By Jessy Smulski (Tech Writer)
IT leaders have been planning for major digital transformations before web 1.1, but often lacked the budget or resources to fully update their operations. But progress waits for no one and sometimes arrives virtually overnight and under chaotic circumstances as it happened in 2020.
2020 confirmed the enormous importance that IT leadership plays in your business's continuity and, as new operational demands continue to crop up, IT leaders are re-imagining their role as leaders of technology in their organizations. But the dress rehearsal is now over, so to help you navigate the rough seas of new IT challenges, here’s what IT leadership looks like in 2021:
Co-Pilots of The Ship
Historically, business executives have measured IT success in terms of speed and efficiency. With more than 50% of IT leaders expecting an increase in work-from-home this year, the new KPI is capability. More specifically, remote capabilities for collaboration, customer support, and IT management. Like NASA orchestrating mission-critical activities to a team of astronauts in outer space, the future of your business's continuity will hinge on an organization's ability to operate in any climate or landscape.
Key Players In The Boardroom
Technology is driving the future of business. As such, IT and MSP leaders are becoming an important voice at the decision-making table. However, the same rules apply: Technology must generate business value beyond continuity, which means IT leadership needs a thorough understanding of the overarching goals and objectives driving business decisions. For this reason, executive teams are involving IT leaders more than ever in conversations involving all parts of the business.
IT leaders bear the burden of “future-proofing” organizations—a feat that is far more difficult than it sounds. To manage the awesome responsibility, these leaders must use their newfound privy to executive-level/C Suite business discussions to identify opportunities. But keep in mind, initiating and managing change is not a one-person job. If transformation initiatives are to be successful, IT managers need to take responsibility for building strategic partnerships with other key business leaders.
Advocates In The Talent War
Employee turnover has long plagued industries in technology and software. According to Forbes, rates could get a lot worse in the months to come. Experts are predicting “The Great COVID Job Churn” as an unexpected byproduct of 2020. Amid massive digital transformation, now is not the time for organizations to lose their most skilled technical employees, and executive leaders know it.
Technical employees need an advocate who understands the unique demands of a career in IT, but they also need leadership that prioritizes employee needs and wellbeing over KPIs. Enter—the soft skills of servant leadership list:
1-Listening, communicating, and engaging with employees at every level.
2-Incorporating activities into daily operations to raise employees up to new levels of potential, morality, and motivation
3-Setting clear, attainable work goals
6-Getting employees to look beyond their own self-interests
7-Prioritizing learning and development programs for up-skilling employees to fill talent gaps for in-demand skills and provide career pathways for employee advancement
Agile In The Field
IT leadership in 2021 is informed and empowered; however, their ability to right the ship in any situation will depend on the equipment at their fingertips. Clunky legacy software platforms that don’t play well with newer solutions will hurt the mission. Instead, organizations need to prioritize the purchase of new platforms designed for integration with advanced technology add-ons like Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software.