ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, has announced results from the second report of its IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond study.
This newly released survey data examines the empowerment of IT and the ability of IT teams to influence and make business decisions.
It has become clear that IT departments are crucial for business success, particularly in the past two years as organizations struggled to adapt to remote work and accelerated digitalization. As a result, many IT decision-makers (ITDMs) were given a seat at the executive table to help guide business operations and were given greater responsibility in the implementation and use of technology.
In fact, according to the study, nearly nine out of 10 North American business and technology leaders (88%) believe IT is more responsible for business innovation now than ever before and 85% agree IT could drive even greater innovation in the business if they had a stronger leadership position.
The empowerment of IT and where it falls short
Business decision-makers in the US and Canada stated that their IT teams are most often consulted for advice on finance (53%), security (52%) and strategy (51%) decisions. Another three-quarters (76%) said their IT teams have complete or considerable authority to prevent business decisions based on security and technical concerns.
While IT is considered essential to the executive leadership of organizations, there are limits to its power. For instance, non-IT departments have autonomy in purchasing apps and IT software (54%), facilitating IT audits (52%), purchasing devices (45%) and hiring tech talent (48%). In addition, while nearly all North American respondents said that their organization has implemented a flexible work model, four in 10 ITDMs reported that they were inadequately or not at all consulted as their organization adopted and adapted to this model.
IT leaders increasingly dissatisfied at work
The increasing responsibility placed on IT teams has done little for their overall happiness. In fact, fewer than half (44%) of ITDMs feel as loyal to their employer as they did two years ago. Additionally, 81% believe their organization should have supported them more in that time frame, 11 percentage points more than the global average. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, nearly six in 10 ITDMs (58%) are actively looking for a new job. In addition, almost half of all IT leaders would resign from their current organization if flexible work was no longer offered (48%) or if there was no potential to advance their careers (45%).
Beyond the pandemic, the threat of a looming economic recession may also factor into the decision of IT leaders to leave their current role. Nearly two-thirds of ITDMs (64%) are more concerned about losing their job than they were six months ago, whereas 43% said they would resign if they did not receive a pay increase in line with inflation.
A silver lining on the horizon
When asked what they want most from their role in the next five years, 45% of ITDMs answered that they want to learn new skills and another 41% said they want to be able to guide change within the organization. This aligns with how they see IT evolving within their companies in the next five years; they believe IT should have a greater role in setting strategies for organizations.
“Over the last few years, IT teams have proven indispensable to business innovation and continuity, yet senior management has been reluctant to bring them into larger corporate decisions,” said Vijay Sundaram, Chief Strategy Officer of Zoho Corporation. “But the role of IT in organizations will only grow and become more decentralized as more lines of business, especially those with no time to wait on the IT department, deploy IT to meet rapidly changing market requirements. Yet this will require the expertise and involvement of ITDMs to identify appropriate technologies and meet corporate guidelines in areas like compliance, privacy and security. Oddly, decentralization could actually make IT leaders even more strategic.”Click below to share this article