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Your IT Team is Central to Your Digital Transformation. Are They Prepared?

Jul 1, 2019

Today, virtually every company is looking more and more like a technology company.

Even just five years ago, the phrase “digital transformation” would have attracted some confused looks. Many companies still viewed their IT budgets as an overhead cost that had to be trimmed and right sized on a yearly basis.

But 2019 looks a lot different. There’s no longer a valley of separation between the technology and business sides of modern enterprises. Many great companies put technology front and center as they set company strategic direction, create new business models and build their talent pool. Our rapidly changing marketplace not only values, but necessitates, a team of strategically minded IT professionals who understand their customers’ needs and can deliver creative solutions backed by meaningful business intelligence in response to technology advancements.

Digital transformations – the process by which companies adopt the newest technologies into their day-to-day operations as they evolve into a digital business – are increasingly common. How swiftly, and how well, a company engages in digital transformations may have a direct impact on how they compete in a crowded market.

So, are you ready for your next digital transformation project? It starts with nurturing a company culture that prioritizes strategic, big-picture and future-focused thinking, accomplished through ensuring IT professionals have the right tools and resources to support a digital transformation with confidence and efficiency.

Consider these five questions to determine whether your team is approaching digital transformations tactically or strategically – and whether they’re ready to take on the biggest changes in your industry.

Does IT have a seat at the executive table?

Take a look at your leadership team. Is the CIO involved in shaping business strategy and direction? In the digital age, companies must increasingly rely on technology leadership to differentiate their products and services in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Today, CIOs are an essential partner in building successful business – they contribute to the company direction, vision and budget allocation by providing indispensable insight when it comes to leveraging the latest technologies. An effective CIO bridges the gap by influencing technology decisions and committing the board and management team to digitization efforts. They’re often the ultimate multi-taskers, simultaneously directing a team, uncovering business opportunity and driving business efficiencies along the way.

Are decision makers getting the information they need, when they need it?

How are departmental priorities and business results being tracked, shared and reported within your business, laterally and up and down the chain? Business intelligence is vital to ensuring your goals are on track within a digital business. Organizations require a fully integrated, digital operating model to keep various departments attuned to emerging risks and to encourage collaboration among geographically dispersed teams. It’s beneficial to define communication processes, noting frequency and channels.

Some business intelligence software is designed to fit individual employee needs, giving enterprises ultimate self-service and personalization for exceptional efficiency. Everyone from the CIO to those in operations can access the information they need to make quick and informed decisions to drive business value.
Without regular communication and real-time business intelligence, large enterprises are at risk of missing out on critical business opportunities.

What do your suppliers bring to the table – are they strategic partners or just another vendor?

While your IT team may be up to any challenge, there are situations where companies need to bring in outside suppliers with specialized skill sets and capabilities. A supplier with the right mindset and that acts as a trusted advisor can yield some serious and surprising benefits:

• Get expert advice and guidance on a particular subject that your internal IT pros might not be as familiar with.

• Stay abreast of industry best practices. Because they work with many companies within your industry, a strategic partner may have the most accurate pulse on latest developments.

• Free up the time, resources and expertise of internal IT pros so they can focus on more strategic initiatives.

Is IT empowered to be either stable or agile, depending on the need and environment?

Traditionally, IT teams were used to keeping the lights on, so to speak. They were called on to maintain critical systems to avoid failure and fix them when technical difficulties arise. And while this ability to maintain status quo and optimize for efficiency is still necessary, strategic and disruptive thinking is more important than ever, especially as digital technologies play a prominent role in company success.

Thinking tactically and strategically – and switching between the two modes as needed – requires companies to be nimble and to put true innovation at the core of their business. IT teams that can keep the business running and engage in proactive, future-focused discussions will drive overall business value, improve cost-effectiveness, delight customers and edge out competitors that are still fighting fires on a daily basis.

Is your IT team up to the challenge?

Company leaders are ultimately responsible for ensuring their IT teams have the best tools and training to make digital transformations a success.

Implement time-saving (and money-saving) processes into IT workflow and watch your team thrive. With tools that automate some of the more mundane, repetitive aspects of the job, while also delivering up-to-date business intelligence insights, your IT team is freed up to focus on long-term strategic initiatives.

Further, as technologies become more sophisticated and involved, your IT team will require ongoing education to engage with and utilize these technologies at their highest potential. With the right understanding of what technologies offer the most business value, your IT team are more likely to embrace innovative and goal-oriented modes of thinking. It just takes effective leadership, communication and access to actionable data.

Successful digital transformations are achieved through collaboration, open communication and a digitally driven company culture. It requires engaging IT teams and executive leaders alike, ensuring the latest technologies are integrated at each level of business.

Contact us today to see how we can help you along your digital transformation journey.

Written by Felix Lau