More and more organizations are adopting business models that are customer-centric. IT departments are getting ready at the crosswords of change as a business enabler. As a key participant in the changing business environment, IT firms are now prepared to improve experiences from a customer’s point of view and from an employee’s point of view. However, this path to digital transformation is not easy.

How is the IT department transforming?

IT departments across organizations are witness to huge changes!

According to the state of IT report, the IT department is witnessing a new transformation, all because of an immense shift in customer expectations. Previously the customer expectations were mainly based on what you were giving your customer (product/service) and how well your competitors were doing by comparison.

Now, it has shifted to how your customers feel whenever they interact with your organization- whether it be digitally, over call, or personally. This trend has been picked up by numerous organizations who are putting in their best efforts in raising the bar of the customer service provided to their customers. Customers are now beginning to expect the same level of dedicated, personalized, and responsive customer service from all the brands.

Such a huge shift in customer expectations has put a huge pressure on businesses to improve customer experience. This pressure is passed down to the IT teams who are tasked with improving the technology that the customers are using to digitally interact with their organization.

To achieve this goal, it is no longer feasible for IT businesses to remain contained as a department. In fact, most IT leaders feel that IT needs to enhance its connections with the business to understand business requirements better and partner with the other departments to provide a seamless customer experience on behalf of the entire organization.

Departments like sales and marketing are also affected with this tremendous shift in expectations from customers, and they are also turning to the IT department for assistance. IT teams help by connecting data sources and orchestrating an overall better customer experience, therefore becoming somewhat of a strategy partner to the organization.

Sales force predicts that over the next year, approximately 71% of the IT teams across multiple organizations are shifting their priorities from being a technology provider to a service enabler. The four main factors that IT teams have to focus on are- speed, innovation, experimentation, and agility. But these four are not only a part of customer experience, but also a part of employee experience. Many employees believe that their organizations should offer the same level of services to them as they do to their customers. This gap arose because employee experience is usually overlooked in this race for meeting customer experience. So businesses which focus on keeping their employees satisfied and make the overall employee experience better are seen to have greater results in employee engagement and productivity.

Where do the challenges lie?

A lot of challenges lie in the way of IT development!

A complete transformation from the present state to providing a seamless customer experience is a huge leap for today’s IT department, mainly because of all the challenges that lie in that path. Here are some challenges that IT teams still face:

  • Most IT teams feel that the existing legacy infrastructure stands in the way of accomplishing their objectives. This is because the resources that are allocated to such infrastructure to maintain them is much more than is strategically feasible.
  • Another challenge that is faced by the IT departments is being reactive to the business demands instead of being responsive to them. This happens mainly due to the use of outdated processes that curb the flexibility required for responding proactively to business requirements. There is also an immense skill gap in almost every IT team in the organization. These gaps exist mainly in major areas such as mobile app development, cyber security, and cutting-edge artificial intelligence. The reason for such a gap is that the number of people thinking outside the box is reducing rapidly and no fresh talent is coming up to replace them.
  • The rapid pace of change is also sometimes a challenge that is faced by the IT teams because of the pressure that is put on them to move faster and increase the speed of development cycles to match the latest technologies. With so many shifts in technologies, the landscape of development keeps changing almost instantly, making it very difficult for developers.

How can you overcome these challenges?

To bring about a transformation in IT, we need to start today.

To overcome the existing challenges, a lot of changes need to be made, starting with IT teams rethinking their role in an organization.

  • The first step to overcoming these challenges is defining your organization’s intention and vision in the clearest manner possible.
  • Next, try to automate as many steps as possible. And in areas that automation won’t work, try using agile and cloud-based processes for your infrastructure. If you don’t have the resources to maintain agile and cloud-based processes, you can think of more innovative ideas to increase productivity.
  • Salesforce says that 9 out of 10 IT leaders, i.e., almost 88% are exploring low code solutions that do not have a prerequisite of development skills. This opens up the gateways for aspiring developers who are not yet proficient in technologies. Also, it lightens the load for the existing developers, allowing them to focus their skills on more advanced areas.

There is no doubt that IT needs to move forward by leaps and bounds. But standing at the crossroads with indecision and doubt are not doing anyone good. To truly implement this transformation on a global scale, the right action needs to be taken, and it needs to be taken now.