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IT innovations are driving the IT workforce from 'doer' to 'enabler'

IT innovations are driving the IT workforce from 'doer'

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The view that technology and business strategies are separate is rapidly being replaced by the realization that technology enables almost every business function. Going forward, IT leadership will be charged with putting the customer at the heart of strategy, linking technology investment to the profitability of transformation goals, and effectively integrating technology into the business. They will also be charged with collaborating with business and operations partners, and evangelizing the potential of new technologies.

The perception is shifting of what IT can do and how it can enable businesses to serve customers. A number of IT trends are forcing companies to rethink how they use and manage IT. These include the growing customer-centricity of products and services, the rapid proliferation of SaaS and cloud-based IT solutions, the increasing use of intelligent automation, and the growing commoditization of technology as a service. Given the rate and breadth of change, IT functions should already be shifting dramatically away from cumbersome “technology implementations” and toward driving business results through effective use of technology across all functions.

In this era of change, the CIO has an opportunity to help create an ecosystem of technology talent throughout the enterprise. By embracing the role of IT as the enterprise technology champion and modern architect they can ensure that the capabilities necessary to deliver technology transformation are available when needed in the years ahead. Further, CIOs can break down the silos of central control and help everyone across the enterprise leverage technology systems and expertise to deliver omni-channel experiences. They can also be at the forefront of changing the way we work, introducing technologies to support the remote professional, and enabling collaboration across the enterprise and with outside stakeholders. In the future, CIOs will become comfortable with the democratization of technology, working collaboratively with and among business units in leveraging technology to the organization’s advantage.

Advancing the IT workforce

Perhaps the greatest shift in the future will be the recognition that IT's biggest asset and biggest risk is not technology, but people. In order to adapt and thrive in the digital economy, leading organizations are looking beyond just building an IT workforce. Instead of working only within the IT function, people with technology skills are mapped more closely to business problems and measured on their ability to drive business value. CIOs are in a unique position to help drive this cultural change, but only if they adopt modern delivery practices, help tear down functional divides, and facilitate collaboration and constant experimentation.

Consider a few key numbers: organizations are investing heavily in technology, particularly in cloud and mobile technologies, but also increasingly in artificial intelligence. Forty-nine percent of CIOs report their IT budgets have increased over the past year, while 47 percent said they have increased IT headcount. This trend is expected to continue, with 48 percent of CIOs planning to increase their IT budget over the coming year. This investment in technology is concurrent with growth in business-led IT hardware and software not supported by an organization’s central IT function.

The excerpt was taken from the KPMG publication entitled The Flexible IT Workforce.

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