No Excuses: Your Lean IT Staff Can Get Digital Transformation Done

Organizations can alleviate the continuing IT shortage by working more effectively with their IT staff and by integrating new technologies that can help them fast track new applications and achieve digital transformation goals.

James Hanley

February 19, 2020

4 Min Read
No Excuses:  Your Lean IT Staff Can Get Digital Transformation Done
(Source: Pixabay)

It’s shaping up to be another great year for IT professionals as IT staffing remains a robust ‘seller’s market.’  Job categories requiring IT skills are among the hottest for 2020, according to Robert Half.  They include blockchain, DevOps, Application Development, Cloud, and AI and Machine Learning.  However, a stunning 89% of organizations seeking IT talent report challenges in attracting talent, and note recruitment is even more difficult for those in emerging tech like AI and machine learning.

As companies continue to move forward in digital transformation (DX) the reality is IT alone cannot execute DX.  Companies need to adopt a lean, more agile approach to application development, enabling IT to essentially do more with less, in order to get to the DX finish line faster.

One solution is to break down the silos between IT and lines of business and find ways in which application development can move from being an IT-centric discipline to a process that can engage more stakeholders in the organization.

How to Do More with Less

Organizations can alleviate the continuing IT shortage by working more effectively with their IT staff and by integrating new technologies that can help them fast track new applications and achieve DX goals.  Here are some key considerations:

  • Eliminating Silos.  Interesting commentary in Harvard Business Review discusses how all stakeholders in an organization need to gather around a specific, well-articulated purpose to be very successful.  In the IT world, getting IT teams and the executive suite on the same page in DX is a great start.  When leadership encourages all teams in an organization to be more collaborative with IT on DX objectives, priorities can be clearer, silos can be eliminated, and DX results will be in better alignment with the overall purpose of the organization. Also, it is important to remember, DX is the means to an end.  DX can fulfill a singular purpose like moving from #3 to #2 in market share, to growing the company 20% in a calendar year, or launching a new product suite that needs to get to market quickly.  

  • Empowering Lines of Business.  When silos are eliminated and an organization rallies around a purpose, lines of business can feel better empowered to work more closely with IT.  Organizations need to encourage lines of business to be proactive in getting what they need to accomplish DX, with IT as an important resource. Conversely, IT needs to be receptive to this dynamic, and really embrace collaboration on a greater level. 

  • Embracing No Code Development.  Application development is often the lag between lines of business having the micro services necessary to execute DX.  Given that IT needs to do more with less, employing no code development can make it possible for lines of business to participate in development of new applications.  Using current technology, IT is now able to parse monolithic systems into usable components that lines of business can assemble into more nimble, targeted micro services.  Stakeholders without an engineering degree can comfortably work with no-code components. Everybody wins here: lines of business have the new applications to support success, IT can free up time for other value-add projects, and both IT and lines of business can work to show the improved ROI from these applications.

  • Executing Effective Cloud Migration.  According to IDC, 35% of all production applications will be cloud native by 2022, and 90% of all new apps will feature micro services architectures. The present reality is that organizations also continue to struggle with migrating legacy applications that were not designed for the cloud.  New enterprise applications using no code development, for example, will provide IT and lines of business the advantage of being cloud native from the start.  Ideally, that 35% number will be higher as IT staffing shortages demand organizations run a leaner application development environment.

  • Embracing Emerging Technologies. Looking further ahead to 2022 and beyond, artificial intelligence, coupled with machine learning, is the next logical step to more efficient application development. Using predictive intelligence via machine learning, organizations can begin to automate more development, helping to save IT time and shorten the app-dev cycle.

As the new decade begins, organizations will be reassessing whether they’ve met their goals in terms of digital transformation, cloud migration, new innovation, and the like.  It is a perfect time to also reassess where they are in the mechanics of achieving these goals, whether application development is a lag, or helping them succeed.  Realizing the IT staffing shortage will continue, organizations need to look at these practices that can bring IT closer to lines of business and support far more nimble development, thereby better enabling digital viability.

About the Author(s)

James Hanley

James Hanley is CEO of Crowd Machine. Hewas appointed CEO of Crowd Machine in October, 2019 after serving as COO of the company. He is a recognized leader in growing businesses and creating an operational environment that supports innovation and growth. He previously worked at Accenture, where he was managing director for journey to cloud and automation.Prior to Accenture, Hanley served as vice president and general manager at DXC (formerly CSC). Prior to DXC, Hanley held positions as CEO and President, Field Operations, at Force10 Networks (now Dell/Force10).

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