IT transformation is all about your team, the changing landscape of your department, and the technological innovations that make change possible. It’s about the challenges and new possibilities you’re facing in your everyday work–so, this is a great place to find you!
In the ever-evolving scenery of the digital era, it's time to rewrite the narrative of the IT department. Innovative digital systems are fanning the flames of IT transformation. They draw a path for IT teams to reach their strategic goals and let go of device management.
As digital innovation escalates, it’s clear that the evolution of the department is in full swing. The future of IT is here.
Technological innovation spurs IT transformation, the reassessment and overhaul of an organization's information technology (IT) systems and practices with an aim to modernize IT operations, evolve team responsibilities, and accelerate digitalization.
In this article, we’ll give you a glimpse into the changes that are occurring in the IT department. We will also cover some ideas on how to effectively navigate these changes.
A Change is Manifesting in IT Departments
According to Info-Tech’s 2023 Tech Trends report, it has become the role of the CIO to push the organization harder. To ensure business growth, CIOs must adopt technology that is future-proof and supports digitalization.
In rewriting the CIOs’ relationship with the business, there is an appetite for change to traditional IT infrastructures, making them autonomous, converged, efficient, and simple to use. That way, the infrastructure doesn’t stand in the way of IT teams reaching their goals.
The complexities of their infrastructures frustrate IT professionals. Pains range from connection issues, deploying and updating hardware, riffling through heaps of documentation, and navigating complex feature sets, to managing user setups and troubleshooting user issues.
In a report by the Economist (‘ITs Changing Mandate in an Age of Disruption’), 83% of the respondents say adapting better to change requires moderate-to-considerable IT infrastructure and app improvements. In the last few years, we’ve seen incredible technology enhancements make life easier for the people driving IT projects. These take away multiple repetitive processes from the list above.
Traditionally perceived as a support team, fixing bugs and dealing with user issues, modern IT departments are at a pivotal turning point. As Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems become autonomous and easier to oversee, the IT team can transform into influential business enablers. Now, they’re strategizing and facilitating technological solutions to drive business growth and build the backbone of the digital enterprise.
IT departments are playing an increasingly crucial role in strategic decision-making. This transformative journey marks the genesis of an exciting new chapter for IT departments, as they grow to impact their organizations' bottom lines directly. IT teams now build, enable, and implement new digital use cases that lead to top-line revenue growth.
8 Indicators That IT Transformation is in Effect
At Y Soft, we’re keeping a close eye on the changing face of the IT department. As IT departments transition into their new roles, their priorities are clearly evolving. The traditional emphasis on managing system infrastructure is giving way to a more strategic mindset, driving mission initiatives and facilitating business success. The IT team is transitioning from the techies in the basement to real business influencers.
These are the 8 main indicators that the transformation of the IT department and systems approach are in full swing:
#1. Pressure is High and Demands are Evolving
Now that the IT department has been assigned mission-critical projects, we are witnessing an increase in demand for converged infrastructure solutions, low-touch systems, and simplified software that creates a frictionless experience for IT and end-users. The goal is to enable CIOs to accomplish more with fewer required resources.
“To do more with less” may very well be every CIO’s mantra. In 2023, with economic downturns leaving organizations struggling to hire sufficient talent, there’s pressure to make existing workforces more productive by removing wasteful processes and automating repetitive, low-level tasks.
IT teams are looking for managed IT service solutions that they don’t have to touch anymore. The solutions provider manages the software, which should function like power in a socket and serve as a utility.
#2. Cloud technology is on the Rise
"We're starting to see those markets that were cloud resistant become very cloud positive." - Paul Birkett, Head of Print & Workflow Management at HP (listen to the full Podcast episode).
Some noteworthy statistics on cloud computing:
- By 2025, 85% of organizations will be cloud-first
- 47% of organizations follow a strict cloud-first strategy today
- 92% of ITs prefer the public cloud over hybrid and private
- Third-party platforms are 40% more cost-effective for SMBs
- Cloud technology improves online security by 94%
There’s no doubt that cloud adoption has seen immense growth since the covid pandemic.
According to Alastair MacKay, Head of Sales for Office Print Software at Ricoh Europe, “In 2019, we had defense customers saying, ‘everything has to be on-premises', service only, nothing in the cloud. Come April 2020, that same defense customer says ‘We want a cloud print solution. We need to get rid of our servers, we need to support our distributed workforce’.” (listen to the full podcast episode).
Cloud solutions are becoming increasingly popular for their versatility, flexibility, durability, and agility in the face of change. In McKinsey’s State of Organizations survey, we’re told that only 50% of respondents are prepared to react to future shocks. This is one of many reasons why cloud technology is at its peak; it allows businesses to bounce forward—and quickly—and gain significant advantages over others in their space.
If you need a rundown of the advantages of cloud technology, look no further:
#3. Consumerization of IT
Automation and technology advancements have become key enablers for the self-service trend. Here, IT consumerization is a big driver for such innovations.
Consumerization of IT is the cycle of technology emerging first in the consumer market and reaching organizations after. Users then get more control over the devices used, meeting the need for flexibility and hybrid workspaces.
A re-imagined IT team with a mission to drive revenue growth is no longer interested in products; they care about real business outcomes. When employees (end-users) use technology that they're comfortable with, they can complete their tasks more efficiently.
That’s why IT consumerization helps drive the modern IT department forward. It means less training to get employees to feel moderately confident in the solutions they use, a.k.a., more time to work on strategic projects.
#4. Applied Artificial Intelligence
The corporate use of AI has doubled since 2018. And with the boom of artificial intelligence and machine learning software since the release of ChatGPT and Google Bard (to name a few), becoming AI-savvy is on many IT teams’ to-do list.
AI seems to be everywhere these days. According to McKinsey Global Survey on AI, two-thirds of companies are expecting an increase in their AI/ML spending over the next few years. In 2022, 52% of companies spent more than 5% of their digital budgets on AI.
While AI is still new to many industries, generative AI is becoming more and more popular in customer-facing departments and the internal value of such technology is also becoming clearer. Here are some of the many benefits of AI in ERP systems:
- Easier system- and user onboarding
- Enhanced user experiences for direct customers and end-users
- Improved cyber security and fraud management
- Accelerate automation of repetitive processes
- Reduced level of human error
- Smoothly grasps, interprets, and handles big data
#5. Digitalization Strategies
IT teams of today are hard at work building the backbone of the future, digital enterprise. As an increasing number of companies are welcoming digitalization strategies, we’re seeing that these companies are ready to let go of traditional infrastructure setups (and the work they require) and accelerate their digital transformation.
According to Gartner, 91% of businesses are engaged in digital initiatives. On top of that, 87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a distinct priority. If that wasn’t enough, 89% of all companies have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or are planning to adopt more digital solutions in the near term.
#6. Low-Touch, Self-Managed IT Systems
With IT consumerization and making IT solutions a commodity offering, solution providers are enabling customers to free up time to work on more meaningful projects.
It’s becoming clear that our customers care about real-value IT services that effectively lessen the burden on them. This is not about reducing manpower, it’s simply the realization that IT teams get more and increasingly challenging projects on their plates. That’s why low-touch, self-managed systems become gradually more attractive.
Automation is also a big help here. Today, 76% of businesses use automation for standardizing or automating daily workflows.
With automation, CIOs no longer need to manage non-strategic infrastructure work. Instead, they can focus their attention on generating business for the company and driving digitalization projects further. Companies that embrace automation are far more likely to steer their businesses toward greater success than those lagging behind.
At Y Soft, we’ve focused our offering on delivering zero management with SAFEQ Cloud. Since managing devices and systems are becoming less of a strategic priority, why should you have to do it? Find out more here:
#7. Future-Ready Security Mechanisms
Managing solutions quickly become one of the most time-consuming tasks for IT departments. This is also true when managing the company’s security posture and advanced risk mitigation mechanisms.
Solutions like SAFEQ Cloud have security embedded to cover all bases. Your solution provider can take care of managing vulnerability detection and responses (I.e., vulnerability scanning), conducting penetration tests of the software, disaster recovery, and proper intrusion prevention. On top of that, pre-configured security features ensure IT administrators don’t have to manually oversee the software’s security. That’s covered for you.
These security mechanisms keep your security in check:
- Zero trust network architecture
- Monthly, autonomous security enhancements
- Authentication (MFA, SSO, cloud, and on-prem)
- Pull printing (roaming)
- Role-based access control (pre-defined rules)
- Identity management
- Regulatory compliance
Learn more about risk mitigation and security here:
#8. Users Require Flexibility
Users want to access their solutions anywhere, at any time, with immediate fulfillment. As user flexibility becomes a non-negotiable, solution providers are making more of an effort to bring different levels of user flexibility into play with new product offerings.
96% of employees are obstinate in their need for flexibility. And the ‘why’ is not a mystery. With globalization and remote workforces becoming the norm, user flexibility is a must. With that, improving customer experiences have become a top priority for tech providers.
Today, new solution offerings are all about user flexibility and great experiences. While it’s a great way to address the end-users, it’s also a key point for addressing the IT departments.
Flexibility within software solutions and digital technology ensures you can expect the unexpected. You'll also increase productivity (remote access), and remove device constraints and compatibility issues (many flexible solutions are also brand-agnostic).
FAQs on Developing IT Departments
Q1) How can Technology Help IT Departments?
IT departments face many challenges every day. Yet, cutting-edge IT solutions help alleviate the IT burden and ensure a successful IT transformation. This technology simplifies system infrastructures and helps IT teams focus on business goals. This includes:
- Managed IT services
- Automation features
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
- Cloud-based tools
- Cybersecurity solutions
Q2) What's the Difference Between IT and Digital Transformation?
As a whole, digital transformation involves a comprehensive overhaul of a company's business model, customer experience, operational processes, and technology inventory. The IT transformation focuses on modernizing and optimizing IT infrastructure and processes, including the evolution of the IT department's practices and priorities.
The role of IT departments is evolving, and it's a change that businesses should welcome and foster. The narrative of the otherwise traditional IT department is changing, and this signifies a positive shift in the business world. One where technology and strategy merge to create significant long-term business value.
IT departments are no longer simply a support team. Because of the future-ready solutions, they are integrating into their IT environment, they have become enablers, innovators, and strategic partners. Today, they propel businesses forward in the digital era.
This reminds me of Michael Scott (The Office) saying “I saved a life. My own. Am I a hero?... I really can’t say, but yes!”.
And this is the first time calling an IT team 'hero’ doesn’t feel like a backhanded compliment followed by a new pile of work. That’s progress!