What Runs the IT Department?

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Click to learn more about author Vincent Bieri.

Here’s a great question for CIOs: who runs your IT department? It could be yourself, a department engineer or another IT professional responsible for overseeing this vital aspect of your organization.

However, I’d argue that your answer is incorrect. It’s no longer a who that’s in charge of IT if you want to be successful. It’s a what. And that what is data.

In today’s algorithm-driven economy, data has taken over the world. As the backbone of AI and Machine Learning algorithms, snippets of data have turned into pieces of treasure if leveraged properly and ethically. Forward-thinking CIOs and business leaders have quickly recognized that enterprise IT ecosystems can benefit significantly by playing their cards correctly and making use of the right data, at the right times, for the right purposes – leveraging automation for IT.

Breaking Past the Fear of Automation

While IT automation and digital transformation have erupted as pivotal topics of conversation among IT and business leaders – and they now have access to the data needed to make the transformation successful – these initiatives come with some general fears and apprehension.

Even though they’re are recognized as critical and inevitable steps, the general thought is that as IT becomes more automated, humans will become more irrelevant and – in turn – IT departments will shrink. This is a pretty valid concern based on how most IT departments are set up. Employees have issues with a computer or device, file a ticket with support and wait for someone to come fix the issue for them. This process has driven the demand for automation, as employees are constantly frustrated with downtimes, delays and overall IT inefficiencies.

To remove these inefficiencies, IT pros are now able to leverage real-time data from employee devices and applications and take a more proactive approach to IT. Rather than simply responding to support tickets as issues pop up, they’re now able to see where and when users are having issues – and preemptively fix them or reach out and engage with the user to resolve the problem (often before the employee realizes there’s even an issue). This is exactly where the human fits into the IT automation puzzle.

No More Piles of IT Tickets

Automated platforms have come a long way in monitoring IT ecosystems, identifying issues and allowing IT staff to fix them proactively. Better yet, they’re sometimes even able to fix minor issues automatically – all because of carefully-organized end-user data being readily available. This makes IT vastly more efficient and prevents help desk tickets from piling up, eliminating long wait times for employees.

For example, say your IT department just rolled out a version of a business application you use daily. It seems to be a much better version than the previous one, but when you go to complete a specific task, you have to find a workaround in the app because it’s not working correctly. Perhaps it’s missing some functionalities. No big deal, right? So the task takes you ten to fifteen minutes longer than usual – no problem at all.

Despite you dismissing this minor problem, your IT department can see that you’re using a workaround, so they reach out to you and let you know that they’re working to deploy an extension on top of the new application that will make your work even more efficient than before. This is the type of great IT support that enterprises can expect when they use automated platforms that leverage real-time end-user data to better understand the problems employees are facing.

IT Going Beyond Support

By making use of automation and the right data, IT is simply able to be more proactive. Getting ahead of issues and working toward the appropriate resolution, however, is just the start of the possibilities. The true value of a proactive IT department is that it provides a huge opportunity for IT teams to think strategically and accomplish larger, company-wide goals – solidifying IT as a key department, helping to guide the strategic course of the business.

The days where IT simply sits back and waits for issues to pop up are over. To successfully manage a complex IT ecosystem, teams must leverage end-user data to have the insight required to proactively manage device and application-driven workplaces. IT will be able to resolve issues quicker and more efficiently, employees will be thankful for the great service they receive and the C-Suite will recognize IT as a key driver of the business’s success.

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