According to a recently published IDG Survey, “The Challenge of Change: IT in Transition
,” 62% of IT leaders have failed to implement a strong foundation for transforming IT by both documenting and communicating their plan across the organization; 39% have documented but not shared their strategy, limiting the ability to create the culture of change required for success; 18% have communicated their vision but not documented it, leaving them with no blueprint for implementation; 5% have neither documented nor communicated their roadmap.
As with any major transformation, the plan, policies, and procedures underlying IT transformation should dictate a well-documented, living strategy that is agreed upon, socialized, and regularly updated in support of an enterprise IT journey. Moving to cloud and leveraging digital innovation without a clear direction and well-thought-out strategy can result in significant issues down the road for an organization in terms of time, resources, costs, and missed expectations and goals. IT transformation strategy should be formalized in a written document — and should be flexible and modular to change in response to new organizational circumstances, market and industry conditions, business priorities, budgetary constraints, skill sets and competencies, technology innovation, and user needs.
Resistance from individuals and departments to adopt centralized solutions is one of the most challenging barriers to achieving benefits of IT transformation within a planned timeline. Major sources of resistance are fear of losing political clout or organizational status, difficulties in reducing head count, and concerns about service quality. The shift towards cloud and digital platforms also requires a shift in culture throughout the organization. Leadership needs to understand how IT transformation impacts the organizational culture and to also act as a change ambassador in this process.
As part of the communications plan, organizations have to start educating employees on the strategy and relevant digital, cloud, and other platforms early in the process. Even after the initial transition to the new solution, leadership must continue to support and engage with end users to ensure they feel empowered to leverage and optimize usage of the new technologies and capabilities. Finally, not every employee has the same learning timeline, so it’s vital to keep communicating long after the initial move to the new platform. Therefore, a communications plan should actively promote the fact that IT optimization will create new and exciting work-related opportunities for employees and enhance their skills in more modern and marketable technologies.