IT’s New Window of Alternative to Sort out These Prime Priorities

Coming off the pandemic-driven disaster of the final 12 months, IT organizations are poised for a frenzy of exercise and progress. Are they up for the duty?

IT’s key initiatives within the months and years forward look lots like they did pre-pandemic. Safe IT information and programs, act as a strategic advisor to the enterprise, speed up IT digital transformation, are among the many large ones.

The distinction, nevertheless, in 2021 and past is that the timelines are accelerated and IT itself has a singular window of alternative to get issues performed.

That is in line with a brand new survey and CIO Agenda report by The Hackett Group, primarily based on a survey of CIOs and different IT leaders from roughly 300 enterprise organizations.

Picture: Elnur –

The report identifies 10 key points for IT organizations proper now, centering round 4 rising enterprise themes: folks, threat, price, and digital acceleration. The problem for IT organizations can be simply methods to execute on so many essential priorities on the identical time.

Simply as in earlier years, the primary key IT initiative proper now’s to safe IT information and programs, in line with the report. That is much more essential this 12 months as a result of the chance is larger than ever with a vastly expanded distant workforce.

“Safety is No. 1,” mentioned Richard Pastore, senior director for IT Analysis and a co-author of the report. “It is desk stakes. We will not do something if we do not be certain that we now have the safety in place for mounting threats.”

Richard Pastore

Richard Pastore

That is very true when company information is flowing from the safe workplace surroundings to so many various house networks and computer systems.  

The second key IT initiative proper now, in line with the report, is for IT to behave as a strategic accomplice of the enterprise. That is not something that is new, in line with Christopher Key, director of the IT Govt Advisory program and one other co-author of the report.

Christopher Key

Christopher Key

“IT organizations have been aspiring to that for a very long time,” he mentioned. The pandemic and post-pandemic period has opened that chance for IT. Final 12 months IT acted because the heroes, enabling technology-led responses to the pandemic resembling enabling distant employees, automating processes, and organising chatbots. That can solely proceed within the present 12 months.

As an example, 63% of these surveyed mentioned they’ve initiatives for this 12 months associated to higher visibility and entry to information from provide chains and operations to make quicker selections and enhance enterprise agility.

“Previously, IT has needed to foist itself onto enterprise stakeholders,” mentioned Pastore. “This disruption of the pandemic created 2021 as a 12 months of adaptation and experimentation for companies, particularly within the industries the place the world was turned the wrong way up … IT now has a gap. Somewhat than having to push, they’re being pulled into this position of strategic advisor.”

That is the second that IT has been ready for because the tables have turned. Now IT must be positive they’re able to seize that chance.

“In the event that they miss this chance or they screw it up as a result of they’re simply not responsive or they are not agile sufficient, or they’re merely appearing as gatekeepers and never advisors, then they’ve squandered a golden alternative,” Pastore mentioned.

Subsequent on the record of IT key points is aligning expertise and expertise with altering enterprise wants. The Hackett Group report notes that the pandemic has normalized a distant workforce, and that is supplied many CIOs with one thing new — permission to rent expertise from wherever it occurs to be. The transfer to distant work is placing a higher concentrate on collaboration instruments to assist guarantee productiveness and what The Hackett Group calls “innovate-from-home” capabilities. As well as, there is a higher want for course of automation to get rid of handbook dependencies. The survey discovered that 73% of organizations cite this as a serious initiative for this 12 months.

Rounding out the highest 5 on the Hackett Group record are No. 4, domesticate a customer-centric, revolutionary IT tradition; and No. 5, speed up IT digital transformation.

The Hackett Group report notes that throughout the digital transformation acceleration a key space is more likely to be migration to cloud-based purposes to extend resiliency and better-enable distant work. A full 25% progress is anticipated on this space. IT will even must focus its efforts inward to use digital transformation to its personal processes and operations.

All of those prime 5 key IT points are prime priorities, and they’ll assist allow IT organizations to attain the following 5 on the record, in line with Key.

The second half of the record is as follows:

  • Enhance IT cost-efficiency
  • Enhance IT agility
  • Modernize IT software platforms
  • Optimize deployment of IT assets throughout the group
  • Scale back/keep away from know-how complexity

All these modifications and initiatives can be taking place in an surroundings that’s nonetheless present process change and disruption. Of the survey respondents, 41% mentioned they anticipate enterprise situations will stabilize by Q2 2021, however 36% mentioned it’ll take longer.

IT organizations’ success in these key initiatives can be measured on a few KPIs, in line with Pastore. First, as the corporate pursues quite a lot of change initiatives, has it additionally remained steady and maintained continuity for the 12 months. Second, how has it progressed on its enterprise transformation.

“These are the 2 issues that IT actually has to focus its sights on,” he mentioned. “What has to occur for IT to achieve these focus areas?” 

For extra on IT enterprise points, learn these:

8 Work From Dwelling Experiences We Did not Anticipate Final Yr

10 Sizzling IT Job Expertise for 2021

CIOs Brace for 2021: A Bumpy Trip With A lot of Alternative

Augmented Analytics Drives Subsequent Wave of AI, Machine Studying, BI


Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT management, careers, synthetic intelligence, information and analytics, and enterprise software program. She has spent a profession overlaying the intersection of enterprise and know-how. Comply with her on twitter: … View Full Bio

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