The IT department has never been more important to organisational success. IT leaders are taking on a far more high-profile, high-powered role, and the requirements to excel in that role are rapidly evolving. The best modern IT leaders focus on four specific strategies that others miss.
Improving internal communication
CIOs, CTOs, and now CDOs (Chief Data Officers) are responsible for the implementation of data infrastructure and technology throughout the organisation–meaning employee buy-in is vital. Great leaders take the time to make sure colleagues across the business understand the implementation process for new tools and project management techniques, how long it will take, and how it will support the company’s goals and mission.
While cloud infrastructure and data platforms are increasingly important, internal communication tools are arguably even more so. Many IT leaders are introducing BPMs (business process management platforms), which allow remote and onsite workers to collaborate easily on projects, giving everyone in the organisation greater visibility and clearer communication while cutting down on meetings and wasted time.
Using automation strategically
The best IT leaders start their automation initiatives small, automating project and process workflows to cut down on tedious tasks like data entry that can cause boredom and burnout. Automation both frees up humans to focus on data analysis and strategic decision-making, and reduces the risk of human error.
While AI supports intelligent automation, it’s vital to avoid falling for the hype and attempting big initiatives too soon.
Bridging the gap between IE and business
Low/no-code solutions have been game-changing, allowing laypeople to create their own applications, and freeing up resources for IT departments to focus on the most specialist work. Modern IT leaders need to be willing to empower everyone in the business to build and manage simple applications, making “shadow IT” a thing of the past. That means including governance and guard rails from the start–and remaining on hand for the scaling-out of more complex applications.
Relentless focus on customer experience
While the main “customers” for the IT department are often internal, it’s vital to keep track of how IT tools contribute to external customer satisfaction. When providing IT support for a customer-facing experience, IT leaders can add value and individual service with chatbots, surveys, apps, and email.
Automating customer engagement processes allows humans to spend more time and energy on high-touch customer service, especially for high-value items. Happy customers make for happy employees, creating a cycle of success.
The full scope of an IT leader’s vital role is often misunderstood. As digital transformation becomes a full-scale revolution, IT leaders need to rethink what success means in the new world and constantly re-evaluate their best practices. Meanwhile, executives need to empower IT leaders to roll out essential technology in a strategic way that best serves customers, employees, and the bottom line. This must start with understanding the impact IT teams can have on the whole organisation.
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