IT Roadmap for the Future

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IT Roadmap for the Future

As new IT technology gets introduced in the workplace, it’s likely what worked last year won’t work in the next five years. It might sound cliché, but the only constant in the world of IT is change. While this continuous evolution cannot always be predictable, there are certain ways for CIOs to plan to help IT professionals achieve their goals for the organization. Here are a few suggestions to help CIOs create a roadmap for the future:

Consider the Big Picture

IT departments must no longer be merely concerned with their departmental goals. CIO’s and the department in general need to realign with larger organizational goals to stay relevant in times of constant change.

According to Simon Chapleau, CEO of Green Elephant, measuring things like calls to the help desk, closed tickets etc., are a thing of the past, catering only to the interest and investment of IT teams. “However, if you are including user satisfaction and happiness in there, if you’re giving IT a little more time and space to resolve issues to users’ satisfaction, then you’ll see improvement across the board,” Chapleau says. In this way, IT departments and CIO’s need to consider the bigger picture, focusing not only on measurement and accountability but with how to improve the overall customer experience to boost business. Gone are the times of an isolated IT department lead by a CIO with limited capacities–the future demands that CIO’s are versatile, and refocus their strategy in a way suitable enough to cater to the entire business.

Collaborate with Other Departments

CIOs will need to increasingly collaborate with other departments to meet organizational goals as outlined above. Rather than the IT department being a place filled with tech professionals other departments tend to avoid in a workplace, more engagement and interaction will become the norm of the day. The shift toward collaboration is partially driven by the younger generation in the workforce. Millennial workers are driving a shift that focuses on engaging and communicating across departments What this means for IT teams is more engagement with each department and its staff, paired with a willingness to explain and provide strategies that are based in reason and logic. Business analysts will make up a growing percentage of IT staff, and it is the CIO’s job to integrate these members into the department while also facilitating inter-departmental collaboration to reach important decisions affecting both technology and the overall business.

Focus on Innovation

Historically, the role of the CIO has been characterized by caution and predictability. With the new dynamism in the IT industry, CIO’s will have to be more innovation oriented, and be willing to take risks. “This new kind of CIO, who will move from chief information officer to chief innovation officer, will focus much more on being agile and adaptive,” states Alastair Behenna, principal analyst serving CIO at Forrester. The ability to continually adapt is integral, and demands CIOs be able to quickly rise above and learn from failure. Rather than organizations slowing innovation down, the next few years will see an explosion in creativity that can only be met with a focus on innovation and its implementation.

Continuous Employee Training

It’s no surprise that the transformation of the role of the CIO will require a transformation at the employee level as well. CIOs will have to build a workforce that can focus on innovation and adaptability, provide excellent customer experience, and foster business development. It will no longer be sufficient to only excel at one side of IT operations – rather, CIOs will need to train employees to consider the bigger picture in terms of technology. As I wrote in a previous article on Forbes, “Reskilling existing teams will be necessary to maintain agility, so it’s important to construct a team of employees who can handle the peaks and valleys of business.” Current employees need to get on par with the changing face of IT, and learn to adapt to avoid failure. CIOs will play a key in facilitating facilitate these processes by reskilling legacy processes and seeking out adaptable talent.

Even with unpredictable and ever-changing technologies, the CIO’s role is far from redundant. In fact, as the workplace continues to evolve, CIOs will play an integral part in the leadership of any business, and should appropriately be prepared for the same.

Additional Resources on this Topic:

The Changing Role of IT in the Future of Business
How to Prepare for the IT Department of the Future
What is Spurring the Evolution of the CIO? The Answer is Enterprise Mobility

Photo Credit: pbclextra Flickr via Compfight cc

This article was first published on FOWMedia.

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.