What are the levers that enable an innovative digital culture?
Organizations as diverse as Apple, Amazon, MasterCard, and the American Cancer Society remind us that technology is radically transforming business and operating models. The turbulence, complexity and competitive nature of most organizational environments have made technologically enabled innovations a core capability for increased profitability and growth.
Surprisingly, though, the IT function — despite its substantial expertise in technology applications of all types — hasn’t take an active role in the innovation discussion. There are several reasons for this, including outsourcing and offshoring, as well as perceptions about IT’s function. Many view IT’s role as providing communications and data processing infrastructure for business, with a focus on maintaining, training and supporting users on existing legacy systems, not building new ones.
Recent trends are forcing executives to rethink the IT function.
The emergence of Big Data and business analytics to improve decision-making requires the ability to acquire, analyze and apply data in its many different forms (e.g., transactional, social, mobile). IT professionals are the ideal partner for decision-makers across the business functions as they look at how to implement and manage technology systems and the data that now resides everywhere.
The rapid growth of consumerization of technology (i.e., Bring Your Own Devices) also means that IT professionals need to be aware of emerging technologies that can benefit knowledge workers and act as an enabler, rather than just a gatekeeper, of innovative technologies.
Our research shows that today’s forward-thinking executives expect their IT professionals to play a different role in the organization, moving from back-end service provider to active problem-solver and innovator.