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How IT Democratization Drives Business Success

How IT Democratization Drives Business Success

How IT Democratization Drives Business Success

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Seriesa collection of contributed articles written by our enterprise tech thought leader community—Jeremy Rafuse, the Head of Digital Workplace at GoTo, explains how IT democratization can become a significant driver of ongoing business success.

When implemented correctly, technology has proven to be one of the most significant enablers and equalizers in the workplace today. Throughout the pandemic and the shift to remote and hybrid work, employees worldwide became empowered to collaborate from anywhere, and IT went from behind-the-scenes to center stage. IT teams don’t just support the business but drive it. However, due to this shift, IT teams face increased pressure, and companies are left to contend with tech talent shortages amid a tight labor market, rising prices, and economic jitters.

As organizations grapple with these new challenges, solution providers can up-level their own businesses, open up new markets, and dramatically improve operations for their customers. Through the “democratization of IT,” or making powerful technologies and specialized knowledge more broadly available to businesses of all sizes, the businesses behind these technologies can empower their customers to streamline operations, improve customer and employee experiences, and ultimately drive the business forward.

So, how can solution providers facilitate IT democratization, and what does success look like?

If It’s Not Simple and Affordable, No One Will Use It

IT has historically held a reputation for being overly complex and out-of-reach. In the past, just walking to the physical helpdesk or dialing IT and waiting for assistance was a point of frustration for busy employees. Legacy systems and manual processes are a headache for all, and the friction they can create between IT teams and the departments they service compromises productivity, security, and compliance.

However, with the recent emergence of more user-friendly IT and remote support technologies, the relationship between IT and other departments has evolved dramatically—and for the better. Of course, customers drive demand, which means it’s up to solution providers to continue this trajectory of modernization and make comprehensive tools more accessible.

In the current economic climate, businesses need the most bang for their buck regarding IT spending. On the one hand, IT leaders are looking to consolidate tech stacks and streamline processes to reduce the burden on IT teams amid the shift to remote work while maintaining customer satisfaction. On the other hand, business leaders want to invest in strategic technologies that drive the business forward by increasing employee productivity and collaboration while growing the bottom line.

Solutions that reduce overhead costs and provide more functionality—without needing additional dedicated IT staff—are essential for both these goals and, ultimately, simplify IT. However, this software needs to be accessible and affordable in the first place so that businesses of any size and scale can reap the benefits of upgraded and consolidated tools.

It Starts with Solution Providers

With 56 percent of decision-makers viewing IT spending as an investment that will ultimately increase revenue and help transform operations, solution providers face increased pressure to expand their IT solutions. In today’s world, corporations want a one-stop-shop for their IT needs, meaning solution providers must innovate to provide complete, unified services—rather than cumbersome, fragmented products—that meet those demands.

To start, technology providers need to understand an organization’s unique needs and challenges. They should be involved in operational discussions and work with business leaders as their objectives grow and evolve. Furthermore, a vital part of this strategic process is gathering insights and feedback to share with the solution providers to fuel innovations. Most providers have experts across specialties, and communicating feedback can help connect businesses to the right resources to bridge gaps and bolster other tech elements.

At the end of the day, the relationship between customers and solution providers is mutually beneficial—they work in tandem to drive results and create better overall outcomes. Solutions providers consider customer feedback as they develop and test new solutions and drive innovations, which the customer will benefit from in the long run.

With the increased complexity and scale of the IT solutions utilized by many organizations today—from the small business to the larger enterprise—solution providers must recognize the critical role they play in democratizing technology to ensure that even the smallest IT teams have access and can effectively deploy the technologies for employees and customers to use. User-friendly, collaborative, and full-service products can make or break employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A Strategic Mindset is Where IT is At

In today’s overheated economy, businesses aim to be more strategic in their technology purchases, selectively choosing new software and consolidating their tech stacks for productivity and cost savings.

To avoid buyer’s remorse, IT decision-makers must first involve key stakeholders to co-create value and ensure alignment with the organization’s broader goals. They should outline the specific capabilities they need, build a plan for actioning and operationalizing the investments, and measure back against the right KPIs. Determining a framework and expectations will be essential for creating positive outcomes.

To remain resilient in the face of ongoing economic pressures, businesses and IT teams must be equipped with the right technology to streamline daily tasks and mitigate future risks. And given tightening budgets, it’s incumbent on leaders to invest in the tools that will support their IT teams and empower other business functions.

IT democratization and support can unlock new levels of business success, and companies who commit to this strategic process will undoubtedly have a competitive advantage in today’s business environment.

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