The traditional role of the IT department is one of a facilitator. In this setting, business units would tell IT what they wanted to have happen and IT would look at what it could do and make a strategic investment that would facilitate that functionality. Essentially, IT was a back-office support department. This is no longer the case in many organizations. Instead, IT is increasingly playing a strategic role in how companies function, and helping to guide corporate strategies through technological innovation. According to a recent study from InformationWeek, many IT leaders have recognized this trend and begun to adjust how things are done in light of the shift.
The IT department is playing such a large role in enterprise operations largely because businesses depend more heavily on technological systems to support revenue strategies and other operational plans. As a result, implementing supporting solutions, such as business process management software, that help workers get the most out of technological systems is vital to enabling IT in its new strategic role.
IT as a critical business department
Approximately 60 percent of IT pros polled by InformationWeek said they consider their department to be a critical part of operations. At the same time, just 43 percent of non-IT workers said they consider IT critical. However, there was some commonality about IT as an enabler.
According to the news source, 84 percent of non-IT respondents said the IT department should play the role of a business enabler. Further, 66 percent of IT workers agreed with this sentiment.
Lorna Garey, content director of InformationWeek Reports, explained that this shift toward IT as an enabler represents a significant, and recent, change in the enterprise.
"There was a time not too long ago when IT was primarily in fix-it mode, recovering lost data and upgrading systems," said Garey. "Today, the demands for IT have moved away from maintenance and support and into innovation. Our research shows many non-IT professionals are still clinging to the old perception of IT."
Importance of BPM
With technology playing a more strategic role in enterprise operations, it is vital that IT departments find a way to make sure that technological investments do not get in the way of employee operations. In an era when businesses are working to function socially, cloud computing is on the rise and mobile devices are becoming pervasive, BPM software is emerging as a key tool in helping turn IT innovation into operational gains.
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