The conventional image of the IT department has changed significantly over the past few years. What was once merely a tech-support team is now a critical aspect of the modern company. Today, IT departments are drivers in innovation and digitalization, helping their companies stay competitive through technology. Still, some businesses are under the impression that their IT department is outdated and no longer necessary, while that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Adapt Your IT Department to Your Needs
In the past, IT departments ran as a centralized department, where all team members were well-rounded and essentially fulfilled the same roles. While it is beneficial to have well-rounded IT professionals, it served as more of a tech support department than one that drove growth and innovation. IT departments were simply used to maintain a preexisting IT infrastructure rather than help implement changes.
For many organizations, their IT departments still maintain this method, leaving company leaders to believe that their IT department is outdated. While they may think they need to get rid of their current IT department, they actually need to revamp it.
There is nothing that says that companies need to stick with the traditional, centralized style of an IT department. Instead, organizations can make tweaks and adjustments to their department until they find a style that works for them and their team members.
One way that companies can revamp their IT department to fulfill their current needs is by decentralizing it. Instead of having an entire department completing the same tasks, companies can “disband” their department into several niche subdepartments.
With a decentralized IT department, companies can have subdivisions that focus on more specific aspects of IT, such as cloud computing and migration, help desk, IT administration, information security, and more. With smaller, more niche departments, your IT team members can help drive your business forward with change and innovation rather than simply maintaining your current IT infrastructure.
Top management can still delegate day-to-day operations and ensure the function of their overarching IT infrastructure and network, while technology specialists can focus on more strategic goals. As such, your IT department can continue to deliver solutions to the rest of your organization while also driving forward strategic objectives of their own.
Supplement, Supplement, Supplement
Even for organizations that already utilize a decentralized IT department, they may face some misconceptions leading them to believe that they can replace their current IT department. With advancements in automation and the growing popularity of outsourced IT support, many companies make the mistake of thinking they have found an alternative to an in-house IT department.
While these tools are highly beneficial and the key to becoming an agile, digitized business, they do not serve as a replacement for your current IT staff. Let’s start with managed services. Many organizations are learning the benefits of partnering with an MSP for their IT needs. While this is highly advantageous in improving your business, MSPs are not a replacement for your IT department but a supplement.
By partnering with an MSP, companies can delegate many of their IT tasks, allowing their internal team to focus on more strategic goals. While your internal department takes care of pressing projects and goals, your MSP can help run maintenance, provide help desk support, and work on the migration of new technologies.
As MSPs have the time and resources to provide this support, they can take on the complex or tedious tasks that would otherwise preoccupy your internal team’s time. Additionally, MSPs have the expertise necessary to drive your business forward in ways that your internal team may not be experienced in, such as cloud migration. As a result, organizations can maintain their internal IT department while still getting the additional resources they need.
Over recent years, a booming trend in IT has been the implementation of automation. Automation allows organizations to drastically accelerate tedious and repetitive tasks, increasing productivity and efficiency. But, because automation serves to replace these routine tasks, many businesses believe that it calls for the replacement of their human workforce.
In reality, just as MSPs serve to supplement an internal IT department, so does automation. While yes, automation will replace repetitive tasks such as data collection and input, or the receiving of help desk tickets, it will also alleviate your IT team of these tasks so they can focus on more strategic projects.
Any role that follows a standard set of procedures and decisions will be significantly accelerated and improved by an automated computer and at less cost. Still, these are the roles that previously occupied much of your IT team’s time when they could have been working on more pressing tasks. Now, with automation, your IT department can focus on the important tasks they are trained to fulfill anyway.
Furthermore, automation will give them the time they need to complete more important tasks while also helping them improve these tasks. Automation significantly reduces the risk of human error in tedious tasks such as data input, where a human may not notice a mistake. With fewer errors, your IT department can utilize more accurate data, thus improving the final product of their project, resulting in an increased bottom line for your company.
Like automation, AI is instrumental in accelerating routine organization processes with advanced accuracy and insights. One of the best uses of AI in a business is its ability to use historical and real-time data to produce intelligent insights, allowing companies to make better decisions. For this reason, some organizations believe that the adoption of AI will supersede the need for an internal IT department.
While AI is excellent in developing insights for improved decision-making, IT departments still need to manage the AI system and decipher its results. While an AI-enabled computer will produce highly insightful information, these results do not directly translate into actionable decisions. Instead, an IT department analyzes these results and makes decisions and recommendations accordingly.
Your IT Department is Here to Stay
There is no question that IT departments are long overdue for a makeover, but getting rid of your current department is not the solution. Instead, businesses need to change how they view their IT department and perhaps how they organize it. By decentralizing your IT department and dividing it into niche specialties, you can completely change how the department operates. While they once may have served as no more than tech support, with some organizational change, they can help drive your business forward.
Even if your organization lacks the current specialists to completely decentralize your department, adopting new resources can help you revamp your IT department without replacing it. By partnering with an MSP, you can provide your iT department with the support it needs to drive innovation and improve your business.
MSPs can help your organization gain the niche skills necessary to accelerate and digitize your business while also introducing you to technologies such as automation and AI. With the expertise and resources you need, MSPs can support your IT department while helping you leap into modernization.