How will your IT role evolve in 2021?

Digital Transformation in the Workplace

What's Impacting IT in 2021

Digital Transformation in the Workplace: What's Impacting IT in 2021

We curated the top five trends impacting IT this year related to digital transformation in the workplace. Many are continuations from last year, but the pace of change and speed for which these solutions need to be implemented has increased exponentially.

The future of work is now – and no one knows it more than IT

While the pandemic kickstarted massive technology shifts for companies, change isn't slowing down any time soon. Over 77% of CIOs identified digital transformation as their top priority in the year ahead.

So, what does this mean for you?

The dynamic move to digital technologies for business practices, customer experiences, and company culture means your role may evolve in several ways this year – all of which focus not just on technology but, more importantly, the people using it.

Bridging the technical skills gap

As an IT professional, you likely don't have the staff or resources at your disposal to execute all of your business's priorities while maintaining your legacy systems. The IT skills gap will continue to be a major challenge, but how you address this hurdle will shift.

Instead of limiting technology training to a how-to webinar or two, you may also try creating a robust library of resources and providing training that focuses predominantly on what's in it for employees. You can keep the dialogue going by using Yammer or another company forum that allows for open and consistent communication. Check out our example on converting users to Microsoft Teams.

Another approach is to work closely with business units to identify their power users and, together with IT, develop job-specific training. Not only does this help employees gain more technical knowledge, but it also empowers IT with subject matter expertise, potentially helping you identify more solutions to digitize processes.

how-wil- your-it-role-evolve-in-2021

Supporting employees' well-being

Employee mental health has dropped an astounding 33% since the pandemic began, with technology playing a part by blurring the lines between home and work. Expect to grow in ways that support employees' well-being by humanizing and structuring the remote experience.

Innovative mental health technologies are on the rise with tools like activity monitoring solutions, corporate wellness platforms, mental health apps, wearable well-being devices, and emotional AI. Forbes created a helpful free flipbook that outlines specific solutions you can peruse in detail.

Another way you may help support employees' health and productivity is to consolidate communication technologies under one platform. This tactic helps organize and streamline activities like video-conferencing, meeting planning, chat, and file-sharing – making digital communication less overwhelming and confusing.

Introducing a FinOps strategy

Many IT executives are under pressure to control cloud costs and have complete visibility of spending. In 2021, expect to support these initiatives by focusing more on delivering cloud migrations, governing the new environment, and correctly licensing that environment.

This practice of bringing financial accountability to cloud spend and enabling global teams to make informed business decisions is called FinOps (short for cloud financial operations). FinOps empowers collaboration between IT, Engineering, Finance, and Procurement business units. It also enables IT to develop into more of a service provider that adds value to the company with cloud technology.

A great way to start strengthening your FinOps strategy is to conduct a cloud maturity assessment – an evaluation that identifies and bridges any gaps in cloud management before spending and problems increase. Some companies partner with a firm specializing in this service – like SoftwareONE – due to the level of expertise needed.

Securing the Future

SolarWinds, Twitter, Zoom – these are just a few of the companies impacted by cyberattacks that have exposed confidenti al client data in 2020. According to the FBI, the rapid shift to remote work last year created a 400% increase in data breaches, primarily from malicious emails.

As cybersecurity continues to be a top priority for your board and executive teams, maintaining your remote workers, brand, and confidential data has become even more complex. Additionally, many remote workers have fallen prey to common email security risks, including chain mail, phishing campaigns, vishing, and bad attachments. Other security risks include unsecured home WiFi networks, corrupt external devices, and mistakenly slipping confidential information through a personal email account or social media.

recent Gartner study50% of employees will continue a hybrid work-from-home arrangement post-pandemic. With this in mind, powerful to reinforce security employee training. Reputable cybersecurity companies offer pre-made, interactive courses. You can find additional strategies on our free, downloadable cybersecurity checklist

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Automating with AI and Machine Learning

You may have focused on reducing manual processes well before the pandemic, but now more than ever, automation will be pivotal for continuing workplace (and customer) transformation. Hybrid and remote workforces depend on digital methods that are both available via the internet and intelligently automated to the greatest extent possible. Many companies will look to their IT teams to investigate and implement artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools.

Some of these tools will use algorithms that generate insights, allowing managers to make faster decisions based on real-time data. Other AI and ML tools will make day-to-day communications between workers more efficient. If someone misses a meeting, they can analyze automatically-generated meeting minutes, bringing them up to speed quicker. Still other AI tools will help to improve cybersecurity.

With the near-universal availability of AI and ML automation platforms, you'll be able to help your organization implement the right ones quickly and easily.

It's about the end-user

Digital transformation is more about the end-user than it is about technology. Whether you help address the technical skills gap, identify wellness tech, introduce a FinOps strategy, implement massive cybersecurity initiatives, automate with AI and ML, or all of the above this year, taking a people-first approach is sure to help propel your company successfully into the future.

Not sure where to start?

Check out our Future Workplace resource hub, your single source of tools and topics for helping you enhance communication and collaboration within your organization.

Visit Resource Hub

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