assuming the role of “visionaries” who have to consider the employee and customer experiences as central to technological innovation and transformation. They’re at the helm of organizational change—or they’re at least heading in that direction.
Considerations For Building Effective Digital Teams
With strategy and a transformational vision illuminating IT’s North Star, an organization’s IT leaders and techs will need to develop new skills and adapt to changes in the way they communicate and collaborate with other employees around the organization. Digital transformation is characterized by rapid change, so IT teams will need to demonstrate adaptability and flexibility. They may be implementing a new app (using coding skills) one day and supporting users (using softer skills) the next, for example.
They’ll also have to grasp the ins and outs of the intersection of data management and BI—more specifically, using data to drive decisions. As new cloud-based software systems are introduced, they’ll be building competencies around this modern form of computing that might change what they “once knew” about networking and security. IT teams of the near future will be immersed in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things technologies that will challenge them even further…but what a wonderful opportunity to adapt and evolve as technology professionals.
As your company travels the road of digital transformation and becomes more dependent on your ever more dynamic IT team, you may want to connect with professionals who can provide guidance and support. To get started, schedule a free consultation.