The role of IT is changing: How are the teams coping?

The role of IT is changing

The current role of IT and the one that business leaders need them to play is creating friction and opportunity in organisations.

According to the 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index, 56% of IT decision makers — the CIOs and the CTOs — agree that IT departments are struggling to adapt to an expanding role that includes both adopting innovation initiatives, while keeping core systems running effectively.

As companies turn to IT to help them navigate cultural and technological changes, business leaders have moved IT into a state of change with increasing roles and responsibilities.

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But the infrastructure, budget and clear roadmap forward to manage complex IT challenges and transform the business have yet to emerge, according to the majority of the 200 IT professionals queried in the study.

A conflict emerges

“Organisations have become acutely aware of the critical role technology now plays in overall business strategy, from enabling a more productive and connected workforce to increasing market share and customer loyalty. The Insight Intelligent Technology Index signifies how competing demands on IT are inhibiting their ability to plan and innovate,” said Emma de Sousa, Managing Director UK and Vice President Marketing EMEA at Insight.

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IT decision makers feel they are not being set up for success. The reasons behind this provide a good starting point for where business leaders and IT leaders can begin to collaborate, including:

  Competing demands and not enough resources to effectively support the organisation (79%).

  Request of IT to support innovation, despite existing processes, practices and business operations not evolving to allow them to accomplish this (33%).

  Lacking clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the organisation (30%).

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The perception of IT

IT is still perceived as a cost centre, when businesses want and need more, according to the Index.

IT budgets — the pain point for businesses, and a source of conflict between CIOs/CTOs and boards — is an issue that continues to intensify: 79% of respondents said that monitoring budgets and costs is a top technology concern.

IT departments are struggling to meet the increasing demands of business leaders. But a resolution can be found.
IT departments are struggling to meet the increasing demands of business leaders. But a resolution can be found.

“While we have been talking about the growing need for IT to both manage daily operations and be a strategic partner for transformation, many companies still have a long way to go when it comes to leveling the divide and creating a competitive advantage through innovation,” said de Sousa.

“The Index results suggest more businesses are putting an emphasis on managed services to get there. If this happens, the look and feel of IT departments will change dramatically and businesses will start to see even greater IT-driven business outcomes.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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