Information technology in the digital era

Today more than ever, the digital transformation profoundly affects the efficiency and competitiveness of companies. This change is affecting companies and their environments, and they now face the challenge of evolving and adapting to this situation.

Digitizing or adapting all or part of the company’s value chain, has disrupted several business sectors, allowing new companies to emerge and challenging the position of the older ones in their own market.

But what is the role of IT departments in all this? And how can they help a company in a context of transformation?
This help certainly includes a gradual automation of certain tasks to reduce costs and time-to-market.

Several actions can be taken to help organizations, including those discussed below.

Agility is the priority

The importance of agility is well known, especially in the IT world with many articles explaining its benefits. We will discuss the main points here. An agile operation is not limited to software developers or vendors, rather it is a flexible framework that is responsive to rapidly changing business needs and the business environment.

Some companies find it more difficult or less attractive than others to introduce an exclusively agile mode, and therefore some have opted for a mixed model. For example, Gartner recommends the “Bimodal IT” model. This model is mainly characterized by the coexistence of two operating modes in information technology.

The first introduces agility and responds quickly to business needs through accelerated tasks, while the other focuses on risk control and reliability, with long-term plans and strong visibility on IT operational relevance.

Agility in implemented solutions

The solutions chosen by companies must also be agile. The platforms implemented and the vendors working with the company must be able to follow the evolution of the company in question. However, when choosing vendors, you should most likely keep in mind their ability to meet your current and future needs, as well as the ongoing changes you will face.

Make knowledge the lever of your business

In the digital age, information has become a major asset and a competitive advantage for companies. The rise and exponential deployment of data analysis solutions, such as big data and BI solutions, are proof of the importance of putting knowledge forward as a sure value for the company.

The IT department must make information available and within reach of the entire company. This is done through the implementation of an effective knowledge management system, which collects and connects data. This data must then be centralized and consolidated. To do this, the systems set up by the IT department must be connected. Interoperability enables the collection and aggregation of enterprise data, and therefore rapid and quality responses to market needs.

Introduce solutions to communicate and collaborate effectively

In addition to leveraging knowledge, as described above, optimizing collaboration has become a necessity within the company itself. There are many ways to achieve this. Here, the challenge for IT departments is to provide a digital workplace that is set up to improve collaboration and communication, and that takes into account employee criteria.

Today, with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the new generation is no longer satisfied with traditional communication tools. And this is the mission of IT departments: to ensure that they provide solutions designed to meet these new needs.

Monitoring and “Rogue IT

Scattered IT tools are the nightmare of CIOs, but they have become a necessity. What’s more, they are multiplying, with many of them not controlled by IT departments.

You have to keep in mind that technical skills are developing throughout the company and that technical teams cannot monitor everything at the same time, especially these days, when almost every project uses at least one IT tool.

Instead of trying to control all these tools, why not educate key users? Be open to dialogue and try to set up a consulting service, capable of advising on risk control and security issues, and make it available to other services. In this way, risks would be minimized and the IT department would save valuable time, so that it can take care of more important tasks.

In the digital age, the role of the IT department is fundamental, and technical departments are also becoming key departments that actively participate in defining and implementing the company’s strategy, and thus helping to achieve the company’s goals.