New research has boldly proclaimed that every employee is a digital employee. What does this mean for the future of IT strategies?
The development and proliferation of IT trends and technologies has meant that businesses have had to drastically refocus growth strategies.
Where in the past an organisation may have had a dedicated IT department, now, as Gartner has boldly proposed, “every employee is a digital employee”. Whether they’re actively engaged in traditional IT functions or not, most if not all staff are regularly interacting with computers and other digital devices, and the skill set demanded by modern employers has evolved to reflect this.
IT’s influence is blurring the lines between departments within organisations, and future professionals will be the key to managing these developments.
What makes an employee digital?
According to Gartner, the wide range of digital devices people are accustomed to using in their everyday lives is part of the reason for the distinction. As most people are familiar with smartphones, apps and wireless networks – among others – in their homes, it doesn’t take much for them to be able to utilise this technology in the workplace as well.
Naturally, this is impacting directly on the workplace. Because people are comfortable using these devices in their personal lives, they’re usually prepared or expecting to be able to use them at work.
Due to these trends, Gartner recommends organisations form a digital workplace IT strategy so employees can use technology in a manner that is familiar to them. According to Research Vice President Matt Cain, it’s up to businesses to become leaders in this field.
“IT leaders are in a unique position to strategically sense and respond to a set of seemingly disconnected business initiatives for employees, partners and customers,” he said.
“The central thread that ties them all together is the consumerisation of technology, and a failure to engage with this will further marginalise the IT group.”
How far will the digital influence go?
The extent to which digital disruption is defining business operation was illustrated by Ernst & Young’s report on the 2015 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) landscape.
According to the firm, corporate technology deals accounted for nearly US$130 billion of M&A activity in Q2 of this year, a 65 per cent increase over the first few months of the year. Highlighting the importance of IT Strategies within businesses today.
A study from McKinsey and Company discovered that executives are now becoming further involved in the roll out of new IT systems and networks. The reach of a company’s IT infrastructure means they have to take care to ensure client- and customer-facing elements are carried over efficiently.