6 Things IT Departments Need to Know Today That They Didn’t Need to Know 10 Years Ago

May 27, 2014  By Patrick Burns
Remember the days when a “simple” tinkering and tightening could fix a problem and the IT department could call it a day? With the growing adoption of cloud services and more “invisible” and less physical solutions to IT problems, those days are gone. The IT department has evolved from tinkerers to a strategic voice at the table.

For the IT department, change is a constant, and adjusting to it is a crucial survival skill. As a result of the major shifts happening in technology every 10 to 15 years there are several things the IT department needs to know and do now that they didn’t need to 10 years ago. Here’s a look at some of the biggest adjustments the IT department has had to make over the last decade. Today’s IT department needs to:

  1. Be proficient with multiple platforms, devices and operating systems. Business leaders want effective solutions and won’t be constrained by legacy or obsolete systems. The department needs to be agile enough to adapt and support emerging technologies.  
  2. Enforce the reality that security is no joking matter. With more prevalent VPN access and the advent of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement bringing more capable portable devices inside corporate networks, company information  can be accessed virtually everywhere from any device – personal or work-related. A Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy should be part of a comprehensive policy suite that effectively protects company data.
  3. Be more flexible. Sometimes the best solutions for the business are ones that exist outside of the organization. That can sometimes be hard for the IT department to come to grips with. It’s OK to give up physical control as long as the due diligence is performed and the solution fits within well-defined IT policies.
  4. Provide strategic value. The business goals of department stakeholders are important to more than just a single department. There is a bigger opportunity than ever for IT to add strategic value to the business, and to not only be a cost center. IT needs to understand those opportunities to deliver positive business outcomes.
  5. Integrate. With the proliferation of new technologies and computing paradigms, most organizations will be in a state of transition for years. IT’s ability to integrate old and new systems, cloud and on-premise deployments, and virtual and physical environments is critical to business continuity.
  6. Deliver ROI. IT needs to contribute to overall business goals and prove ROI to demonstrate quality, efficiency and security. Driving productivity and achieving goals, need to coincide with the overall business and company mission. 
Patrick Burns
Vice President of Product Management
Patrick leads strategic product planning for Autotask’s global IT business management platform. Patrick and his team define the business requirements and set prioritization for new improvements to the Autotask platform, managing them throughout the product lifecycle.
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