Since 2019 the physical and economic effects of COVID-19 have continued to disrupt global work patterns. While remote work reached its peak, IT departments were plunged into the center of crisis management. Fighting on all fronts, IT departments manage collaborative tools, cybersecurity, and remote support. Temporary or not, these changes raise new issues, providing a glimpse into the IT challenges of tomorrow. Whether it’s digital transformation, business growth, or technology-driven innovation, anticipate future challenges today.
Let’s explore 5 future IT challenges and the ways you can prepare for them.
1. Strategy: be at the forefront of innovation
A CIO needs to be agile and responsive to technology needs, risks, and industry trends facing their organization. CIOs of today are well known for managing IT and business operations, but the CIOs of tomorrow should consider stronger alliances with senior management.
69% of CIOs think that it is essential to collaborate directly with senior management in the implementation of the company's roadmaps. (Source: ServiceNow survey of CIOs)
Over the next few years, IT departments will experience inevitable transformation, going above and beyond traditional maintenance functions. As organizations prepare for digital transformation and changes in digital culture, IT departments will abruptly adapt their roles and skill sets. One of these challenges will be learning to collaborate with senior management on growing strategic subjects including AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, keeping everyone's finger on the pulse of IT transformation.
It rests on a CIOs shoulder to lead this organizational change but also to drive it. Like a true pioneer, a CIO needs to share a clear vision to help their organization differentiate through need-specific innovations. As an ally of the CEO, the CIO becomes a central and transversal figure in the company, promoting their ideas and projects to impact decision-making.
Develop skills in new areas
As the era of specialized skills draws to a close, the IT department can proactively begin nurturing its soft skills, starting with areas such as leadership, creativity, negotiation, or communication.
2. Collaborate with your CFO
A new role means new responsibilities! Future CIOs need to be strategic and develop deeper alliances with the Finance and Administration Department. The two entities face costly challenges that include digital transformation, innovation, agility, and the employee experience.
To help nurture the new relationship with your CFO, ensure you and your IT department speak their language! A CFO is a true salesperson, able to convey their ideas and demonstrate pedagogy...that could bring IT into the spotlight!
Leverage the right tools
Using cost-efficient tools that bring value to the company will help foster collaboration with the CFO. One of these tools is a digital adoption platform (DAP) integrating directly into your CRM, ERP, HR systems, procurement tools, and more. Using interactive guides accessible in real-time, the solution significantly facilitates software adoption, reduces support needs, and optimizes costs!
3. Meet business needs and understand the user experience
Organizational change, in particular digital adoption, means IT will also take on new responsibilities: bridging the gap between departments. Misalignment between departments is a common issue and left untreated, can quickly become a major performance issue.
64% of CIOs believe that their role is also to educate other members of the management team about digital technologies. (Source: ServiceNow survey of CIOs)
To meet this challenge, the IT department will need to broaden its scope, adding managerial tasks to its repertoire of skills, including communications on new tools, digital adoption, and change management. From the CRM of sales to the HRIS of human resources to the purchasing tool of the Purchasing department, IT will become responsible for the agile adaptation of these tools and their processes to facilitate performance to meet business needs.
The next challenge for IT is viewing employees through a new prism: the customer experience, or rather the employee experience. As a result, more and more IT departments are implementing user satisfaction and quality of service (QoS) measurement tools, such as service-level agreements (SLAs) and Net promoter scores (NPS); a trend that’s expected to boom in the coming years.
Automate to perform
There are numerous tools readily available to anticipate the business challenges of tomorrow. Thanks to their intuitive, user-centric approach, digital adoption solutions (DAS) allow IT departments to respond concretely to business needs by providing each employee with personal support. Users follow customized training paths directly inside their software, with access to real-time support. With features like automation and statistics, Lemon Learning makes it possible to promote team productivity, while assessing their performance.
4. From digital transformation to digital culture
No longer a question of trends, digital transformation is well underway in many companies. Adopting a company-wide digital culture is now crucial to supporting its sustainability and competitive position. Soon, IT departments will have to prove their viability in ways such as advocating digital culture.
Digital transformation: prepare for tomorrow
And it doesn't end there. A growing scope can also be rewarding for IT as they become a pillar of digital transformation in their organization! Starting with obstacles, the execution of this role will require a deep understanding of change management (i.e employee resistance). While the CIO and IT department view digital transformation as essential, viability can only be proven with the collective support of all employees.
70% of change management projects fail, mainly because of employee resistance. (Source: McKinsey)
Alongside other departments, IT will have a strategic role in rethinking the organization of work and evolution of processes, with a completely user-centric approach. As a true champion of change management, agility will be high on their list of skills to best coordinate transformation. And for good reason, tomorrow IT departments will be just as responsible for corporate culture as HR!
As CIO, you’ll also need to manage expectations. The IT department equips hundreds and even thousands of employees with a vast amount of software applications. Step-by-step, you’ll be anchoring digital transformation into user processes, customizing for different levels of authority, digital competence, and work experience.
Digital Workplace: digital culture at the heart of tomorrow's companies
First, there were intranets, social networks, and business collaboration platforms. Today we have the emergence of Digital Workplaces (Cloud-based work platforms). These secure online interfaces contain all the data, applications, and tools your employees use to perform tasks. Thanks to these emerging models, the future CIO can leverage digital culture into employee workspaces... wherever they go. From procurement to finance, to marketing, and beyond, the entire company has access to a digital work environment, a bit like a virtual open space!
Faced with a growing number of Digital Workplace implementations, the IT department will be responsible for laying the foundations. This includes planning and anticipating inevitable employee resistance!
Software Adoption with Lemon Learning
Thanks to its user-centric approach, Lemon Learning can help you anchor change in real-time, with specific features such as push notifications.
5. Dealing with security challenges and the lack of IT skills
Unfortunately, digital transformation comes with new security threats. While AI is an ally in innovation, it can create new risks, making cybersecurity an increasingly valuable practice.
With that in mind, the IT department will need to integrate security into the design of the tools. Anticipation is key, particularly when selecting the recruitment profiles with the necessary expertise. Further down the line, the responsibility of team training will fall on IT departments to help users stay up to date with their cyber hygiene.
The future CIO is a real-life embodiment of a swiss army knife! Between expertise and multiple disciplines, the profession is reinventing itself, giving way to a future universal soft skill: learning to learn.
If you’d like to have a conversation about digital adoption solutions and what they can do for your organization, get in touch! Or take a peek at our customer pages to see how we’ve helped other organizations.