Digitization: Why you can’t always bank on IT to lead the change
An average reader might think themselves safe in assuming that the IT department would take the lead when it comes to digitising an organization’s workflow.
Surprisingly, this isn’t quite the case. Research undertaken by DocuSign, the leader in Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature technology, found that in Australia, 46 percent of business professionals felt their own IT department was a roadblock to digital transformation.
This extraordinary figure is compounded by the finding that 53 percent of those questioned prefer not to consult their IT department at all when embarking on a digitization project. What’s more, 60% of teams claim to have complete autonomy when it comes to taking on new digital projects.
The effects of this on an enterprise’s digital infrastructure are clearly damaging. If each department is free to choose and install their own solutions, then, interoperability, communication, and security will suffer. The IT department will also find itself increasingly marginalized and therefore disempowered.
Demand for digital solutions accelerating need for change
So why do other departments go ahead with digital projects while purposely leaving IT in the dark?
For starters, the demand for digital is now acute. Of those surveyed by DocuSign, 85 percent demand that organizations offer digital methods of signing agreements and purchasing products. More than half (55 percent) claimed they would rather deal with an organization that offered digital capabilities for completing transactions, as opposed to one that didn’t.
The research demonstrates that customers want the convenience, speed and added security that comes with transacting digitally. If organizations can’t act fast to deliver, then they risk losing these customers and the revenue they provide.
Faced with this urgency to transform, it’s no surprise that departments are side-stepping what they see as unnecessary red tape put in place by IT. This includes limitations on what software can be installed or restrictions on accessing cloud-based offerings.
Of course, security and risk must be managed and IT has a reason to be cautious; the department is ultimately accountable for any breach or misuse of facilities. Still, caution alone is no excuse for obstructing progress.
Also, the business case for digitization is almost unassailable. In addition to enhancing the customer experience, going digital can actually improve security and compliance rather than detract from it. What’s important is how organizations manage the move to digital and ensure these objectives are met.
In particular, organizations need to be conscious of how easy they make it for departmental teams to make the changes needed to meet customer demands. They should promote a culture of progression that embraces digital change, rather than smothering it. Otherwise, teams will continue to pursue their own digital agendas, working around IT’s checks and balances to do so.
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