Whether it be regulatory, technological or organisational, change has been a part of the industry from the very beginning. But it seems that recently there has been a noticeable confluence of significant changes to the way that organisations work and do business. They want to make decisions and execute on their plans faster than ever before.
The move towards mobile and flexible working is now in full effect and of measurable benefits, and with the shift to the cloud gaining pace, the way in which people are working is changing rapidly – along with their expectations – and the rate of technology-driven change is showing no sign of slowing down.
There are three types of change that are faced by the IT industry on a regular basis. The first is challenges and opportunities that appear unannounced. The second, IT professionals are most familiar with – changes that need to be made in order to keep the business functional. Finally there is the most exciting type – the change you want to drive and achieve for the organisation. As an IT practitioner, it is important that the opportunities and challenges that each of these areas creates are fully understood.
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The change IT doesn’t see coming
Regulatory change, security threats, economic events or seismic technological shifts are all examples of areas of change that IT departments need to be aware of but are unlikely to be able to predict.
In order to remain prepared, IT departments need to be able to adapt and deliberately build systems and processes that are flexible from the outset. Resilience is also key as more systems, tools, workflows, and therefore people, become dependent on networks.
The change IT needs to make
Then there is change that needs to be made in order to keep the organisation functional and cost effective. This is the good housekeeping stuff that keeps us nimble and fit. It’s a response to the oft-repeated phrases ‘do more with less’ and ‘work smarter not harder’ – and despite the increasing importance of technology in our personal lives as well as at work, constrained budgets are a reality for most IT departments.
Thankfully, there are tools available now that can help. Cloud of course is one, and it means that IT departments can reallocate resources as required or even build their own private clouds in-house. Server virtualisation also supports short notice needs to make infrastructure changes, and in a way that can deliver lots of new applications, often at reduced costs.
The change IT wants
Finally there is the most exciting type of change. Strategically conceived, transformational, tangibly beneficial changes that employees, customers and shareholders notice immediately.
One of the most popular areas for such change is in communications, particularly where it enables flexible working. Video conferencing, desktop sharing, instant messaging, presence, enterprise mobility and unified communications are all concepts that feed into a common goal – making employees more productive by giving them the most beneficial tools.
Although none of these technologies are particularly new, modern IT departments are now increasingly leveraging them in a co-ordinated and integrated manner. And if delivered through a hosted platform, then they are all the more flexible, easy to deploy and integrate and cost-effective.
This type of change is meaning that decision making and workflows are completed faster making organisations more agile and more cost-competitive. Some of the flexible working projects that are possible today have enabled organisations to reduce their physical footprint by no longer having huge offices in city centres.
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Reducing the number of desks by 20% can have a real impact on operating overheads. Costs, efficiency and faster decision-making are all benefits and changes that are instantly noticed by the business, and are increasingly driving eagerness to implement controllable, deliberate change.
IT departments will always have to be able to adapt to the change that is happening around them. The very nature of technology is that it is always evolving and improving. The vast differences between the workplace ten years ago and today clearly show this.
But instead of merely experiencing and reacting to change, IT practitioners need to embrace the speed that the industry is now working to by planning to consciously transform their organisations for the better.
Sourced from Rufus Grig, CTO, Azzurri Communications