Organization strategy

Future-proof your IT organization by focusing on these 5 priorities

The past two years of rapid digital transformation have redefined the role of IT teams. More businesses and workloads have moved to the cloud, digital user experience (UX) has become more important than ever, and once-siloed IT professionals are now at the heart of business decision-making. businesses. But it’s understandable that many organizations are struggling to keep pace with these changes.

Organizations that come out ahead are those that reorganize IT operations to adapt to today’s market changes. These companies – we’ll call them the leaders of today’s IT world – are way ahead of those that haven’t focused their attention on what really matters.

Innovation and growth – rather than just staying afloat – must be a top priority to maintain a competitive edge in 2022 and beyond.

What separates top IT organizations from followers?

Recent Industry Research explores several key focus areas that leading IT organizations will prioritize over the next few years, from new business development to security. The key differentiator between leading IT organizations and “followers” (categorized as organizations that did not score 5/5 on questions regarding innovation, goal achievement, and cross-enterprise collaboration) is how management of a company responds to changes in the market. trends and conditions.

[ Also read 4 ways digital transformation has changed how business is done. ]

Examine these five themes developed from the practices of today’s leading IT organizations and assess whether your priorities are moving in the right direction.

1. IT goes from tactical to strategic

Due to the global shift in priorities over the past two years, technology strategy is now relevant to nearly every conversation, from business goals to tapping into new revenue streams. Leaders of major IT organizations ranked “identifying new business opportunities” as the number one priority for their IT organization. Meanwhile, respondents from lagging organizations cited “implementing technology” as their top goal. Large organizations are moving beyond the traditional tactical responsibilities of IT teams and thinking critically about innovation and new business opportunities.

2. User experience is at the forefront

UX and Customer Experience (CX) make a significant difference in delivering a superior product or service. And leading IT organizations know they need to understand what customers want before they start executing. That’s why the best companies invest in user experience and integrate user research early in the software development cycle.

Consider the user journey at every step of the process to differentiate your product or service.

Ask yourself, your employees and other teams in the company how the software can be improved. Consider the user journey at every step of the process to differentiate your product or service.

[ Also read 3 reasons user experience matters to your digital transformation strategy ]

3. IT creates revenue-generating opportunities

Let’s ditch the idea that IT is a cost center and instead think of it as a source of revenue, because that’s what major IT organizations do. Top IT leaders ranked “being seen as a revenue generator” as their top priority, while followers ranked it third. Innovative IT organizations strive to reduce IT costs by maximizing data and optimizing cloud utilization, allowing them to allocate resources and energy to explore innovation with a cross-functional team. More often than not, this results in revenue growth.

While some companies’ IT teams still operate in silos, forward-thinking IT organizations are working in tandem with other departments to identify new opportunities for business and revenue growth. Determine if your IT goals are tied to creating business value and find concrete ways to measure IT success. For example, metrics such as average recovery time or future time to completion can demonstrate how well you are contributing to the organization’s goals.

4. Security is an enterprise-wide issue

A company’s most important asset is the data that flows from its software. Instead of relying solely on IT and security teams to protect networks, systems, and data, every employee should be familiar with security best practices and equipped with the right tools (like multi-factor authentication).

While 58% of all IT leaders ranked cybersecurity as the top skill required to execute technology strategies, they ranked cybersecurity as their fourth priority when it comes to resource allocation. This serves as an important reminder to align your resource allocation with business and IT goals. You need a sufficient security budget to organize company-wide training and invest in the right security tools and software.

5. Recruitment and retention are priority

Learn more about digital transformation

The lack of technology talent leaves many organizations struggling to recruit and retain the best employees. Nearly 70% of IT leaders say they are “extremely effective” at attracting top talent, compared to just 50% of followers. Large organizations have been successful in recruiting top talent by offering competitive salaries, strong benefits, and transparency about compensation and the qualities they are looking for in a candidate.

Encourage employees and new candidates to submit other offers and ask them what they think their talent is worth. If you’re unable to offer a higher salary to a candidate, focus on other areas where your company excels, such as opportunities for career growth or the chance to work on unique projects.

When considering the top five focus areas of organizations, assess where your organization stands. Are your IT priorities aligned with company-wide goals? Does everyone in your organization know about security best practices?

These are the types of questions you should constantly ask yourself to avoid becoming an IT laggard. The role of IT is changing and the companies that come out ahead are those that embrace this new trajectory.

[ Discover how priorities are changing. Get the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report: Maintaining momentum on digital transformation. ]