Long gone are the days when computer specialists were gatekeepers of all computer knowledge. The majority of computer users are no longer acquainting themselves with foreign and confusing new technology. These days, the average user is proficient with the basic applications and knows to reboot the system when everything gets stuck. It leaves IT specialists free for new, more meaningful roles. Far from being relegated to a back room, focused primarily on keeping the network up and the computers running, your company’s IT department is uniquely positioned to propel your company forward. Your IT team doesn’t need to remove themselves from the day-to-day functioning of your business; it can embrace a valuable and expanding role. So how can the evolution of the IT department benefit your business?
The IT department as innovators
IT specialists who are knowledgeable about your business goals and challenges can contribute significantly by integrating their knowledge and your company’s needs. Their clear understanding of what is possible technologically, and what breakthroughs are on the horizon, helps an entire organisation set a purposeful course toward the future. Whether you’re interested in realising the potential of cloud computing, or you want to explore more efficient ways to facilitate communications and reach new markets, your IT department can function as your eyes and ears, in search of innovative new technological solutions.
The IT department as role models and communicators
The majority of computer users today are substantially savvier than the average person of five or ten years ago. This increased skill has been a natural progression as technology infiltrates all corners of our lives. That said, employees whose primary functions are merely supported by computers may not have a depth of knowledge or level of comfort with all the systems and applications they encounter in their work. Having all users achieve ease with technology serves your business, as they complete tasks more fluidly, confidently, and creatively. Your IT department can be the primary moving force in your efforts to improve technological facility among employees. An IT department that models and can articulate ideal ways to use available technology optimally is invaluable to your bottom line.
The IT department as a force for differentiation.
In today’s competitive business environment, companies are continually seeking ways in which to differentiate themselves from the competition. They must enumerate how their products or services are preferable to every other alternative. There are many ways in which companies attempt to stand out from the crowd, but one of the most powerful ways is by demonstrating that your business is on the cutting edge of new technology.
Not only does this convince clients or business partners that you understand and are adapting to an ever-changing and complex landscape, but it also helps you offer the most competitive products and services. Employing an IT team that can understand all aspects of your business is critical to their contribution. A well put-together team can advise you on how technology can help your business differentiate from your competition.
Though the IT department, in general, continues to carry the necessary burden of keeping your network and devices up and running, the future necessitates an IT department that can embrace an expanding role. As your IT team increasingly understands the company’s goals, their expertise should drive how you seek forward momentum. The result of their efforts could include adopting new technologies, effectively streamlining business, maximising the potential of social media and other forms of communication, improving productivity and worker satisfaction, and finding ways to impress clients while increasing profitability. Don’t allow your business to fall behind.
Explore our online eBook series on how modern organisations can recruit and support top IT talent, encourage connectedness, and gain a competitive advantage by employing best practices in business technology.
This post is based on an article originally featured on ThinkProgress.com