Is Your IT Department an Innovator or a Roadblock?

Posted by Domenick Wissel on Mar 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM

What role does the IT department play in your business? Does it contribute to strategic initiatives, or does it mostly provide day-to-day support for your users and systems?

If you’re struggling to define your IT strategy, you’re not alone. Only 29% of CIOs rate their organizations as effective or very effective at IT strategy and planning, according to Gartner’s CIO Survey. Gartner has also found that building and executing a successful IT strategy leads to increases in revenue and profits, so to more significantly contribute to business success, CIOs should clearly define IT’s role in the business and then develop a strategy for properly serving in that role. That’s not all: CIOs must also be able to clearly articulate the IT strategy to gain understanding and endorsement from top executives.

To receive continuous executive support, IT must establish business credibility. This can be a challenge, as many users find IT policies and procedures to be hindrances or roadblocks rather than contributors to business success. A study conducted by Microsoft and Wakefield Research found that millennials, in particular, are dissatisfied with IT policies and procedures that stifle their creativity at work, so they are taking matters into their own hands: 90% of millennials say they get things done faster by using their own approach instead of their organization’s preferred approach.

Millennials aren’t the only users who take the decision-making into their own hands because they consider IT to be a roadblock. IDC finds that business technology spending is moving away from IT. In fact, IDC predicts that in 2019, line of business leaders will spend more on technology purchases than IT organizations. This includes shadow IT projects that bypass IT awareness or approval.

A way to reverse this trend is for IT to evolve into an innovation enabler—and by evolving, IT would become a more significant contributor to business success. Now, what’s preventing IT from stepping up to lead innovation efforts? Gartner reports that CIOs are inundated with meetings and email, which account for 70% of their workdays. Further, a CIO Executive Council (CEC) IT Innovation Survey found that IT leaders believe the most significant impediment to becoming more innovative is not having enough time to innovate given day-to-day tasks.

The problem is clear: How can IT serve a strategic function when it is constantly bombarded with one-off issues? There simply isn’t enough time to be innovative, because innovation is not a simple, one-off task. It takes a great deal of time, effort, and sometimes failures to achieve IT innovation and, ultimately, become a trusted partner to executives and individual business units.

A solution for IT departments that wish to evolve their role in the business is to team up with a managed services provider. Managed services can ease the transition by helping IT:

  • Build and execute a successful strategy. A managed services provider ensures that the solutions IT deploys for the business are functioning properly and driving productivity, efficiency, and agility. IT saves time, reduces costs, and resolves minor issues before they grow into service-affecting problems.
  • Devote resources to strategic, business-enhancing priorities. The IT department is freed up to lead innovation efforts as managed services providers handle the day-to-day issues and prevent more severe issues from arising.
  • Take technology decision-making back into IT. A managed services provider ensures optimal performance and productivity gains from your systems. The increased usability of these systems drives user adoption, as users stop feeling the need to rely on their own approaches to get work done efficiently.
  • Build business credibility and contribute to business success. When users see the value in IT policies, processes, and systems, they stop viewing IT as a roadblock. When executives see clear productivity gains and more satisfied users, they grow more confident in IT’s role in the business. When IT is available to drive innovation efforts, it rebrands itself as the center of innovation within the business. As a whole, these changes make IT a clear and significant contributor to business success.


Are you ready to transform your IT operations?

Adopting a managed services strategy enables you to be more competitive by capitalizing on your internal strengths and entrusting routine IT tasks to an experienced partner. ConvergeOne Operate allows you to simplify IT and reduce overall operational costs.

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Topics: Managed Services, Innovation