Why developing your IT & Digital department is essential for business growth
New technologies were being introduced into workplaces across all industries at an ever-increasing rate prior to 2020 but the pandemic really has been a game-changer for the digital landscape.
When the world was forced to stay at home during the height of the pandemic, business leaders had to onboard digital ways of working to minimise disruption and enable teams to work, communicate and collaborate from wherever they were.
What may have taken years happened in a few short months. Not only has this meant that companies had to quickly adopt digital frameworks, but the development of technology as a whole has been accelerated.
Today it is more essential than ever for companies to invest in digital transformation. To ensure they are competitive now and to prepare their organisation for a digital-first future.
In-house IT and Digital departments can help businesses to stay ahead of the game.
The need for digital growth
Dell’s Digital Transformation Index 2020 highlighted the digital acceleration sweeping the globe. Surveying 4,300 business leaders from 18 countries and 12 industries, it found that 80% of businesses fast-tracked their digital transformation programmes in 2020 and 89% said that the disruption caused by the pandemic has shown they need a more agile and scalable IT environment.
The 2021 Gartner CEO Survey of 465 business leaders across 30 countries found that ‘digital capabilities’ was the only area in which a high percentage of CEOs would commit to increasing investment.
Many are betting on digital transformation and AI technology to drive economic growth over the next two years. Market Research firm IDC predicts that 65% of global GDP will be digitalised by 2022.
Digital transformation is key
‘Digital transformation’ has become somewhat of a buzz-phrase over the years. But at its core, it involves businesses using digital technology to overhaul processes, solve challenges and create opportunities.
From the ability to collect, analyse and act on data, to supporting customers through digital channels, to utilising AR to learn how to do or fix things in an instant, to maximising productivity through AI, and so much more, digital tools, skills and frameworks can transform businesses.
It also must involve a cultural transformation, a shift in employee mindset, to be truly successful within a business. IT & Digital departments can help with this too, by helping to explain and train.
Areas for consideration…
With the constant development of eCommerce and consumer technology, customer expectations are ever-increasing and businesses need to keep up.
We’re not just talking about immediate response times, delivery and service – that’s now a given. Today’s consumers are tech-savvy, hyper-aware of advances in the digital sphere and always connected.
Move away from legacy systems
The pandemic accelerated this for many companies but a move to cloud architecture or cloud computing is now essential. Not only will your business be operationally more agile, it will allow for analytics and a full digital experience.
Automation to enable human focus
Automating manual processes and workflows means that employees can focus on those areas that AI can’t replicate – critical thinking, collaboration, networking, customer service, and so on. Removing such tasks can vastly improve efficiency and productivity.
It is vital that all new digital technologies are seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the company, unifying the digital workplace. Data and analytics need to be shared and every new technology must play its part in the greater ecosystem. Without a dedicated IT & Digital department that is hard to master.
Who do you need?
The positions you’ll need to hire will depend on the size and type of your business but can be roughly divided into the following categories:
Chief Information Officers and Chief Digital Officers will head digital transformations. Setting objectives and strategies, and lead any onboarding of new digital technologies. They will also manage all roles within the department.
Software engineers, cloud computing specialists, DevOps engineers, and many more in between, are all crucial to developing, implementing and integrating new software.
Data and analytics
Utilising data and analytics can be transformative for a business. With the right analytical tools that dig deep and work through data reliably and quickly, you can gain valuable insight into business operations and make better, faster decisions. But you also need specialists that can use the tools, understand the data and implement it.
There are various IT & Digital support functions, from customer support to employee support.
The reality is that we are no longer talking about preparing for the future – although the digital landscape will continue to grow, evolve and disrupt at rapid speed.
The world has already become digital-first. Not only will businesses benefit from digital transformation, those who don’t will be left behind.
Transformation will be constantly evolving and developing with time as technology evolves and companies need to move at the same pace.
The most efficient way to do that is with your own IT & Digital team that can create a digital roadmap but adapt and evolve strategies along with the technology.
It is therefore imperative to create and grow an internal IT & Digital department in order to thrive in a post-pandemic world.