Reimagining Business and Tech in the Digital Age

    Digital transformation is quickly changing the way businesses work. It is no longer just the marketing department’s territory, but has seeped through to other branches like IT and operations — sparking significant changes in the way organizations hire, work and measure success.

    We’ve long been talking about the tech talent shortage as an industry, but one theme that will quickly emerge from this slideshow is that there isn’t a shortage as much as a need to reimagine traditional tech roles, matching them with emerging processes and trends. The more forward-looking organizations and CIOs are well on their way to accommodating this new paradigm — they have new (or no) job descriptions, they do things differently from their predecessors, and they have new goals and metrics. What’s more, this trend will become more mainstream in 2016, causing CIOs to quickly become smarter with the concept of digital transformation and the changes it brings in its wake.

    Here are five ways IT is going to change in 2016, as identified by John Carione, product marketing and strategy leader, Intuit QuickBase.

    Reimagining Business and Tech in the Digital Age - slide 1

    An IT Digital Transformation

    Click through for more on how digital innovations are changing the way organizations, and in particular IT departments, are doing business, as identified by Intuit QuickBase.

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    The Digital Frontier

    The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is going to be responsible for the next frontier of digital transformation — one that happens within the organization.

    Until now, “digital transformation” has been discussed mainly in the context of marketing — terms like “the customer experience” abound, and marketing pros have had the importance of data and analytics drilled into them for years. However, for organizations to follow through on the promises their digital marketing efforts make to their customers, they’ll have to strive toward efficiencies and agility inside the business from an operations perspective.

    The CDO’s role will have to adapt to accommodate this expanded responsibility. After all, if you can’t orient your digital operations in the way you’ve oriented digital marketing to pivot on a dime in response to customers’ evolving preferences, it doesn’t really matter how fast your marketing efforts can move.

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    A Comprehensive Dashboard

    2016 is going to be the year we see the pursuit of a new holy grail — a comprehensive dashboard for the chief operating officer that can provide real-time insight into metrics on inventory management, order management, asset management and more.

    The last few years have seen the pursuit of the “marketing cloud” as a holy grail for the CMO — a dashboard with all the key marketing metrics visualized in real time. This year, business operations departments will begin that same pursuit: seeking a top-down view into application changes for a workflow for inventory asset management, maintained in part by the “citizen developer” who knows how to make the change in real time, rather than waiting for IT to do so.

    New software platforms that break down siloed SaaS app sprawl and deliver automation between highly correlated operational disciplines on a single purpose-built PaaS will reap true, real-time operational management benefits of greater efficiency and accountability.

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    Mainstream Collaboration

    This is the year we’ll see the scrappy startup mentality toward collaboration truly hit the mainstream — and the beginning of the end for the “job description” as we know it.

    Even within established, legacy organizations, employees can no longer expect to be judged solely on how well they fulfill their own job descriptions. The game has changed — now, setting others up for success has become a key performance metric as well, as formerly disparate departments such as IT and the line-of-business collide and new hybrid roles like the “citizen developer” emerge.

    In this new environment, employees that stay within the confines of their job and department boundaries will stagnate, while those that push boundaries in the pursuit of revenue growth will thrive. Ultimately, the new value being placed on cross-collaboration is heralding the end of the traditional “job description” as we know it.

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    Business-Led App Development

    This might be the year CIOs finally embrace some business-led application development, rather than stifling it.

    A new generation of SaaS and PaaS cloud-based solutions has the power to digitally transform organizations from the inside out. Until now, many CIOs have resisted these platforms, either pushing the business to rely on existing legacy systems or to custom code the solutions they desire.

    This year, progressive CIOs will partner more deeply on citizen development-led projects within the business to get the greatest application ROI while ensuring the right controls and security measures are set in place. By involving IT at the right level, these systems let the business run, while engaging IT with the right level of governance and transparency and overseeing key data connections to traditional systems for new development.

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    Broad Responsibility

    As information technology increasingly pervades each and every job title, CIOs will find themselves responsible for a broader variety of organizational functions than ever before — and the progressive CIOs will embrace this change.

    Thanks to a new generation of SaaS- and PaaS-based solutions, organizations are transforming from the inside out, becoming more streamlined as the formerly disparate departments of IT and the line-of-business come together. For a traditional CIO, this might sound like a nightmare — a future where rogue business types consider themselves more IT-savvy than IT, and developer staff bandwidth is consumed by business objectives.

    For the progressive CIO, this represents an opportunity. By bringing IT and line-of-business closer together under a new unified application development paradigm, forward-thinking organizations will address challenges on the IT side by empowering a new generation of agile citizen developers to assemble and maintain dynamic apps without becoming mired in lines of custom code — thereby improving agility on the business side by giving those closest to the problem at hand the tools to find and implement the solution.

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