IT departments have key responsibilities in organizations, but the scope of their role is often misunderstood. As digital transformation continues to be a priority in nearly every organization, IT leaders need to reevaluate what success looks like and how it can be achieved.
The C-suite should enable IT managers to implement critical technologies across their organizations in a way that is strategic, cost-effective, and in the service of employees and customers. Understanding how IT teams can impact an organization is a good first step to begin executing effective technology acquisition strategies.
1. Improve internal communication
IT managers are responsible for implementing technology and data infrastructure in an organization. This can include CIOs, CTOs and, increasingly, CDOs (Chief Data Officers). To do this effectively, IT teams need buy-in from employees, clearly illustrating how new technology tools and project management can benefit the company’s mission and goals. To gain the full support of the employee base, IT teams should explain the implementation process and expected timeline.
[ Also read What defines a high-performing IT team? CIOs speak out. ]
While data platforms and cloud infrastructure are important, table stakes are tools that enable internal communication and collaboration. Many IT teams are taking advantage of business process management (BPM) platforms, which enable better collaboration between remote and internal teams, providing a shared view of projects. These platforms enable greater visibility and communication between organizations while reducing meeting time and improving workflow efficiency.
2. Use automation, but do it strategically
Technology has the potential to increase productivity, provide greater project visibility to employees and managers, and automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
Businesses often go wrong with automation by focusing too much on large-scale initiatives instead of starting small with process and project workflows.
Automation software and platforms can improve employee experience and engagement by reducing burnout. By removing the need for employees to manually enter or organize large sets of data, for example, employees can focus on analyzing the data and making strategic decisions based on the results. Automation also reduces the possibility of human error inherent in manual processes.
AI is increasingly underpinning intelligent automation in enterprises. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the AI hype. Success means a real path to operationalizing AI. Businesses often err with automation by focusing too much on large-scale initiatives instead of starting small with process and project workflows that can be automated, contributing to larger-scale success.
[ Related read: 5 AI adoption mistakes to avoid ]
3. Bridging the gap between business and IT
The rise of low-code/no-code solutions has been a game changer when it comes to freeing up resources and eliminating IT bottlenecks. These technologies enable citizen developers to build applications for things like CRM, BMP, work management, and other critical operations that have historically required IT and development resources.
[ Read next: 3 essentials for a low- and no-code application development strategy ]
IT managers in modern organizations must be willing to empower business users to create and manage so that “shadow IT” becomes a thing of the past. However, successful implementation will always require governance and safeguards to be built into the process from the start. IT managers must also remain available to scale more complex applications, especially those that rely on complex AI and data science.
4. Always think about the customer experience
As IT teams ensure technology is used effectively and securely across an organization, they should never lose sight of how these tools contribute to customer satisfaction. Many IT initiatives enable some sort of customer experience, and IT managers can provide a more personalized customer experience through the use of chatbots, apps, surveys, and email.
By using automated customer engagement technologies, employees can spend more time on more interactive customer service. This is important, especially for large purchases like cars, appliances, and other durable consumer goods. Satisfied customers lead to happier employees, which creates a cycle of success for businesses.
Above all, IT managers need to continually evaluate best practices. With a holistic approach that includes effective communication, automation technology, operational efficiency prioritization, and customer experience, IT leaders have the ability to make sweeping changes and successfully implement new technologies. .
[ New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services identifies four focus areas for CIOs as they seek more flexibility, resilience, and momentum for digital transformation. Download the report now. ]