For many companies, the information technology department has long been a siloed and mysterious one. You’re not exactly sure what they do, but you’ve got them on speed dial when your email is acting up.
They’re the folks with the flash drives, and your saviors when the server’s down. But, as technology evolves, so too must IT. As businesses move away from on-site data servers toward cloud storage, and general employees are more technically savvy than ever before, your company’s IT department’s role has to evolve in three key ways.
1. Effective communicators
IT employees don’t simply need to understand IT strategy and delivery, they need to understand how the technology and data affects integration and analysis. And, in turn, how the integration and analysis impacts current business processes. Then they have to be able to distill all this information and effectively relay it to the company at large.
With technology’s pervasiveness far from waning, IT team members are more embedded in businesses than ever before. They must understand each department’s capabilities in order to develop and manage strategic systems and structures. Across all departments, clear and constant communication is essential.
2. Efficiency creators
There are countless technology solutions available that tout efficiency. It falls to the IT department to pinpoint, vet and implement those that will cut costs and increase productivity across the entire organization. These could include point solutions like Google Docs, lightweight CRMs or email applications that get integrated with existing technologies.
Creating and preserving efficiency is especially crucial as companies move away from on-site systems and transition to the cloud. Now IT professionals are tasked with ensuring and integrating a seamless flow of data across the entire infrastructure. As companies shift more toward mobile and remote working, that seamless data flow and connectivity are essential to preserving a company’s productivity, culture and, ultimately, its bottom line.
3. Change agents
Today’s IT department has evolved into a team of technology strategists that help every other department successfully organize and integrate new technologies into their initiatives. They work with all facets of a business to develop a deep understanding of how the data affects everything — from strategy to delivery.
By evolving and adapting to this role, IT employees become the driving forces for creating, implementing and maintaining best practice guidelines for the new technologies across all business units.
The digital revolution created a whole new set of demands on IT’s capabilities, skills and resources. So, naturally, the IT department’s primary role and function is changing. If your IT department’s entire function is to provide your company with technical support then you’re not fully utilizing your resources. With so many new systems to maintain, solutions to assess and users to train, IT professionals have never been more critical to an organization’s success.
Your IT team has the ability to introduce and implement game-changing solutions that will increase efficiency, protect and promote collaboration, boost productivity and even cut costs. Not only does the effectiveness of your IT department depend on this evolution, but also the success of your entire company.
This post also appeared in The Tennessean, where Concept Technology has a bi-weekly feature in the Business section.