Innovation, autonomy, leadership and the future of IT | So Good News
The author Arun Kumar, Regional Director of ManageEngine
After the lock-in, it became clear that IT had high expectations of leadership teams. The role of the IT department has become increasingly important to organizational success, playing a key role in remote work, cyber security and especially data protection. This has led to demands on IT teams to be more innovative and creative than ever before, but do they have the autonomy to do so?
ManageEngine’s latest global report, IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond, examines the state, future and opportunities of the IT sector. In the UK and Ireland, the report found that while IT teams face high expectations, their influence is limited. IT professionals are frustrated by their lack of autonomy, and as IT decentralizes, technology decision-making often falls outside of the IT department’s control and into other departments. This conundrum also affects employee retention, as employees begin to feel the effects of economic uncertainty and pandemic thinking. So how can organizations retain talent and drive innovation?
IT and innovation
Along with traditional responsibilities, IT teams are under more pressure to be creative and innovative than ever before. Interestingly, nearly eight in 10 IT decision makers (ITDMs) agree that IT can drive further innovation if they have a strong leadership position. In other words, a lack of leadership and influence is stifling the ability of IT teams to innovate.
This is a problem because the vast majority (87%) of ITDMs agree that the success of IT is directly related to the overall success of the organization. A lack of representation at the leadership level creates a potential disconnect between the IT team and the C-suite, which directly affects the success of the organization.
Decentralization is the answer to these problems. Nearly nine in 10 decision makers (89%) believe decentralization of IT is beneficial. In particular, IT professionals believe that decentralizing IT functions allows for greater scope for innovation (55%) and greater recognition of IT’s authority within the organization (51%). In other words, decentralization is seen as a means of increasing IT influence at the leadership level.
But decentralization is not without its own challenges. Maintaining IT security levels (47%), maintaining regulatory compliance (41%) and ensuring the reliability of ongoing support (41%) are top concerns for ITDMs during this process.
Ultimately, change is needed. If IT helps innovators instead of driving innovation, this can create an unsustainable situation. IT professionals report that they are most motivated by the desire to manage change (22%) over the next five years, rather than the prospect of a promotion (19%) or the opportunity to acquire new skills (15%). Decentralizing IT may be the key to retaining tech workers who resent the lack of autonomy.
Who is responsible for security?
Protecting the organization from cyber threats has long been considered the primary responsibility of the IT department. While it remains an important responsibility, the report’s findings show that responsibility for security falls on the shoulders of the C-suite, such as the chief security officer (34%), chief IT officer (31%) or chief technology officer (27%). %) sought to protect.
In addition, only one in five business decision makers believe that IT teams have full authority to prevent decisions based on security and technical concerns (21%). This is partly due to questions about the best way to involve IT in business strategy. Interestingly, 23% of DMs in the UK and Ireland believe that everyone should be responsible for protecting their organization from cyber attacks, compared to a global average of just 7%.
IT teams are feeling the pressure
The role of the IT department is wide-ranging and varied. With the rise of artificial innovation, the increasing responsibility of IT teams for innovation and cybersecurity means that their role will become even more important in the future, and this important role will come under great pressure.
Economic uncertainty, hybrid working and pandemic thinking have had a significant impact on IT teams. 62 percent of ITDMs are not satisfied with the level of support they received during the pandemic. As a result of this sentiment, 50% of ITDMs are more likely to move into risky careers than they were two years ago. Additionally, 45% of ITDMs feel less loyal to their employer than they did two years ago. These numbers show that IT professionals of the future are looking beyond their current employer. So how can organizations retain IT talent?
Leadership opportunities and other incentives may be introduced to retain IT talent. But organizations must be careful to maintain existing advantages. The report found that nearly one in five ITDMs (19%) felt they were not consulted enough when implementing a flexible working model. However, 56% of them said they would be fired if the flexible working model was removed. Pay raises were equally important, with 55% of ITDMs saying they would leave their current organization if they were eliminated.
What’s next for IT?
While the IT department currently has significant influence over many aspects of the organization and business strategy, giving it greater autonomy and involvement at the leadership level supports greater innovation. Additionally, organizations that offer these opportunities may be able to retain IT talent by offering a more fulfilling, rewarding role.
Arun Kumar is Regional Director at ManageEngine, the IT management division of Zoho Corporation. With almost two decades of global enterprise IT experience, Arun has deep knowledge and a network of colleagues in the IT management industry. He has been working with ManageEngine since 2003. In his current role, he leads all of the company’s channel and partnership initiatives in the United Kingdom (UK) and Asia Pacific (APAC) markets..