Why? Per the global IT association CompTIA’s research report “Building Digital Organizations” the answer is:
“Companies are starting to recognize that new tech trends are leading to a new operational model: the direct contribution of technology to overall business outcomes. …The correct application of digital tools and techniques can enhance employee productivity, provide market insights, or create revenue opportunities.”
This burgeoning realization has two major implications for IT functions at companies of all shapes and sizes:
- IT teams must serve a twofold purpose: Control operational costs and contribute to business growth – whether through driving revenue, increasing productivity or supporting new products and/or services.
- IT teams must cultivate collaborative partnerships with other business functions – e.g., sales, marketing, finance, HR, finance, etc.
The technology research and advisory firm Gartner calls this situation bi-modal IT, a challenging balance between tactical and strategic imperatives. Indeed, CompTIA’s survey reflects the duality driving today’s IT. In response to different statements about the role of technology in business, respondents indicate continuing emphasis on tactical support as a strategic mindset grows:
- 43% – “Technology enables our business process”
- 39% – “We are using technology to drive business outcomes”
- 36% – “The technology function plays a critical role in strategy”
- 34% – “We are redefining our business thanks to technology
- 30% – “We have strong collaboration between functions”
- 29% – “Technology simply plays a supporting role for business”
- 23% – “Every project is a technology project”
Still, as CompTIA analysts write in their report: “Most companies do not feel fully prepared to enter this new digital era” of dual IT identity. Again, CompTIA’s polling tells the tale. When asked to rate their confidence in “applying technology to business goals,” only about a third of IT pros (34%) reported feeling “extremely confident,” only about a quarter (24%) of business function employees responded “extremely confident” and just 17% of executives expressed this same optimistic sentiment.
Why this digital confidence crisis, especially among business leaders? One theory we embrace is the rapid evolution of digital technologies easily can intimidate and overwhelm even the savviest managers and executives. Because expectations are shifting to a dual role for them, too. Not only must they appreciate the implications of digital phenomena such as hybrid clouds, BYOD programs and malware like DDoS attacks on tactical processes, but they must discern the strategic implications of these technology trends on company policy.
That’s why we advocate organizations across the business spectrum seek support from IT Managed Services Providers (MSPs). MSPs can focus on the tactical technicalities of cloud computing, mobility and cybersecurity, while supporting strategic concerns, such as compliance and business continuity. Allowing you and your team to set your own poised, persistent pace toward digital transformation.