How Has IT Changed In The Post-Covid Era?

Leaders say IT is more central to operations, but they struggle to attract talent and secure budget

IT teams were essential to the ability to keep the lights on during the Covid-19 pandemic. Organisations had to pivot to a more digital-centric way of operating to keep things running - and gain competitive advantage by accelerating digital transformation plans.

Tom Allen
clock • 3 min read
How Has IT Changed In The Post-Covid Era?

As a result, IT teams have stepped into a more central role than ever before, with technology and business strategy becoming more closely interlinked.

While the IT department may have traditionally existed on the fringes of organisations, they now work more closely with the C-suite as leaders, as well as supporters.

As organisations adapt to the new world of work, what does this mean for IT teams? Do they have the necessary resources to sustain the increased workloads?

Previous Computing research has demonstrated the growing importance of the IT team. More than four in five IT leaders agreed that IT teams have become more central to how organisations operate in recent years. Similarly, 86% agreed that equipping organisations with the right tools and processes is important for remaining competitive and productive in the digital economy; and 82% agreed that IT teams are an important enabler in developing a cloud-first culture.

It's clear that IT teams are viewed as more than the providers of essential tools - they are an important enabler of a digital-first culture.

From Server To Service Broker

As organisations have moved towards the "as-a-service" model, IT personnel have moved away from deploying internally-managed infrastructure and towards more of a service broker role.

When third parties take care of some of the day-to-day management tasks, IT teams are freed up for more strategic tasks and able to operate more holistically, to optimise the use of digital tools across organisations as a whole.

However, IT teams are often functioning in a challenging environment. Half of respondents agreed that the IT skills gap at their organisation is growing, and nearly three-quarters said it is difficult to attract and retain IT talent.

Similarly, "securing necessary budget" was named as the most pressing challenging facing IT teams today.

With hybrid working and BYOD policies here to stay for many organisations, the challenge of managing increasingly complex IT ecosystems is likely to remain.

This means IT leaders like CIOs and CTOs must ensure the department's interests are represented in the C-suite, enabling greater digital transformation to benefit the business as a whole.

The CIO Role Has Changed

Employees and customers alike now expect technology solutions to be easy to use and available round the clock. As a result, technology is now inextricably linked with the product or service the organisation is selling - and the IT leader role has shifted dramatically, shaping organisational strategy and enabling new business models. 

CIOs, CTOs and CDOs must work with with leaders across all lines of business to ensure the benefits of digital transformation are felt across different departments. This means looking beyond technology point solutions and instead having a comprehensive understanding of business goals and customer needs to ensure their organisation's IT strategy is well-aligned.  

Now is the time for IT leaders to assess whether the structures they have in place with become long-term tenets of their technology strategy, whether organisational culture supports digital transformation plans, and whether IT budgets and resources are sufficient to support future plans.

This article was originally published on our sister site, Computing UK.

 

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