Why digital transformation is important (and its impact on IT departments)
Digital transformation changes an organisation, including the role of its IT department – both broadening and deepening the competencies required.
Why is Digital Transformation important in IT?
This is quite a challenging yet necessary shift that every company must undergo in order to stay competitive in an increasingly digitised world.
As digital technologies become more integrated, they enable organisations to use data more effectively, leading to better decision-making and improved customer experiences. Ultimately, a successful digital transformation creates a culture of continuous innovation, positioning companies to succeed in a dynamic, technology-driven future.
We must remember that the process of digital transformation in business development affects every aspect of operations, requiring companies to be flexible and adaptable in response to changing market demands.
These days, IT departments are more important than ever, which also means they have to rethink how they work – at least in few particular ways that I want to discuss below.
Why are businesses experiencing a Digital Transformation journey?
Many businesses are embracing digital transformation strategy to tackle real-world challenges and seize new opportunities to increase revenue streams. They are utilising big data to make informed decisions and provide customers with precisely what they want.
Additionally, by incorporating AI and machine learning solutions in their business strategy, they are streamlining operations and reducing costs.
With cloud computing, they can scale up or down quickly, remaining agile in a constantly changing market, which gives them a competitive advantage. This entire journey is about making intelligent, strategic moves that position businesses at the forefront of the technology world.
The impact of Digital Transformation on IT departments and operations
1. Fewer IT specialists with basic skills are needed
Having a basic knowledge of IT is nothing unusual nowadays, especially among Millennials, not to mention Generation Z. As our lives become increasingly digitised, IT-related skills are also gaining importance and becoming more essential, which, of course, also influences the workforce.
This means that most systems with low to medium complexity are usually intuitive enough to be handled without any extensive technological training. However, specialists who have more experience in dealing with various software solutions are often much more capable of configuring and running them on their own, with minimal support.
With the recent focus on self-service apps (allowing users to handle many tasks on their own without having to bother the IT department), automating repetitive processes and facilitating complex operations have gained priority.
As a result, fewer IT specialists with superficial skills and basic qualifications are needed, which also increases an organisation’s overall working efficiency.
2. Growing desire for highly skilled experts
As training in technology and basic IT skills becomes more commonplace – and users grow in digital competence – knowledge of very specific IT skills also becomes more desirable.
For example, there’s a high demand for artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and cloud computing experts. Companies are lacking specialists who are able to design and solve complex problems, foster and create innovative solutions using the latest technological achievements, and who can also quickly update their knowledge on a regular basis. Expertise in these areas is crucial in order to maintain a competitive edge.
This is why even though IT departments are getting smaller, they are also becoming much more specialised, with areas of expertise that remain a mystery for the vast majority of the population.
3. Widening the range of responsibilities
IT specialists also have to get used to being involved in both regular IT tasks, as well as more business-oriented responsibilities. This includes identifying innovations, turning them into marketable solutions, taking care of security, consulting and advising other specialists, and cooperating more closely with other departments, such as R&D, sales, and marketing.
IT departments are now on the front lines of combat when it comes to discovering new technologies and proposing new software solutions that are supposed to help gain new customers or open up new revenue streams. They no longer carry out imposed tasks only.
4. A big shift in the work environment
There has been quite a significant shift in the entire IT environment towards standardisation, cloud solutions, big data analytics, process automation, learning new skills, attracting top talent, working remotely, managing people effectively, etc.
These trends have forced IT departments across the board to change the way they work – or risk having their companies go out of business.
We can also observe a constant decline in pricing for many hardware and software solutions, making them more available to everyone, and not just the biggest players in the industry, so that organisations no longer have any excuse not to invest in them.
In effect, today’s IT departments often consist of many distributed teams (either working on-the-premises or remotely, or in a mixed configuration), and they put a lot of emphasis on automating tasks, increasing and updating their knowledge, creating a data-driven culture, and achieving high levels of work efficiency.
5. Readiness to adapt technological innovation
Technologies and external environments are changing so rapidly that IT departments must be ready to reorganise very quickly, learn new skills, hire additional talent, and adapt to market needs whenever needed. They have to become truly agile – not just in their marketing claims but also in practice.
Companies cannot afford to have their technology departments fall behind and fail to adjust to disruptive circumstances, such as the ones caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or that may result from changes made to any laws and regulations. Nowadays, if you don’t adapt, you don’t survive.
That’s why IT departments have to embrace new and effective operating models as well as management concepts in order to be able to adapt as flawlessly as possible.
6. General shift of focus
So, the internal organisation of IT departments is changing, as is their modus operandi. But… that’s not all. They also need to focus more on the intersection of technology and business. Because while being innovative is great, innovation also needs to add business value.
IT experts have to shift their focus towards one or a few of the following goals: higher consumer satisfaction, increased working efficiency, faster time-to-market, greater levels of security, and better business stability and continuity. They also need to take a customer-centric approach and start taking responsibility for the product created throughout its entire lifecycle.
Some companies have even adopted a so-called BizDevOps model, which recommends creating an interdisciplinary team that closes the gap between business and IT and acts as one highly integrated entity.
7. How DT driven by IT elevates User Experience and satisfaction
IT departments increasingly use AI and sophisticated analytics to provide a more personalised user experience. As a result, customers will receive suggestions and solutions that seem more tailored to their specific requirements.
In addition, digital transformation means improving the speed and usability of web platforms and apps. Users will have an easier time navigating and finding what they need because of the reduced loading times.
These platforms are designed to be responsive, which means they can be accessed from any device, be it a desktop computer, a smartphone, or any other type of device, without any display issues.
8. Digital Transformation bolsters IT security postures
There are a number of important ways in which digital transformation strategies can improve IT security. One example is the ability of security systems to detect and respond to threats more effectively with the help of AI and machine learning. These technologies outperform more conventional approaches by rapidly and accurately analysing massive volumes of data in search of any security risks.
Moving to cloud-based services is another common component of digital transformation initiatives. These services typically have strong security measures that are updated regularly to fight against the current cyber threats. To align digital changes with their business goals, companies should consider accelerating Digital Transformation through Cloud technology.
Organisational security awareness is also fostered by digital change. Training employees about best practices is becoming more important as digital technology is used more frequently. The first line of defence against cyber threats is the informed and watchful staff; therefore, this human element is vital.
Last but not least, with solid security architecture involving components like end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication, users can rest assured that their data is safe with IT. Emphasising this factor does more than safeguard people; it also increases trust and loyalty to the company.
How do you embrace Digital Transformation Strategy in IT?
The revolution that digital transformation is causing in IT departments around the world can also be summed up in a few main bullet points:
the role of the IT department is becoming more strategic than ever
departments are shrinking and becoming more specialised
speed and agility are crucial in terms of maintaining business stability and continuity
end-to-end responsibility for the products and services created is being embraced
business models and technology need to come together and go hand-in-hand
So, to anyone considering starting a career in IT, you should know that your role is no longer just about coding – not any more.
The demands of the market and the digitised world are pretty clear: more interdisciplinary collaboration, more business and technology convergence, and a more narrow but much deeper field of knowledge are required – all of these factors come together to create a new reality for any IT department, with no exceptions.
If you have any questions or want to learn how we can help your company develop, don’t hesitate to contact us. Among other things, we can help you with: