Costa Koutakis
Costa Koutakis Executive Head: Enterprise

As the adage goes, the only constant in life is change. But if you can adapt to unforeseeable change, you have a better chance of succeeding. The digital landscape demands versatility and it’s adapt or get left behind for businesses that want to thrive. But digital elements have altered the components of business continuity, and a resilient IT department is now considered vital to a business’ ability to adapt.

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IT has changed from being a support system for the everyday technological needs of employees to being a key role player in business growth. (Link to umbrella blog 1) IT solutions drive innovation and provide a competitive advantage to the organisation as well as the relevant backend systems that support productivity. But, in an industry famed for its innovation and rapid growth rate, how can businesses ensure their IT solution can adapt to the future?

Continue close collaboration

The structure of future IT departments is expected to see more interaction with the end user and external customers who use the technology. “More developers will be required to attend early-stage meetings with customers and end users and interact with them, to discuss use cases, requirements as well as business and strategy initiatives. Developers will have to be more concerned with business alignment and why they’re working on certain projects and initiatives, instead of just accepting a to-do list and working through it,” says Cory Chaplin, director of Technology Integration Practice at consulting firm West Monroe Partners.

This is mainly because it has become valuable for the workforce to know the larger purpose behind the business strategy and understand their impact on the business and client’s life. It may require more time of IT professionals, but increased collaboration results in engaged and motivated employees who are dedicated to improving your product or service.

Measure and monitor performance

An IT department needs proper capacity planning to keep running, and this requires smart analytics beyond data centre monitoring and alerts. Traditionally a proactive instead of reactive approach is used primarily to prevent system downtime and decrease response time, but measuring and monitoring the performance of your IT infrastructure has other benefits as well.

Conducting daily IT performance tests will help IT professionals to pinpoint inefficient areas, identify potential problems with hardware or software, anticipate performance flaws and flag areas with room for improvement. As a result, staff are empowered to make better decisions about their IT solution and how best to keep it robust and resilient.

Make user satisfaction a priority

According to The Green Elephant Annual Report 2015 on IT user satisfaction, IT’s user satisfaction can affect IT’s perceived value to the business. IT departments within an organisation rely heavily on support from C-suite executives for funding and receiving the necessary investments to remain relevant.

IT needs to be seen as a trusted solution provider and this is where an increased focus on user satisfaction comes in. Consider users the same way you do consumers and find areas you can improve your service and interaction with them. “IT will have to focus on measurement and accountability. By measuring user satisfaction with IT, and allowing users to grade the services they're receiving, IT can focus on what needs improvement and, in the process, get more done,” says Simon Chapleau, CEO of Green Elephant.

Looking to the future of IT, Chaplin advises on big picture thinking. The IT landscape will undoubtedly change, but whether this change will make your IT department thrive or fall depends on your ability to adapt. One way to do this is to keep your eye on the trends within the industry and how they’re being used to drive business growth. Read through our 2017 IT Trends Report to stay updated with the latest developments within the industry.

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