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How ready is enterprise IT for digital transformation in 2019?

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy)

The impact of technology on business over the last twenty years is well documented, but how effective are organisations at taking advantage of technology to transform their businesses? According to a recent infobrief by IDC, 96 per cent of organisations have a digital transformation strategy; however, a third of them report that the gap between IT and the business is a major obstacle in their success towards digital transformation.  The alignment of IT and the business is not optional today – it’s an imperative to stay relevant in a fast-moving world.  How will IT choose to respond to the opportunity to lead the way for digital transformation?

First off, we need to ask ourselves ‘what is digital transformation?’ There are many definitions, but to keep it simple, digital transformation is the “use of digital technology to deliver more value to customers.” Digital transformation is primarily about improving the customer (employees or external customers) experience and enabling business agility to support changing market dynamics. This is possible if three enterprise dimensions are optimised using modern technologies and methodologies: people, risks and processes.

The report concludes that there are four primary considerations to execute digital transformation and business innovation:

  1. Governance, risk, and compliance management – In the fast-paced environment needed to support digital transformation, it is imperative to have the right governance, risk, and compliance processes and automation to protect company and customer data.
  2. Agile delivery of applications and services – Digital transformation requires that organisations quickly adapt to changing business and market dynamics. To address these areas, 77 per cent of organisations reported they want to make ITSM processes more agile to support business needs.
  3. Knowledge management and sharing – Transformation of the workforce to be more productive and innovative is a key ingredient in the digital transformation journey, with knowledge management and sharing serving as a critical capability.  Knowledge workers need real-time access to the answers they need to make decisions and to innovate.  Over 61 per cent of respondents reported that they are looking for advanced self-help, mobility, automation and self-service capabilities that help deliver knowledge in an effective way.
  4. Skills and talent management (people) – The workforce is at the centre of transformation.  Having the right people with the right skills is important for the organisation to execute and innovate in today’s competitive world. A key finding in the research was that 77 per cent of organisations identified that business strategy is a key skill needed by IT leadership to support digital transformation initiatives.

According to the survey findings, by 2020, 60 per cent of CIOs will implement an IT business model and a technology-first culture that focuses on creating digital products and services that improve user and employee satisfaction. A business-oriented approach to IT strategy is a must while companies navigate through the digital transformation journey.  Over 75 per cent of the respondents admitted that IT needs to better align their skills in business strategy to keep up with the competition.  An overwhelming 81 per cent of enterprises acknowledged that supporting business agility will be a key influencer in IT strategy by 2020.

IT is at the heart of digital transformation with 88 per cent of organisations citing IT as “very important” or “important” to successfully execute on digital innovation.  In addition, ITSM is viewed as a critical capability for IT to execute against the demands of digital transformation across the enterprise. Two key areas of IT transformation identified in the research that are critical for supporting the business are:

Better User Experience: What stood out in the survey results was the emphasis on simplicity and on an easier user experience. Progressive organisations are leveraging innovation from ITSM platforms to provide modern, intuitive, and satisfying user experiences that boost productivity, improve collaboration and help retain talented employees.  With shifting demographics in the workplace and consumerisation of services, employees and external customers demand better experiences when engaging with the business for services and support. 

Key findings:

  • Improving self-service adoption to resolve business issues faster was important for over half (53 per cent) of large organisations
  • Over 50 per cent of organisations have high volumes of service desk tickets with no self-service in place
  • Over 50 per cent of organisations cannot meet performance, availability and service quality expected by business users
  • 68 per cent of organisations are developing the ability to provide access to ITSM through role-based apps, portals and dashboards to improve the user experience. This was the second set of criteria on the wish list and is recognised as a top priority for large enterprises
  • 61 per cent of organisations are working to provide advanced self-help, mobility, automation and self-service capabilities that deliver knowledge in an effective way

Advanced Automation: To support more agile business processes and deliver better user experiences, IT organisations are leaning more on modern ITSM platforms to provide advanced process automation, better visibility into financial and service utilisation data and improved governance and analytics for making technology and business service decisions. To achieve these goals, 83 per cent of businesses said that modernising their ITSM tool with a more agile solution was an overwhelming priority.

Key findings:

  • For 7 out of 10 organisations, their existing ITSM infrastructure is not agile enough to deliver IT to business faster
  • 6 out of 10 don’t have the granular visibility to detect IT service issues and fix them quickly
  • Over 50 per cent of organisations struggle in adapting best practices such as ITIL or DevOps due to ITSM limitations
  • 74 per cent of organisations are looking for ease of use and modern features and functionalities — such as drag-and-drop configuration, high scalability or low-code customisation. The finding stood out as the top criteria for investment.

IT has a unique opportunity in every organisation to be at the centre of digital transformation by powering business agility and impactful customer experiences through advanced automation provided by a dynamic ITSM platform.  IT must learn to speak to the business and adopt the right technologies to cost-effectively support the organisation in delivering exceptional value to both the workforce and customers.

John Prestridge, as Chief Marketing Officer, EasyVista (opens in new tab)
Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy

John Prestridge serves as Chief Marketing Officer at EasyVista, bringing 20 years of experience to support the company’s growth, international expansion and positioning as a leading provider of ITSM 2.0 solutions.