With the constant change in IT, it’s easy to worry that you and your organization are falling behind. As the IT leader, you pride yourself on being a future thinker, not someone who shies away from what’s new.
So when you are inundated with the latest trends in technology you have to balance the hype against what you know your organization needs. As stated by Gartner, “Each technology trend can have different kinds of potential impact, and a trend’s impact can be so broad that it’s global, or so narrow that it only affects a niche market.”
Technology is always moving forward and deciding when it is better to wait until the investment makes sense for your organization is one of your key responsibilities.
One area where industry focus is strong but you should take your time is in “digital transformation". It’s apparent that new digital technologies are disrupting markets and changing work but changes are not happening equally across all industries and organization types.
So when you read the tenth article this week advising you to transform your infrastructure and your team to enable cloud, AI and machine learning take a step back and ask if any of it truly applies to your situation today.
Maybe you don’t need to flip the 80-20 keeping the lights on vs. innovation ratio. Maybe you take an incremental step of spending 10% more time experimenting with new technologies.
If you focus on uptime, help desk support and continuity because that’s what your organization requires that’s fine. It is one thing to resist change because of fear or uncertainty. It’s another to choose to not change because you evaluated your situation and you shouldn’t.
For example many IT departments are tackling the problem of shadow IT, a proliferation of SAAS solutions that line of business leaders are adopting without the IT department’s knowledge. The response has been to call for IT professionals to become business specialists so they can provide specific guidance on specialized apps.
In many organizations, however, LOB leaders may not be venturing out on their own finding niche technology. They may be content working with tried and true legacy apps. In this case your users just want their systems to work and are not looking to collaborate with IT on the next great digital innovation.
So in your organization you don’t have to go out and train yourself and your staff on how to be business consultants. Don’t worry about addressing a need that isn’t there just because the industry is buzzing about it. You shouldn’t get closed off though. By staying engaged in your organization you will pick up on the signs that you need to start doing things differently.
As in all things, context matters. Understand and support your current environment while keeping an eye on what’s next.