"This represents a dramatic shift from the traditional viewpoint, where business objectives were driven by business units and the technology team played a supporting role," said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA.
While IT's enabling and supporting role still predominates in many organizations, the report shows its strategic role is growing:
- 43 percent of companies surveyed say technology enables business processes.
- 39 percent use technology to drive business outcomes.
- 36 percent say the technology function plays a critical role in strategy.
- 34 percent are redefining their business thanks to technology.
The process of becoming a digital organization provides learning opportunities for both business and IT staffs.
"Adventures in 'rogue IT' have shown business units that there is more to a technology solution than they initially assumed," Robinson explained. "IT professionals are changing their behaviors, too, learning more about business objectives and goals so they can help drive strategies and serve as an educational resource on technical matters."
Obligations that previously fell to the IT team alone – understanding the technical details of systems, or ensuring employees have the tools they need, for example – are now shared between IT and lines of business.
"This shift hasn't reduced the role or relevance of IT," Robinson noted. "It simply opens up bandwidth for them to take on new strategic work."
IT still plays the primary role in technology decision making, but there is more balance than ever before. In the CompTIA survey, 37 percent of organizations say all departments are on a level playing field. IT takes the lead in certain areas of technology implementation, such as security and discovery of new technology.
"Companies are trying to build environments where technology is acquired quickly, yet appropriately, and all groups have a voice in the decision," Robinson said.
CompTIA's Building Digital Organizations is based on an October 2016 online survey of 350 U.S. businesses. The complete report is available for free at https://www.comptia.org/resources/building-digital-organizations-2017.
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