Ready for the Future of IT?
by Andy Lientz
As the role of IT departments continues to evolve to keep pace with the speed of business, the path forward can seem unclear. While many organizations are undergoing digital transformations to move their systems to the cloud, others aren’t sure how to move forward.
Wherever you find yourself and your organization, here are three actions you can take now to lay a solid groundwork for the future of IT.
1. Create a Process for Upgrading Old Systems
With technology constantly evolving, companies need to be continuously upgrading their systems. In addition to being costly to maintain, old technology systems that are not properly maintained and updated pose a security risk.
Tech leaders should ensure that they’re always working on at least one modernization project, regardless of what other projects are on the table. The business can never withstand upgrading everything at once, but if you are continuously cycling through one at a time you can make sure that there is alway some part of your system being upgraded.
2. Develop a Point of View Around AI, Automation, and Machine Learning
If you don’t know how AI, automation, and machine learning could help your organization and customers you’re already behind. To stay competitive, organizations need to understand the potential of AI, and then develop a point of view around how it can be applied to have the biggest impact. Often, that’s bringing in tools that can help employees intelligently automate repetitive, time-consuming business processes.
Automation can also support IT operations such as maintaining and upgrading systems, deploying new tech, and onboarding new users, so that IT can shift its primary focus from running IT systems and processes to business innovation.
3. Facilitate Collaboration between IT and Business Units
IT departments used to be in charge of acquiring and provisioning licenses for business users. These days, users can quickly procure services without IT — and use ungoverned and unstructured apps in the workplace. When they do include IT in their procurement processes, IT is often brought in at the last minute.
The future is clear: IT departments must develop a mindset of business enablement to better support the business in technology purchases and ensure that business software meets the needs of the business (including security and compliance requirements). IT leaders should look at how they can help business users increase their productivity and give them what they need as quickly as possible, without creating an additional burden on IT.
To help build this relationship, technology leaders need to frame the larger impact of the work their team is driving. Their value goes beyond developing and vetting technology. Rather, the team is solving core business problems to further the company’s objectives. How you tell that business story materially changes the way the business sees technology purchases and development, and thereby the impact you can have on the business.
Creating a Stable Foundation for the Future
None of us know what the future holds. Technology continues to develop at a breakneck pace, and challenges technology leaders to stay informed of innovations, adapt quickly to changes, and understand if and how new technologies should be applied to our businesses.
By creating a process to continually ensure that systems are up-to-date, understanding how the latest technology applies to our business and customers, and building strong relationships with business stakeholders, tech leaders can create the foundation needed for their organizations to move quickly and stay competitive.